“I’ve always loved to take things apart and put them back together. If something goes wrong - or right - I want to know why so I can better understand how a piece of machinery works.”
Click below to find out what's true!
Mike Rodd has always been a tinkerer. From helping a friend maintain the lanes at a mom-and-pop candlepin bowling alley, to his time at Kings Dining & Entertainment as Regional Safety, Gaming and Facilities Manager, and up to now in his current role at AMP Up1 Hospitality. Mike has a bottomless curiosity about the way things work and how he can make them work better.
Mike’s journey in the gaming and “eatertainment” industry after over 15 years experience running operations and logistics for the Staples Corporation’s New England Warehouse and Distribution Center. While at Staples, Mike gained an intricate knowledge of inventory management, distribution, installations and communication with large teams. This background would come to serve him well in future roles.
In 2015, Mike joined the team at Kings Dining & Entertainment as a technician. His passion for the gaming and entertainment world led him to take the leap into hospitality where he chose to start his journey in an entry level position. It was here that his strength as a “tinkerer” worked to his advantage. His natural curiosity and ability to make sense of complex computers and machinery allowed him to quickly grasp and thrive in his new role.
Beyond his obvious technical strengths, Mike was immediately recognized as a leader and someone who came with operational experience. Over the course of the 6 years Mike worked on the Kings team, he was promoted 4 times from Technician to Facility, Safety and Gaming Manager to his multi-unit regional role where he was overseeing over 30 technicians and facility managers within the company.
Mike helped open new locations, install brand new games, retrofitted 5 locations and was also the head of Gaming Innovation on the company's R&D committee. Along the way, he began to work closely with his leader and mentor, Mr. Aaron Sagendorf, who has enjoyed learning from Mike as much as he did teaching him about the bowling industry. Their partnership evolved the department to new heights.
Mike’s journey has now brought him to the team at AMP Up1 Hospitality in 2021. Here, he works alongside the former leadership group from Kings and to build and innovate entertainment venues- continuously searching for new, creative forms of entertainment for the company’s brands.
What made Mike’s ascent possible, and one of Mike’s many gifts, is his ability to communicate. He has a “Bob Ross-like” calmness about him that makes him an exceptional listener, teacher and mentor. Those communication skills, paired with an innate sense of empathy, have allowed for a true connection with his team. He is a shining example of “servant leadership” and he empowered his team to grow organically.
Mike possesses a deep understanding of the physical and technical aspects of games, acute awareness of industry trends, and the knowledge of game usage patterns and popularity. This has allowed him to take on the integral processes of gaming layout, design and innovation. He applies his skillset to create incredibly satisfying guest experiences while maintaining impressive business performance.
Mike also understands that time is rarely kind to games and computers. Those that are most loved by guests need regular love and attention to continue to run efficiently. With this in mind, Mike has been instrumental in the creation of effective maintenance programs, both preventative and reactive in nature. Drawing from his previous experience, he was essential to the implementation of helpdesk and troubleshooting systems that have created seamless processes from what can easily be disjointed and error prone chaos.
When Mike isn’t working, you may find him enjoying a competitive board game, sipping on a fine gin, gardening and cooking with his wife, working on his 1974 Volkswagen Thing, or tinkering with his CNC machines and 3D printers in his home lab.
Mike loves low tech tabletop gaming so much so that he's run a board gaming event nearly every year since 2014 called BoardCon. The thing about tabletop gaming that appeals to Mike is that it focuses on the gritty details of gaming. For instance, what takes minutes to do in a video game may play out over hours on the table top. He loves it!
Mike is a important member of the AMP Up1 Hospitality team and his rare combination of talent, curiosity, leadership, grit, adaptability and drive make him a true force in the “eatertainment” industry.
Mike’s journey continues. Stay tuned...