Imagine working in Silicon Valley for a great company. Now, imagine if this company also paid for you to shoot recreationally. Well, there is such a company, and you probably recognize their name. Adobe Systems Incorporated, headquartered in San Jose, California has created many apps such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Premiere.
Adobe has a recreational program called ESCAPE, an acronym for “Entertainment, Sports, Celebration, Activities, Party Planning and Events” (I can’t help but think of the “ESC” key). ESCAPE funds Adobe employees’ participation in multiple recreational programs such as volleyball, basketball, soccer and surprisingly, shooting. The Adobe Shooters League has been in existence for 12 years, founded and currently managed by Dr. Ken Lunde, a Senior Computer Scientist in CJKV Type Development.
The Adobe Shooters League holds monthly, informal two-hour shoots at Reed’s Indoor Range in Santa Clara (I have taken many of my former Google colleagues there as well — it’s a nice, clean range with helpful employees. It seems like many Silicon Valley employees go there to shoot). ESCAPE funding pays for range fees, targets, and ammunition, and any Adobe employee is welcome to join the group. They internally broadcast their monthly shoots, and each outing is well attended with anywhere between one and two dozen Adobe employees, along with their guests, enjoying their time at the range. Ken tells TFB that there are usually spikes in attendance after relevant world events such as 9/11, and when the U.S. military campaigns began in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ken also notes that
Safety is my number one concern. For new members, I immediately determine their level of experience, and those with little or no experience are required to watch a one-hour safety video, preferably more than once. I then monitor them closely during their first events, and instill good habits.
We’re actually the safest sports activity that is funded by Adobe. The first and only time I participated in Adobe-sponsored volleyball, I ended up in the ER.
Do you know of any other tech companies who pay for employees’ recreational shooting? Let us know in the comments, or you can email [email protected] to request a TFB write-up. Ken Lunde of Adobe can be reached at [email protected].
Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career. He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. www.TopShotChris.com.