The Column - Menard Cares

Have You Vacationed Lately?

Or Why We Should All Take a Break

Did you know that over half of Americans didn't use all of their vacation days last year?

More importantly, did you know that when they DID use their vacation days, the company did NOT suffer?

Exactly the opposite!

Why? How could MORE time off mean BETTER innovation & HIGHER productivity?

Because while you are on vacation, you tend to sleep better, eat better, and interact more with your friends and family. Your mood improves, and your stress & anxiety dissipate. You return to work with a clear head, a more positive outlook and a renewed energy level.

Menard Group USA President Frederic Masse is a big fan of vacations and encourages all MeNERDs to take advantage of what he calls the best benefit around.

The truth is, no one will be impressed by you not using your vacation time. I am French, and you know the reputation of my compatriots. In France, we would all get 6 weeks of paid vacation. This sounds crazy, right? Yet no one in France would ever think of giving up their vacation time! It is a right you have, and you should use it. You’re literally entitled to it!
Frederic Masse, Menard Group USA President

Our Regional Sales Engineer Kyle Shatzer recently showed MeNERDs how vacationing is really done by taking a 3-month leave to complete a 4,400-mile bicycle tour across the USA with his girlfriend, Meredith.

Kyle & Meredith met in Philadelphia through a mutual friend who realized they were both planning to take the Professional Engineer (P.E.) Exam in April and then bike across the country.

Their trip began in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, and finished 88 days later in Florence, Oregon. Following the general route of the Adventure Cycling Association’s TransAmerica Trail, they pedaled their 75-pound loaded touring bikes 60-70 miles, with plenty of stops at local diners and bars, on a typical day. 

They made sure to take plenty of rest days, too – including a weekend near Menard HQ in Pittsburgh, a few days in Nashville, a whole week  with friends in the Denver/Boulder area, and several days celebrating the 4th of July in Missoula. 

"The hardest part of the tour was figuring out where to sleep each night  - we slept in churches, camped in parks, crashed on couches with host families, and paid for a few too-many budget hotels," Kyle shared. "Our favorite segment was along Highway 12 next to the Lochsa River in Idaho – where for the most part, the only folks we saw were either fly-fishermen or other touring cyclists."

As if this trip wasn't epic enough, Kyle and Meredith found out that they both passed their P.E. exam while riding through the rolling farmlands of rural Missouri. In true road warrior spirit, they celebrated with gas station beers under a tree. Congratulations to them both!

Start planning & schedule those vacation days! Whether you're on the adventure of a lifetime or a peaceful week with your family, down time is good for you both physically & mentally - and actually makes you more productive when you return to work. Get vacationing!

MeNERDs Who Made It Happen

Vacationing MeNerds
Kyle Shatzer
Sales Engineer
Minneapolis, MN
Frederic Masse
Carnegie, PA
All MeNERDs!
Everyone from
All Offices

Organizations Involved

Adventure Cycling Association

As a nonprofit organization, Adventure Cycling Association's mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle. Established in 1973 as Bikecentennial, we are the premier bicycle-travel organization in North America with more than 40 years of experience and 53,000 members. 

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