Rumspringa” is the name the Amish have for a period of time when young adults can leave the group and go out into the world sampling all that life has to offer. If they decide to come home they will be forgiven their trespasses and brought back into the fold. But, if they decide to make a life out in the big wide world, they just might find themselves working for Genie. The company which makes Genie Garage Door Openers.
So what do Genie and the Amish have in common? Well, a lot it seems starting with where they call home. Amidst the rolling green hills of Mt. Hope, Ohio lies a splendid surprise of a community that straddles the timeline of technology. Genie flew me out to this place for what they called a Digital Summit and we, the participants, arrived with our devices in tow, connected to the Internet (albeit spotily at times) and prepared to record much of what we saw in ones and zeros.
The Genie Company Story
Dave Osso, the Genie Brand Manager, was waiting at the airport. We were the early birds, Eric from Chicago (Tools in Action), Michael the Cajun Contractor and myself; the others would arrive later in the day. We climbed into Dave’s SUV and were on our way. The conversation, in the car, was pretty interesting. The next time I really looked out the window was when Eric said: “It’s beautiful here.” Eric was right, it was beautiful and well kept, and the buildings seemed old enough that you could actually say that about them.
Our conversation turned on a dime to the geography and inhabitants of the area. Dave told us that we were entering one of the largest populations of Amish in the United States. I grew up in Dover, Delaware, around which a small community of Amish folk live, so I have hard wired images of buggies on back roads and homesteads where no electricity runs.
As I mentioned, Dave is the Genie Brand Manager. This was the second such summit the company had held and Dave was their point man. Conversation is really easy with Dave, he balances business and general interest well. Dave helped keep me grounded as the trip was fast and the surroundings were both familiar and strange, which gave it a dream-like quality.
Genie – Connected with their Amish Locale
The question arose about the name for a period of time when a young Amish could go out and live in the wide world, and for the rest of the trip, I kept hearing this question repeated. Dave knew a lot about the Amish, but he did not readily have the answer. He merely said that he did not believe that all Amish people embraced the custom. This was something that I liked about Dave from the beginning. He has a humility about him, which is not unlike the Amish contractors I have worked with back in my home state of Delaware. Dave knows what he knows and has no need to talk circles trying to impress you. What Dave knows is Genie and we could not have had a better guide.
Between Dave and the community surrounding the company, I got a good feeling from The Genie Company straight away. It was fascinating to see first hand how connected Genie is to their surroundings both in thought and deed. Their World Headquarters is a modern building with exterior foam core panels that were manufactured by the Wayne/Dalton Company right next door. Everything I learned about the Genie Company pointed to a commitment of self-reliance and honest hard work. It did not feel like a coincidence that these strong traits are shared by their Amish neighbors.
* For More on the Genie Company, check them out online:
Genie on the web
Genie on Twitter @theGenieCompany
The Genie Company has given Building Moxie a garage door opener to Review. That post and full step by step how-to is here – Installing a Genie Garage Door Opener.