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November 22, 2016 Mandy Urey

The Picture of Who We Are

It’s been a busy, gratifying couple of months for Gray Matter Systems and as the Director of HR and Operations, I couldn’t be more proud.

We were named one of the Best Places to Work by Pittsburgh Business Times at the end of October. I still get excited every time I walk into work and see our plaque.

Before this honor, we were named one of Pittsburgh’s Fastest Growing Companies. As if we weren’t thrilled enough to represent our hometown, the momentum grew.

We were also recognized by Inc. Magazine as part of the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies in our nation. This list has featured companies such as Microsoft, Vizio, Oracle and Intuit in the past. It’s truly an honor to join such an elite group.

As I accepted the Best Places to Work award for Gray Matter Systems, I couldn’t help but think of when I first walked in the door on my first day of work.

A Growing Gray Matter Family

The company had been steadily growing when I arrived on my first day but I still remember the team, admittedly smaller than it is now.

As any new job begins, I felt unsure about how I would fit in. Boy, were my fears unwarranted. The team welcomed me and I felt at ease almost instantly.

Whether I was learning how to talk shop with one of our long-time veteran employees, the processes in place, or even that a Starbucks run can be considered an emergency, I quickly felt like a part of the team.

" Suddenly, I wasn’t a newbie any more. "

As I look back now, I realize that’s the Gray Matter way. You join; you’re a part of the family. As we onboard and train new employees – it seems as though we’re welcoming new faces every week these days – it’s my priority to see to it that it’s similar to my first weeks here.

I think evidence of this accomplishment can be seen within the bond of the team and the vibe of our workplace.

The Team Bond

Gray Matter Team Bond

For the past 20 years, we’ve hosted our annual user group conference in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Not only do we connect some of the newest technology and thought leadership to our long-time customers and new clients, but we also come together as a team every year.

It’s one of the busiest months at Gray Matter Systems and this year it produced one of my favorite pictures captured of our team. Of course, we have many photos of us hard at work at the conference. But this one actually came as we were leaving the event.

It was an exhausting (and rewarding) three days and the vans were packed and ready to make the trek back to the Pittsburgh area.

We had our ferry tickets in hand as we waited to cross Lake Erie back to our cars, back to reality. We soon found out there would be a significant delay and I watched several people from our team make the best of it and walk down to a small beach.

They didn’t realize that as they climbed down to the beach, I stood back, by the line of cars to capture the moment. I had the biggest smile on my face.

They were doing nothing more than skipping rocks, hanging out and laughing. I had to take a picture because this is my favorite part of our conference and why I love what I do.

This is the Gray Matter vibe I try to describe to candidates and new employees, friends and family. This is why we are a “Best Place to Work” and a “Fastest Growing Company.”

This is how we operate. It’s how we serve our customers to ensure we’re truly transforming their operations and empowering people.

The Next Five Years: Looking Ahead

As a part of our leadership team, one of the hats I wear ensures that we’re not just thinking about the day-to-day work, but how the future Gray Matter Systems can be bigger and better.

"Simply put, the answer is people."

Our careers page is gaining additions all the time—great, new departments and innovative opportunities. The team of both new and veteran employees will take us where we want to go.

So what’s my vision for the next five years? We want to be a top technology provider, but mostly we aim to be the top trusted advisor.

Maybe it includes moving to a bigger office to accommodate the whole team, or maybe it’s the opportunity to take another great photo like the one at PIB 2016.

Either way, I know the “How Can I Help” vibe will be as strong as ever—no matter if it’s internal or for our customers and vendors.

I could go on and on, but I have to go help prepare for our annual Office Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition that can’t be missed, complete with a turkey and all the dressings.

I can’t wait to go around the table and hear what everyone’s thankful for this year. For me, it will be the faces looking back at me.

Can you see yourself on our team? We’re hiring.

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