My GEMomsperience Experience

I’ll ask you to forgive me but I’m about to tell this story out of sequence.  See, my trip to Louisville started with a whole separate adventure involving a bloggy friend, cucumber spread, and rain.  But in the interest of being somewhat timely, I need to talk about the second part of the trip first.

Actually, I need to preface all of this by saying that when it comes to winning things, my track record sucks.  Giveaways, raffle tickets, lottery scratch offs….I never win.  But like the Maryland Lottery once said, you gotta play to win.  So from time to time I take a chance and hope that Lady Luck smiles upon me.

Most recently this took the form of me entering a contest on the LoveFeast Table blog.   {Tangent}  Do you know the LoveFeast ladies?  Maybe not in real life, but online?  You should.  Kristin and Chris Ann personify what it means to let your passions guide your life and being open to going where that journey takes you.  Take a moment and click on the link over in that there sidebar under B’more Bloggers.  {End Tangent} Anyhow, Love Feast had been invited to participate in GEMomsperience and the folks at GE were letting them bring one of their readers along.  So despite not really understanding what GEMomsperience was, I entered the competition to be their guest at the event.  And guess what?  I freaking won.

Color me giddy.

So what exactly was GEMomsperience?  Unlike that timeshare sales pitch you have to sit through in order to get the free vacation, this was not GE trying to give us a hard sell on their products.  Sure, we got to oooh and aahh over washers, dryers, refrigerators, and induction cook tops.  And maybe we even got to see for ourselves that the Advantium oven will go from zero to well done fillets in 13 minutes flat.  {Tangent}  You really should ask the Googley about Advantium.  It’s the oven equivalent of the swiss army knife…regular oven, convection oven, microwave, and proofing oven.  Unfreaking believable.  {End Tangent} But GE wanted to understand more about our relationship with appliances in real life.

What goes into our decision making when we buy appliances?  What functions are important to us?  What functions would we like to see?  {Tangent}  If a self cleaning microwave ever becomes a commercial reality, you can thank GEMomsperiece.  {End Tangent}.  How do we use the products in our own homes as opposed to how the designers and testers speculate that we will?

It was an opportunity to have a conversation.  To talk with, not to be talked to.

It was also an opportunity to cook with GE’s chefs in their kitchen center.  Chef Brian and Chef Joe made us all feel like pros as they walked us through preparing pan friend chicken breasts, red eye gravy, and micro greens salad.  I have started to stalk their blog waiting for that chicken recipe to go up.  I’m tempted to try and wing it from memory because the results were spectacular.  The red eye gravy recipe came home with me and is demanding that I make it promptly.  Maybe I’ll see if Lady Luck won’t look my way again so soon because BAH needs this dish.  {Tangent} Perhaps if I would have checked this post on the Chefs’ blog BEFORE I arrived in Louisville I might not have had that unfortunate cucumber spread experience. {End Tangent}

I can’t say enough about how well we were treated by GE.  Not just in the tangible things like travel and accommodations.  Yes, it’s nice to be treated like a VIP.  But it’s  nothing compared to the experience of having every person you encounter from the organization genuinely wanting to hear your opinion.  Talk about feeling important.  Big thanks to GE for bringing a diverse group of bloggers together and for giving us an amazing experience.

Now for the disclaimery stuff.  GE covered all of my travel expenses and hotel accommodations.  They provided transportation while in Louisville and basically made me feel like a rock star.  They did not once suggest that I write about my experience.  But I own GE appliances.  I use GE appliances.  So I can speak objectively about my real life experiences with their products. Such as….could someone at GE please tell me why detergent packs refuse to dissolve in my GE dishwasher?  That thing is a godsend to me but it really burns my biscuits to have to run it twice because there’s some kind of fail going on after I close the door.

Next to lastly, a side note to anyone who may at some point have the opportunity to be the guest of a company at an event.  Please do not go around asking for free stuff.  Besides the less than springlike weather during our visit, that was the thing that really gave me chills.  When you’re a guest at someone’s home, you wouldn’t ask them if you can have the silver.   Would you?

Lastly, the folks who made all this happen deserve to be personally thanked.  In a perfect world I would have used that 2.5 hour delay at the airport to write thank you notes to all these people.  But my world in imperfect.  So without further ado, thank you to:

Eddie Martin – Chief Marketing Officer

Range:

Ben Cecil – Merchandising Specialist

Susan Gregory – Product Manager, Global Products

Julie Muennich – Senior Marketing Merchandising Specialist

Shawn Stover – Product Manager, Built –in Cooking Products

Refrigeration:

Casie Banquer – Senior Marketing Merchandising Specialist

Rebecca LaRocque – Training Manager

Monogram Experience Center:

Chef Joe Castro

Chef Brian Logsdon

Entertaining made simple:

Wendy Sommers – Team Leader

Industrial Design:

Marc Hottenroth – Industrial Design Manager

Dishwashers:

John Nichols – Senior Marketing Merchandising Specialist

Paul Riley – Marketing Manager

Laundry:

Peter Pepe – Product General Manager, Clothes Care

Jennifer Schoenegge – Product Manager, Clothes Care

Raegen VanBogaert – Product Manager

Lighting:

Dawn Riedel – Brand Manager

And special sparkly jazz hands to Megan Robison and Nancy Wolff for all of their time and attention to make this a fantastic trip that I will never forget.