Security Engineered Machinery Gives Back to Veteran Marine Family by Building Log Cabin Playhouse

June 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm by Paul Falcone

Secure data destruction device company partners with Habitat for Humanity in Operation Playhouse

From left to right: Leonard Rosen, founder of SEM, and Otto, Robert, and Ashley Bitterman.

 WESTBOROUGH, MA, June 19, 2019—Security Engineered Machinery Co., Inc. (SEM), global leader in high security information end-of-life solutions, spent the day of Wednesday, June 19, 2019 partnering with Habitat for Humanity for Operation Playhouse. The operation is a partnership that pairs businesses with veteran families to build a playhouse for their children, and this year’s concept was a log cabin. The SEM team started bright and early to design the cabin, which came equipped with its own deck, railings, and chair, to meet their 3pm deadline to present to the Bitterman family, a couple of United States Marines Veterans and their two-year-old son, Otto.

SEM employees (left to right) Todd Busic, Ted Jerdee, Marie DiVirgilio, Karl Lotvedt, and Jeff Lanoue constructing the walls of the playhouse.

“We were honored to present this playhouse to a family who has given so much back to our country today,” stated Nicholas Cakounes, Executive Vice President at SEM. “We are forever thankful for their service as United States Marines, and hope that they will make countless new memories together as a family with this new playhouse.”

Ashley Bitterman served in the US Marines from 2009-2019 and served a tour in Afghanistan from March to September 2011. Her husband, Robert Bitterman, is also a Marine who served from 2010-2014.

The couple watched with smiles as Otto ran into his log cabin, finding a variety of toys and decorations inside his new play space. A stuffed moose head on the wall, a bear skin rug, books, a plastic fishing pole, and his own set of Lincoln logs were just a few of the surprises waiting inside, which Otto took turns pointing to and exclaiming, “So cool!”

Otto with his new playhouse back home.

The entire SEM team stood around and applauded as the Bittermans rolled up, proud of the work they were able to complete together in just a day. Mr. Cakounes presented the family with a certificate of ownership for the playhouse after thanking the Bittermans for their sacrifices and service to the country.

“You can’t beat seeing that kid’s smile at the end of the day” said Ted Jerdee, Inside Sales Representative at SEM. “It’s a small thing to be able to give back to people who have given so much.”

The inside decorations of Otto’s Cabin.

This is the second time that SEM has taken part in Operation Playhouse and it appears it won’t be the last. Throughout the day, different team members were already brainstorming new ideas of how they could top this year’s house, which came complete with a solar panel that supplies power and a stained deck with railings.

The family left an hour after they arrived, excited about the playhouse loaded into their truck by the team at SEM, whose core values include giving back to the community on both a local and global basis.

About SEM

Security Engineered Machinery Co., Inc. (SEM) provides comprehensive end-of-life solutions for the protection of sensitive information in government and commercial markets. SEM’s reputation as the authority in high security information sanitization was earned through over 50 years of technical innovation, intellectual curiosity, and unrelenting integrity. By fostering a supportive, team-centric environment focused on talent retention and client satisfaction, SEM is recognized as the undisputed leader in depth of expertise, industry excellence, and reliability. SEM data destruction devices are the premier high security choice available on the market today. For more information, please visit

About Habitat For Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.