Location: Westminster, Colorado
*Second Year Honoree*
Mike Mitchell has thrived during his career on face-to-face interaction, meeting clients and making business connections in person, so the limits forced by the pandemic were particularly difficult for the chief operating officer of MMP Living.
Mitchell, though, learned in that hampered environment that using technology to communicate and providing clear and regular updates and staying positive were all critical.
“Teams and Zooms just cannot replace a great cocktail and dinner!” Mitchell said. “Never in my career have I had to face the situation of not jumping on a plane, going to a trade show or just visiting a customer. Our business relies on those connections internally and externally. COVID challenged us in many ways, but people need to be around people, and without a doubt, this was my greatest challenge and learning experience.”
In 2021, MMP Living, a global toy, pet and housewares business, launched into new markets, including Sweden, Holland, Turkey and Australia. It partnered with Bed Bath & Beyond as well as Kroger’s newly developed marketplaces. The company migrated its tech infrastructure to the cloud and launched a services arm of the business helping brands navigate the challenges of working with so many e-commerce channels in the U.S. and Europe.
Looking ahead, MMP Living is involved in new programs that will be launched by Amazon, Target and Walmart. One of the biggest upcoming initiatives is Amazon’s Global Selling Program, which will allow MMP Living to list a product on Amazon.com and it will then be available across the globe on every Amazon platform, delivered in two to three days. It will expand the company’s reach to over 4 billion people by making its products available in India and China.
One of Mitchell’s goals for 2022 is to provide a more-structured development path for the company’s employees. “This has been one of the areas that has suffered through COVID as we’ve missed the opportunity to collaborate in the ways we used to,” he said. “Even though Slack and Teams offer the ability to connect, you cannot beat being together. Our main goal is to grow our business and our people.”
MMP Living is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters and provides time, donations and experience to the group. The company plans to reestablish its internship program through the University of Colorado, an initiative that was sidetracked by the pandemic.
Mitchell was also a titan in 2020. “I’ve never been one to promote or market myself, and being part of the titan group has shown me the value of a community,” Mitchell said.
"Even though Slack and Teams offer the ability to connect, you cannot beat being together. Our main goal is to grow our business and our people."