As hard as it is to believe, the end of the year is upon us once again. It’s the holiday season – a time of the year when we do our best to be charitable and spend time with family and friends. Holiday cheer abounds, Christmas music plays from speakers everywhere and, fortunately for us at AK, employee-sponsored lunches take place! But it’s also a time of year in which we like to take a step back and reflect on all of the events that have taken place over the past 12 months. 2014 was a dandy of a year here at AK, complete with fantasy football, charity runs, employee celebrations, a day at TCF watching the Vikings, the #IceBucketChallenge and so much more. We hope you get as much enjoyment out of recapping the year that was 2014 as we have.

2014 Year to Remember

The year started off on a charitable note in January as the AK crew headed to Feed My Starving Children, where they packaged enough food to provide a whopping 18,576 meals.

The AK team in hairnets smiles at the camera as they volunteer

In March came very exciting news: AK Material Handling Systems was named to the Minnesota Business Magazine “Top 100 Companies to Work For” list for the 3rd consecutive year!

1000 Best Companies To Work For 2014 Minnesota Business Journal

In April, the team headed to the Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis to do the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Big Climb for Cures, hustling up 95 flights of stairs. Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. Check out the details.

AKMHS Employees Dressing in green smile and look at the camera arm in arm ready for the Climb for Cures

On Saturday, May 24th, Warehouse Shipping Specialist Eric Dutcher and his wife Aubrey welcomed Liam Alan Dutcher into the world, and we welcomed him into the AK family.

AK Employee's son is held by his wife as his daughter poses next to the new born boy

Part of what makes AK Material Handling Systems a great place to work is its loyal employees.  In June we celebrated 25 years of Brenda Harrison, Senior Project Account Manager.

Celebrating 25 Years Reads above a picture of Brenda Harrison

Another one of the things that make AK such a great place to work is the naturally fun work atmosphere.  In June, we were given the Ultimate Office Fun Award as part of our recognition in Minnesota Business Magazine’s “Top 100 Companies to Work For”! Read about how we won it!

AKMHS wins The Ultimate Office Fun Award

In July, members of the AK team participated in two races a way to get involved in the community and do some bonding.  The first of these was the 2014 Torchlight 5K in downtown Minneapolis.

A Group of runners make their way through a city

The second was the St. Jude Warrior Dash, which took place at Afton Alps ski and snowboard hill.  It was a muddy, exhausting, awesome time for all.

One of the biggest viral trends to sweep the nation was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which helped raise over $100 million in additional revenue for the ALS Association. AK Material Handling Systems was challenged by MH Installation and did an Ice Bucket Challenge of our own.

AK Employees stand in a line with ice buckets in front of them

One of the things we prize most is being able to develop lasting relationships with members of the community and with other businesses. In August, AK Material Handling Systems was awarded the Baker’s Dozen Award by Ridg-U-Rak for being one of the company’s top 13 distributors – pretty cool.

AK Employees Smile and stand with Ridg-U-Rak's Baker's Dozen award

Company fantasy football leagues may be common, but we like to take ours to the next level.  On August 20th, the AK team stayed after work for pizza, guitar playing from Jerry, and a little bit of friendly razzing.

4 Pizzas sit on a table

On October 12th came one of the biggest treats of the year – as a celebration of Brian Koski’s 20 years with the company and Brenda Harrison’s 25 years with the company, the AK crew, family, and friends got to attend a Viking’s game at TCF Bank Stadium.  As you can see, it was a blast.

AK Employees wearing Viking's gear smile at the camera

If you can’t already tell, we’re a pretty big fan of annual traditions here at AK.  One of our favorites?  The annual AK Costume Contest.  This was a blast, and we had all kinds of original costumes.

AKMHS Employees Stand on pallet rack beams in the warehouse wearing a variety of fun costumes

This past November, several AK team members participated in the annual Movember charity by growing out ‘staches and raising money for men’s cancer and health issues awareness.  In total, the AK Give Back Crew Moustacios team raised $1,394 – not too shabby! Read more about why we participate in Movember each year.

One of our most exciting projects of the year began in November in Duluth, Minnesota.  Miner’s, Inc., food distributor for the northland’s Super One grocery stores, recruited AK’s efforts in providing and installing racking for their new 85,708 square foot warehouse, as well as replacing their current racking. Check out this project spotlight!

Have we mentioned the employee lunches?  Man, these are some keepers!  For nine days in December, employees split up into teams of two and prepare meals for the whole office, and they never disappoint.

3 AKMHS Employees eat their lunch and smile

In December, we were also happy to welcome Shipping Specialist Peter Harms to the AK Material Handling Systems team.

AKMHS Shipping Specialist Peter Harms

To close out the year, we had a great holiday party and celebration of Bill Koski at Golden Valley Country Club.  Bill has been a long-time employee at AK, and is retiring at the end of 2014.  We’ll certainly miss having Bill Around. Read more about the celebration of Bill’s 23 years of service at AK.

A picture of Bill Koski smiling softly at the camera

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908