Each year at River Run, a Managed IT service provider in Glendale, Wisconsin, owner and CEO, Paul Riedl, Jr. passes out cards of gratitude to his team at their annual party. And, each year, the team presents Paul with a gift of their own – never over the top or too extravagant, but one that expresses their gratitude and sentimentality.
In 2019, something very special happened. It started with Josh Orlopp, a Systems Administrator at River Run, who became the mastermind and general contractor on a project to build a bench for Paul that would be supported by some old computer equipment – two Apple Mac Pro Towers.
As with everything at River Run, building this bench was a Team Effort. Orlopp sought out some of the best and brightest people, both internally and at client companies, to assist in the creation of this artistic bench.
The wooden seat is a solid piece of walnut and was hand crafted by Mark Strickland of Wavy Grain Woodworking in Indiana.
The old Apple Mac Pro towers were donated by the wonderful, and long-term River Run clients, Boelter & Lincoln and Conrad Schmitt Studios. Both were bound for the recycle pile when Josh inquired if they could find a second life in this project. Wendy Appelbaum, CFO at Boelter & Lincoln, and Lori Stock, Controller at CSS, were both proud to have their firms be a part of the project.
Kari Niepow, Director of HR, from Lakeside Manufacturing, part of The Sandstone Group, worked with her team to orchestrate the design and production of two, stainless steel River Run logos. The logo design includes a capital “R” with a river flowing from it. These were magnetically mounted on the face of the computers.
Matthew Moog and Abraham Liebsch, both of the River Run Tech Department, designed and configured the internal lighting and electronics to launch this project over the top. The lights can be changed to several colors that flash if desired.
The final product was presented to Paul at the 2019 Holiday Party as a gift from his entire River Run Team. He was truly touched.
Without the metal logos, one might think it was a piece by master sculptor Mark di Suvero as it invites the audience to experience the work not only visually, but also physically. And, like so many of di Suvero’s pieces, which included many benches, it is an interactive work that combines steel and wood as if they were meant to have been formed together.
The team had thought that Riedl would take it home, but he was so impressed with the effort and result, that he wanted the work displayed for all who enter River Run to see and experience. The bench is now placed in the front lobby of the office. When first viewing it, it appears to be a piece of floor art as it is along a wall between the reception desk and the seating area.
River Run is always open for business, 24/7, but if you would like to see the bench and take a rest on a piece of art, they invite you to stop by during weekly office hours.
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