IBCs

A Look Back: What I Learned in Boston

As we look back on 2013 one story stands out against all the rest – The bombings in Boston. Every 2013 sports story, or coverage of events in the United States, or the world for that matter, talk about that fateful day in April last year when two brothers placed a couple of backpacks with home made explosives at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Thanks to the BOSTON POLICE RUNNER’s CLUB (BPRC) I got to be there to race in one of the greatest spectacles in sport. For 20 years the BPRC has fielded a team for the marathon as a way to raise monies for a variety of community outreach programs, including Path4Teens. I was grateful for the opportunity and trained hard with the hopes of running the race of my life. Thank each and every one of you who gave ot the cause. Your contribution was fully tax deductible [501(c)3-75-3240064]

The marathon is a 118 year tradition, the oldest annual running event and by far the longest running marathon in the world. The city comes out in droves and each of the seven towns we run in from Hopkington to Boston are in full on celebration mode for Patriot’s day. For Boston 2013 I had one goal – to be under 3:40 (three hours and forty minutes) – for my age, 54, that is what I needed to qualify for the marathon in 2014. I felt strong all 26.2 miles, coming in at 3:38, a personal best by 27 minutes! I was thrilled. Then, less than thirty minutes later, it was total chaos.

LIFE lessons are found in all we do and everything is a mirror. After running my share of marathons I began to see some life and business lessons in the experience. Boston 2013 was no different, especially with the impact of the bombings. THREE come to mind.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” – It takes what it takes to prepare and finish a marathon. A lot can happen over the course of a 26 mile race, and unless you have put in the “foot work” it is easy to get knocked off course and end up falling short of your goal. I put the hard miles in over the course of four months of training and reaped the benefits.

“Your life is none of your business” –  I often run for a cause, such as CHARITYWATER.org or serving the less fortunate in a community (Mazatlan, Mexico and Houston, TX). There are 7 billion of us on planet earth and unless you have learned to fit yourself to be of maximum service to something bigger than yourself, you are missing out. All of us have a part to play in our businesses. We are all connected and who we serve is bigger than our job or our company. This helps tremendously in during the rough times, and there will be rough times.

“Preparedness is not just a word, it is a way of life” –  We never know what each day will bring. The Boston Police department (all municipal services) handled the emergency situation professionally. In fact the police chief actually ran the marathon (the 54 year old ran a 3:34!) and was on the job within the hour of finishing, orchestrating the various municipal services better than Arthur Fiedler could have ever hoped conducting the Boston Pops. MBC has a litany of articles designed to help others get prepared for an unscheduled emergency, be it weather or terror related. “Saving for a rainy day” is not just a cute saying.  It is common sense.

Thanks to all my coaches, mentors, and to the marathon itself for teaching me about life and business. It has made me a better husband/father/person/manager/owner.

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Sustainability and Mark’s Drum and Tote Company

Quick – define “sustainability”.  This concept has been gaining momentum in the business world these past 8-10 years and now the US Government is on board. It would seem, as the word itself implies, that sustainability is here to stay.

Here at Mark’s Barrel Company sustainability encompasses two areas: Resources – think people, planet, climate, etc. and Business Acumen – think ethics, corporate governance practices.

MBC is dedicated to protecting the planet and driving sustainable growth. As a company whose primary business is reconditioning containers for reuse, we are dedicated to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy consumption.

For instance, we are building a progressive tote (Intermediate Bulk Container) washer and leak tester that will largely clean and reuse water that is being heated by the very waste found in the containers we are cleaning. This will save tens of thousands of gallons of water per year while reducing the consumption of electricity and natural gas.

Sustainability is not just about protecting the climate, conserving natural resources and improving the human condition. The concept extends to the realm of business ethics and corporate governance.

At MBC we are convinced integrity and mutual respect are essential to creating, growing and sustaining a business. In other words, sustainability is what’s essential to the future of our business, and for MBC, integrity and mutual respect are key.

One does not have to look too far at glaring examples of ethical lapses in the business world. Our mortgage and banking industries, insurance and financial institutions have been “right-sized” or in some cases are bankrupt.

A percentage of the closed head (tight-head) steel drums find their way into scrap yards. A larger percentage is reconditioned for reuse. While we in our industry cannot boast the kinds of numbers the International Aluminum Institute does (73% since 1888!), we can celebrate the kaizan type improvements our industry is making in the steel and plastic industries.

Its been said that, “The fundamental principle of sustainability is as a frame of reference for a triple bottom line: Profit, people and impact on the planet.”  Now, define sustainability.

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