Archive for the ‘MKTG Rewards’ tag

MKTG Rewards Winner Andrew Leubner: Hiking & Dining Around Lake Tahoe

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The MKTG Rewards program is designed for MKTG employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid international or domestic experience. 2015’s winners were announced in June, and lucky recipients have spent this summer taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Andrew Leubner is a Regional Director based in Scottsdale, AZ, and was the lucky winner of a domestic trip. Andrew and his wife decided to spend their 5th wedding anniversary making the most of Lake Tahoe’s beautiful vistas hiking- and dining their way throughout this unique terrain. Read on for Andrew’s recap….

Looking for a change of pace from our usual major city destinations, my wife and I thought it would be nice to relax and celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in the mountains, so we decided on Lake Tahoe. Our goal was to explore as much ground as possible and experience Tahoe from a local’s perspective.

On Thursday we made the quick drive from Reno Airport to Lake Tahoe. As we descended the peak of Mt. Rose, we drove into a snow flurry that followed us all the way down to Incline Village. We found our resort, toasted with a glass of champagne and got settled at The Hyatt Regency. It was the quintessential “luxury mountain lodge” experience. Excited to get as much hiking done as possible, we found a couple of short, close hikes to start with. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Diamond Peak and Stateline Lookout’s very different trails.

After a long day of hiking, we were ready for some good food. We discovered a favorite local spot, T’s Rotisserie, which we ended up revisiting throughout the trip. They serve up deliciously massive burritos stuffed with rotisserie chicken, tri-tip, rice, beans and everything in between. Sitting at the counter and watching the staff work their magic in close quarters only adds to the fun, laid-back vibe.

The next day we got up early and had breakfast at the lodge’s restaurant (which boasts amazing views of Mt. Rose). To our relief, the freak cold snap that followed us from Reno the day before was gone now and the weather was perfect. We decided on a scenic coastal hike to Secret Cove and then Chimney Beach. This was a definite highlight of the trip. There was so much to take in, from the crystal clear water that went on for miles, to the massive pines towering over us. There were blue jays, squirrels and chipmunks at every turn. It was like stepping into a fairytale….a fairytale that ended with a lot of naked strangers! It turns out that Secret Cove is a nude beach- and a very popular one at that! Suffice to say, our shore side lunch ended quickly.

While on the hike, we fashioned a pair of hiking sticks, smoothing them out on a granite boulder and left a pair at the trailhead for any future hikers that might have needed some extra stability. Once we made our way back, we drove to Crystal Bay on the California side of Lake Tahoe and stopped at Mellow Fellow Pub for some local-made elk sausage and pulled pork nachos. For dinner that night we chose a local tapas-style restaurant called Bite. We were quite impressed with the spinach and brown rice arancini and Indian spiced chickpea butter lettuce wraps.

On Saturday we drove to South Lake Tahoe, which is about 30 minutes from the North side, with stunning lake views along the way. We found ourselves in a bustling ski resort town with lots of touristy shops and a big gondola transporting visitors to the top of the mountain. Once we were full from a burger lunch we made the drive back to the much less touristy North side and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and walking around the resort’s beaches and parks. One of our favorite things about the Hyatt were the nightly massive fire pits throughout the grounds. We met so many interesting, friendly guests over campfire s’mores and nightcaps under the stars.

The following morning, we were eager to get out on the lake and quickly headed to Sand Harbor beach. We rented a tandem kayak and got paddling. This was for sure our favorite activity of the week, with breathtaking views from the middle of the lake. We kayaked away from home base for a good 90 minutes until the wind picked up and made it comically difficult for us to navigate. It doesn’t matter if you’re married five or 50 years- co-piloting a tandem kayak does not come any easier, or so I’m told!

Later that day we scoped out a local brewery called Alibi Ale Works. Any dog-friendly brewery is going to be at the top of our list, and after giving Abby (their resident pit bull) some well-deserved belly rubs, we were able to sample an assortment of their expansive beer selection in 4oz. offerings. Our favorite brew was the “Evil Jungle” Saison, followed by the “Dog Day IPA,” which donates a percentage of sales to their local Humane Society.

On the final day we said our goodbyes to the staff and the grounds, then made our way up the mountain for one last hike around Spooner Lake before driving back to Reno. It was such a great trip, we spent much of the last day discussing our plans to return. To MKTG and everyone who participated in the rewards voting- I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the opportunity to discover such an amazing new place. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this unforgettable experience.

 

–Contributed by Andrew Leubner, Regional Director, Scottsdale, AZ

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MKTG Rewards Winner Valerie Morales: Viva l’Italia!

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The MKTG Rewards program is designed for MKTG employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid international or domestic experience. 2015’s winners were announced in June, and lucky recipients have spent this summer taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Valerie Morales is a Senior Payroll Analyst at MKTG NY, and Italy was always on her list of travel destinations. Her wish came true when she was elected one of our three international winners. Valerie toured Italy from August 9-18, accompanied by her Mom who flew in from Puerto Rico for the special trip.

MKTG: What was your initial feeling when you were chosen as a MKTG Rewards winner?
VM: Total shock. At the MKTG Rewards ceremony I saw my face appear on the screen and blanked out.  After that I was actually shy about it- and for those of you who know me- I am not shy! I was so humbled by the fact that I was chosen for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Why did you choose Italy as your destination?
VM:  Italy’s history has always fascinated me. I love art and studied the greats: Michelangelo, Raphael, da Vinci, Botticelli, Donatello etc. Sadly, I don’t have the talent to draw but loved learning about them and always appreciated the beauty of their work. I also wanted to visit a country where the language would not be a barrier. I speak Spanish which has a similar foundation to Italian, so I felt that I could communicate in some way with the locals.

What was it like touring with a group, and would you return to Italy again?
VM: Most of our tour guides were from the cities we visited, and I loved how passionate they were about the history of their hometowns. We pretty much had a tour each day but were also given a day per city to independently explore, so that was fun. I would love to go back as I found it very easy to get around and there was so much left unexplored- such as Lido di Venezia, Milan and Sicily. Even the cities I did visit- Rome, Florence and Venice- left so much to be seen.

How did each city distinguish itself for you?
VM: Rome has a metropolitan feel, and I was surprised by the abundance of graffiti. Rome’s history is remarkably well-preserved and a wonder to experience. Naples is a calmer city, which came to my surprise as it is still threatened by an active volcano, Mount Vesuvius, which is the same volcano that buried Pompeii under ash over 1,500 years ago. Visiting nearby Pompeii was sad but impactful.  The city was indeed ahead of its time and the abrupt loss of their vibrant people was tragic. Florence was my favorite city, as its metropolitan area is both urban and rural. I was able to explore the city’s history, enjoyed some shopping from local vendors yet also visited a local vineyard. The cuisine and gelato were amazing, too! Positano was very congested and felt like the buildings and roads were sandwiched on top of each other. That made for breathtaking scenery and everyone was so outgoing and friendly. Venice was a marvel of a city, and an architectural wonder. We enjoyed the history, getting around by speedboat and learning how their famous Murano glass is made.

Did the Italian way of life appeal to you compared to the 24/7 NYC lifestyle you’re accustomed to?
VM: The typical Italian way of life is certainly appealing, but again, it depends on where you go-  it’s either laid back or the usual urban hustle and bustle.

Italy is defined by its food. What were some of the best meals you had… and some of the most exotic?
VM: The food was very tasty yet I kept it simple trying pastas and pizzas. Each city had their own way of preparing these dishes, but I must say, I love my NYC pizza above all!

What was one moment on the trip you will never forget?
VM: I could not have won this trip at a better time. I purposely chose to go during these dates as I was turning 40 on August 11. For my birthday, we spent the morning in Vatican City enjoying the art that I’ve always appreciated, followed by an evening dinner and moonlight tour of the Colosseum. It was an amazing experience and the tour group really added to it. Apparently my Mom spilled the beans that it was my birthday and the group were so sweet making the night more special. They even added a candle to my dessert to wish me a happy birthday!

 

–Contributed by Valerie Morales, MKTG NY 

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

August 31st, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Introducing the 2015 MKTG Rewards Winners

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The MKTG Rewards program is designed for employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid International or Domestic Experience- revealed at this week’s ceremony! In addition, our CEO Charlie Horsey recognizes the work of additional team members through the CEO’s Choice Awards. Check out some stories from past winners and their amazing experiences!

2015’s grand prize winners…drumroll…!

Domestic Winners:
Claire Gardner
Joanna Solazzo
Andrew Leubner
Rick Gonzalez

CEO’s Choice, Domestic:
Robin Heitzman

International Winners:
Valerie Morales
Anthony Myers

CEO’s Choice, International:
Christophe Roberts

Congrats to all the winners and happy traveling!

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 2nd, 2016 at 5:26 pm

MKTG Announces Annual Rewards Winners

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Photo by Terry Warner

Photo by Terry Warner

The MKTG INC Rewards program is designed for employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG INC. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid International or Domestic Experience. In addition, our CEO Charlie Horsey recognizes the work of additional team members through the CEO’s Choice Awards.

Here are this year’s grand prize winners!

Domestic Winners:
Charlie DeCrescenzo
Terry Warner
Brandon Lee
Yensy Valdez

CEO’s Choice Domestic: Jen Robison and Emmett Aiello

International Winners:
Cassandra Ross
Joanna Solazzo

CEO’s Choice International: Elizabeth Santos

Congrats to all the winners and happy traveling!

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