EXAIR is a company that is built around saving, sustainability, and doing the right thing. Our products focus on saving compressed air, reducing sound levels, and improving the safe operation of compressed air blow offs. EXAIR is also focused on ways to give back to our community and better our team. Over the past year EXAIR, through an employee sponsorship program, has given back to over 30 charities. This program is open to all EXAIR employees and enables us to select a charity event that we wish to participate in and EXAIR will sponsor our participation. Fortunately, many events have a charitable arm associated with them and we have a great deal of events to choose. This leads to us, the employees, being able to contribute to charities we want to, but also gets us out and doing these events and staying active.
Over the past year EXAIR has sponsored employees in over 30 different charity backed events. This list continues to grow every year and this does not include the charities that we have always supported through direct donations or volunteering, for instance.
The picture below is of our 7 person team for the Tough Mudder in Kentucky for 2016, out of the 7, 6 are employees that were all sponsored and chose to support Wounded Warrior through running the Tough Mudder for the 2nd year in a row, first time in Kentucky, and third Tough Mudder for a few of us.
For myself, the best part of working for a company that not only gives to charities but encourages their employees to get out and participate within our communities, is knowing and experiencing these events together. To give an idea we had five separate departments represented at just this event.
This week begins my favorite time of year – college basketball madness!
Like many of us around the country, my fan loyalty resides with a relatively small, local college that has seen a lot of program growth in recent years – Xavier University. For example, during the 2003-2004 season, the team was ranked preseason top 11 in the country but stumbled along the way and found themselves at 10-8 with a pivotal game against their in state, conference rival. They ended up losing the game and the players held a “team only” meeting afterwards so the seniors could, let’s just say, “focus” the team on their goals. Whatever was said in that locker room worked, as the team went on to finish the regular season with a 9-1 record and win 4 conference tourney games in 4 days (first team to ever tackle this feat) to capture the automatic bid to the national field of 64, where they eventually lost by only 3 points in their first ever Elite 8, to a certain team from Durham, NC. (It was the REFS fault and no I’m not bitter LOL).
In 2008 the team was facing a similar challenge as they had lost several close games and were now again faced with needing to win 4 games in 4 days to get the automatic conference title bid. They went on to secure the bid and were able to reach the Elite 8 again for the 2nd time in 4 years but their run ended with a loss to the #1 seed in the region. The school has now joined a larger conference which is great for national notoriety and recruiting but also brings a higher level in competition, either boosting or damaging their tournament resume.
This year has followed suit to previous years as the team didn’t perform up to expectations and spent much of the latter part of the regular season on the proverbial “bubble”. After each win or loss, the prognosticators would move them from a “lock” to the “bubble”, or even more confusing, “still has work to do” category. All that mattered was just win and let the rest take care of itself. The team did just that as they went on to make the finals of the conference tournament but were easily handled by the first place team and eventually lost.
The selection committee has rewarded their conference affiliation along with conference tournament success and ranked them as a 6 seed for this years national championship tournament (a little high in my opinion but I’ll take it!) playing the winner of one of the play-in games.
Who knows what tournament success or failure lies ahead but that is what makes this time of year so awesome. Even when my team loses, there is always a local team, an underdog or the year’s “Cinderella” that grasps the country’s attention and makes it hard to root against them. Since we are in Cincinnati, many of our folks live in Kentucky and the Wildcats prove their wide reach among many of our Ohio based people as well. It makes the office banter and challenges and trash talk more interesting when pitting the hopes of a small “bubble” team up against a behemoth like Kentucky. We would be remiss not to mention the other behemoth with a huge fan base in this neck of the woods, Ohio State. We cannot forget our loyal base of University of Cincinnati Bearcats, who have provided us with some stellar employees, though not much of a basketball team this year (I’m a Xavier fan, remember?). And with the late breaking news from last night’s winning Dayton Flyer team, we have some solid regional representation in the tourney year.
Wow, now that I think about it, we’ll be lucky to survive the next few weeks without a bit of office bloodshed. At the very least, a small skirmish is certain to happen ;-).
Here at EXAIR we have a great team too! From the production team all the way up to management, we understand that we need to remain focused on our main goal – to satisfy YOU, our customer! We are always striving to get better by developing new products, testing existing products or maintaining near perfect (99.9%) on-time shipments.
Ryan Longshore, a design engineer at EXAIR, famous for his hard work on our new High Lift Reversible Drum Vac, will now be famous for something else. He left Cincinnati, OH last Thursday November 6th, 2014 to run the Baja 1000. He is running the race with a few members of his family and friends as a part of Longshore Racing. His trip to the race is 2,168 miles. After driving to Ensenada for the start of the race, They will compete in 1,275 miles of racing, unlimited UTV class 19.
The Baja 1000 is one of the most grueling off road races in the world. According to Scores International, the race this year will be 1,275 miles starting in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The course crisscrosses the Baja California Peninsula drive along the cost of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California at various times.
The temperature in La Paz now is 87 degrees and sunny, so I hope he gets a chance to enjoy himself.
If they complete the race (a huge accomplishment), the convoy will then depart from La Paz to drive back to Louisville, KY. For those of you scoring at home that is roughly 6,500 miles or around 80 hours of windshield time.
As I’m writing the blog the number 1943 is 398 miles into the race after running for 18 hours. They only have 40 hours to compete in the Baja, so they have an uphill climb to finish in the allotted time, but they seem to be putting on a good showing so far.
Best of luck to # 1943! EXAIR is Cheering for You!
Monday Morning Update: The Longshore Racing team made it to mile 625 where they suffered an insurmountable breakdown – two broken front right ball joints. The repair vehicle was a couple hours away and they were unable to make the repairs in time to finish the race. Ryan has stated it has been an amazing journey and they have begun talking about next year.