Shortly after finishing up my most recent reading assignment, I prepared a book review and executive summary for a fictional board of directors in my non-profit business class when I remembered the words said to me by Gary Peterson that day at gap intelligence, “just gimme.” This of course was in reference to the blog of mine that is about a week past due.
Thankfully, I bought a case of Rockstar energy drinks and knocked out my book and paper with enough time to play catch-up. Without further ado, let me begin introducing myself.
In certain circles around gap intelligence I am known as MP3, this is because I am the third Peterson @gapintelligence. Born Matthew Peterson in a little state called Connecticut, I was raised by three barbarians that go by the name of Jon, Anthony, and Andrew (my brothers). I had to fight for every meal (ok, sometimes). I placed third place at my school’s spelling bee in third and fifth grade. I was a mathlete in middle school. At the tender age of 18 years old I set out to greener pastures in a town named Pleasantville, NY. It was there that I attended Pace University, majored in Business Management, and played for the football squad.
I was a part of a team that won a combined 6 games in my four years, keeping me from ever truly playing a meaningful down in my short-lived football career. After four years I received my BBA. And then, for the first time I was stuck on a question I never had to answer before… what now?
So I did the only practical thing in this situation. I took an operations manager position at a rising hardware warehouse. I have never been in a warehouse before, although, I did score a nice pair of slacks at Men’s Wearhouse one time in ’04. After almost two years, I left my warehouse job. And after a brief stint at Subway HQ I decided to pursue an MBA and hopefully find a career that I was passionate about. When I began my search for schools, I started and ended in San Diego. It was in September of last year that I moved to the San Diego area to attend Point Loma Nazarene University.
By early October, I had landed a job at gap intelligence. And let me tell you, I could not be any happier. Primarily because of something we talk about here at gap intelligence, culture. Something many businesses have been slowly catching onto. At a snail’s pace. I know in many of my lessons in class, while we may have mentioned it, it has never been the topic of lengthy debate or discussion. Yet, here at gap intelligence, we lead with our culture.
For instance, every Wednesday at 11 AM we have a ‘snack attack’ break. This Christmas we were on a float in the OB parade! That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. Just last week after work gap put together a gapluck BBQ here in Liberty Station.
And our culture certainly isn’t just limited to food and parties. Employees are encouraged to get involved for something higher than themselves. Erin Vogelsanger and Katie Hess are leading the way at giving back to the community with 3Ts (Time, Treasure, Talent). Just a couple of weeks ago the 3Ts put together a night where employees could volunteer to pitch in at the San Diego Food Bank. I happen to have been there that night, and let me tell you, we were put to work… but we also had a great time doing it.
Here at gap we want to build something bigger than ourselves. And we are doing it. Gap wants to serve the community, its employees, and may I not forget to add, its customers. Gap trusts that if we invest in our people and community, along with some hard work, we can accomplish something greater than ourselves.
At the yearly kickoff meeting in January, Gary told a story about two men that were building a church. They were both laying bricks as they were working. When asked what they were doing, one man said, “building a wall.” The other man said, “building a cathedral.” I know that I do not want to be left behind just building a wall, I want to be a part of something greater, I want to be here as gap builds its cathedral.