We caught up with Kromm and Vass to hear some of their nostalgic, birthday-full reflections.

Q: Thirteen years ago, did you think SolidLine would house an additional seven employees in a Chicago Loop office?
MK: No, not really. Our original business plan only included Greg and myself as employees. Remember, our original marketing strategy was to advertise in the Yellow Pages : )
Q: You’ve traveled all over the world these past 13 years. What is your favorite SLM trip to date?
WorkersGV: That’s a tough question as we have been able to travel to so many awesome places for some great clients. I would say my favorite trip was our QN Power shoot in China. We spent 10 days traveling in remote parts of the country. It was an amazing experience. I also had a crazy trip last year for DHL where we shot the entire video in Spain, Belgium, and India in 9 days. That was crazy and exhausting. In the US I have loved our shoots on the Port of LA working on cargo ships and being able to spend a week in Telluride, CO each year documenting patient safety talks with experts from around the world at the Patient Safety Roundtable that is held there each summer. So many others too it’s hard to even think about the number of production trips I have been on in 13 years. Very lucky to have so much great work.
Q: What’s the best part of coming to work every day?
MK: The best part of coming to work every day is being able to work at my dream job. This is what I love to do, so being able to do it every day is awesome. It also helps that all of our employees have that same passion and drive, so the days usually fly by.
Q: What SLM milestone are you most proud of?
X yearsGV: Making it to 10 years was pretty emotional for me. That hit hard when looking back at all we have done throughout the years. Making it to 13 years is even sweeter! But the best decision we ever made was to take the biggest risk and move our company from my apartment in Palatine, IL to a sub leased office at 120 South Riverside Plaza in downtown Chicago back in 2003. Everyone thought we were out of our mind crazy. It turned out to be the reason we got ourselves on the map in Chicago. And we haven’t looked back since. [Editor’s note: we still think you’re crazy].

Q: How have you put up with Mike Petrik for 11 years?
MK: Mike Petrik is like a fine swiss watch – if you just leave him alone he continues to perform and keep perfect time.
Q: As SolidLine continues to grow, what do you look forward to the most?
GV: Retirement. Haha. Seriously I look forward to continuing to provide a fun and prospering work environment for our crew, and challenging them with new, great video work. Our goal with SolidLine was not to create the biggest video production shop out there, but the best one. We have done that by continuing to focus on quality production and maintaining wonderful relationships and friendships with our clients. I am very proud of what we have accomplished against all odds. We will continue to press forward and grow SolidLine into the future.

And of course, what’s a birthday without some wishes?

Q: What do you want for SolidLine’s 13th birthday?
Kevin Wright: Greg and Michael to wrestle in sumo costumes.
Mike Petrik: A urinal for the art dept.
Matt Kudla: …An automatic door closer for the art department.
Adam Marzec: 100 dollar bills.
Marcus Leshock: 13 more years of resounding success. Also, a raise.
Ed Boe: Something monogrammed.
John Courchane: A roof that doesn’t leak.
Ali Miller: A potbelly pig for the office. Duh.
Michael Kromm: A lazyboy chair in my office. I think I deserve a nap every afternoon.
Greg Vass: I think we really need a jellyfish tank for the Atrium. That would be sweet.
There you have it, folks! On our day of birth, half of the crew is shooting a live tractor auction in Walworth, WI while the post team holds down the fort back in Chicago. Regardless of where you are, eat some ice cream for SLM’s birthday and tweet a pic to us at @solidlinemedia! Because in our world, today is a day for celebration and joy!
[And ice cream].

SLM Crew Horse riding Videography checking video Man in reds grp photo Refreshment Truck parking crew member

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