Employee Appreciation Starts Right Here at Proximity! - Proximity Malt

Employee Appreciation Starts Right Here at Proximity!

Proximity Malt, 03-02-2021

March 5th is National Employee Appreciation Day. At Proximity Malt, we take this as an opportunity to look back on how far we’ve come since we began producing malt in 2017, to take stock of the important role of teamwork and individual effort it’s taken to get to where we are, and to share our gratitude for our colleagues who make the daily business of malt both fun and rewarding.

We value each employee for his, her or their unique set of skills, talent and knowledge that contribute to our overall company’s success. But everyone knows that each employee is also a person with family, pets, passion-projects and commitments to community involvement above and beyond their work-day. We asked our colleagues to tell us a bit about who they are, aside from being a great employee. Here are a few of our favorites, highlighting both Proximity, Monte Vista, CO and our Milwaukee, WI headquarters:

Jake Capron

Anyone who knows Jake Capron knows his kids are the center of his world – Jayce and Emily can even be found visiting the malthouse on occasion. As he says, they ‘rock his world!’ When the weekend comes, Jake goes hunting or horse-back riding, preferably with Jayce, who enjoys it as much as he does.  Ski vacations are another family favorite. We’re not sure when he finds the time, but he likes volunteering at the kids’ schools, too.


John Pagnotta

John Pagnotta is a family-guy, top to bottom. He likes to hunt – but also spends plenty of time in his workshop and fixing things around the house. His kids, Gessica and McKenzie are the center of his universe. When he finds some time to spend with his wife, they like fishing and exploring old mines and caves. Helping folks in need is important to John.


Cindy Martinez

When Cindy Martinez is done with her workday, she still finds time to bake, cook and even iron! Her favorite place to be with her family is on vacation…preferably somewhere warm….  Outdoors, she loves to garden, nurturing flower beds with her husband; indoors, embroidering is her hobby of choice.

Her kids, Tesa and Maxwell make every day special. And adventures with her husband on the Harley Davidson are tough to beat!


Angela Ramey

Angela Ramey enjoys gardening as her way to unwind from a busy day or week, although she’d prefer to be at the beach enjoying her grandkids! Beach vacations with her family—husband, kids Dean, Cory, Zach, Colleen and little ones– are her favorite pastime. Even her hobbies of kayaking and fishing with her husband involve proximity to water –


Brian Ackerman

When Brian Ackerman’s done at the office, he stays busy at home to improve the quality of life for his family. As he says, ‘That’s what life’s about right?’ He’s currently working on a master bed / bath addition to the house.

His favorite way to spend his vacation time is hunting & fishing with family and friends, sometimes even with the boss.  It’s the best way to both share and experience the world, he explains. He and his wife Kendall have three amazing kids; Taylor 7, Jordan 5 and Carson 2.  ‘We’re truly blessed,’ he adds.

Brian’s hobby is tasting the different varieties of beer that Proximity’s customers produce…especially stouts and porters. He and Kendall like to be outside working or pushing the kids on swings.  Kendall’s a plant guru and Brian supplies the elbow grease and shovel.  They also love to go hunting together.


A Few Colleague Shout-Outs from our Milwaukee Office:

Scott Athy and Monica Petrie-Schmidt

“Scott Athy, our Controller, is a relatively new employee at Proximity. He keeps our lights on and makes sure our books are in good order. Monica, standing to Scott’s right,  truly will help with anything: as our office manager, she’ll do what she can to help out – just say the word. We are very appreciative of both of their contributions to making each day a good one at the office.


Debbie Gildemeister

Thanks to Debbie for her help in the Milwaukee Innovation Center and Warehouse. She helps with packaging samples, cleaning and keeping the samples well organized. She is a great baker- we are lucky that she shares her cookies with us!


Steve Kukla

Finally, Steve Kukla has been a maltster for over forty years. We’re so lucky to have him as part of our Milwaukee team. He works in the Proximity Innovation lab, running the semi-works malting and roasting systems and teaching us all a thing or two about the topic he knows well – turning great grains into great malts!!

Thanks to everyone who makes Proximity Malt a great place to work!


Proximity Malt