Meet Munzee Munday: Rob Vardeman
Here at Munzee we’re constantly encouraging our players to meet and greet and build the personal relationships that make this game so great. Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing members of Team Munzee so our players can get to know us a bit better. So each Munday (see what we did there?) check in to see a new member of Team Munzee and you decide if you trust the game in our hands. It may have taken him all day to finish his questionnaire, but he’s a pretty busy guy. It’s Munzee President Rob Vardeman!
Name and Title:
Rob Vardeman, President of Munzee Inc.
Where are you from?
Born in West Texas (Odessa) but jumped around the state several times, and a 4-year stay in California, before finally landing in Allen Texas. I’ve lived in Allen for 22 years, about 5 miles from our amazing location for Munzee HeadQuarters.
How did you find Munzee?
August 13th 2011, just over a month after Munzee launched I was out playing two other location games. I was headed for a long trail, but stopped at a windmill to find a container. As I approached GZ I noticed a tag zip tied to the structure flapping in the breeze. Odd but unimportant in my current search. I found the container a few feet away, took care of business, and turned to leave. Then I noticed the tag had a QR code on it and said “Scan for points”. Being a gamer, and having just installed a QR code reader on my phone a few weeks earlier I scanned it and was taken to the Munzee website. I found out I needed to create an account to play this game, so I did. It was love at first cap. I spent the next 5 hours, and over 100 miles driving to all the nearby Munzees collecting my 5 points. Over the next few weeks I started to interact with “snicker” via email because I was unable to find some of his daughter’s deployments. He basically made fun of me (sarcastically) and said I needed to improve my “geo-senses” if I couldn’t find something hidden by his little daughter. LOL. It kicked my Munzee hunting into high gear when I figured out I was interacting with a co-founder and the president. Eventually capping Munzees in his neighborhood lead to meeting him so I took my shot and told him I would work for Munzee one day. I had a vision for what it could be used for and where it could go! I became addicted to chasing special icons and points. I was a fanatical player and made it all the way to #7 on the global leaderboard before I finally got added to the team. The rest of the story is history. 🙂
How long have you worked for Munzee?
After 9 months of bugging Aaron and Scott to let me help, I began volunteering for Munzee in June of 2012 as my summer started for my teaching job. My title was Business Development, Community Support, and Player Interaction (or something like that). Over the next 6 months I worked hard to prove my worth and earn my spot, while working full time as a 5th grade Math teacher. In December 2012 I presented a plan to Aaron that would move me to full time contractor status with Munzee due to increasing needs for work to be done during “normal business hours”. While the plan was risky, I had faith and knew it was the right move for Munzee, and Aaron agreed. In January 2013, things really started to take off, after finally finding a supplier for vinyl stickers. It was 9 months later when Aaron and I talked through the future path for Munzee and he handed off the reins of Munzee Inc to me. October 4th 2013 was a life changing day for me and a game changer for Munzee. Since that time we’ve grown by leaps and bounds, increasing to 8 full time employees, 3 part time, and a fast growing worldwide community of players! Every day I’m amazed at our growth as a company and a game. I’m proud to lead our team as we venture out into new arenas and press on as THE 21st century scavenger hunt.
What do you enjoy most about Munzee?
Munzee is family. I truly see it that way. From hanging out with players at events, to interacting via email or Facebook groups I have always enjoyed spending time with my Munzee family. Hearing stories of need and how Munzee has made a difference, like in the case of my buddy David Reed, I believe in giving back to the players and their communities. It’s part of the reason I love to travel to events so much. Without the players, and their love for Munzee, we would be nothing. That’s something at the forefront of every choice we make at MHQ. The theme of 2014 is “Expect the Unexpected” and I think we’ve lived up to it at this point. The addition of new Munzee types, special contests, new badges, special events, and the marketplace show we aren’t afraid to keep things fresh. Munzee is home of the “Play it your way” special, and we will absolutely continue to innovate and give players new experiences in the years to come.
Famous last words?
When we moved into our first MHQ in January the three of us had quotes on the board. Mine is “I’ll be excited with one”. Sometimes we get carried away with bigger, faster, better, and the things that could be. But I’m excited with one. One person at an event, one deploy in a small town, one event in a new location, one shipment to a new country, one new player. It takes one to get the ball rolling. We’re seeing amazing growth in so many new places all around the world and it all started from one person in that area. Thanks also to the One who protects and guides me daily through this life I’m blessed to live and to my supportive family for allowing me to chase this dream. #MunzeeOn