I have been extremely fortunate to be with SendGrid for 2 1/2 years and to attend not one but all three SendGrid company kickoff events in Mexico. I am one lucky lady! I can confidently say that each one has been a special trip where I learned about the company, my coworkers, and our plans for the year.
Our first trip we traveled as a group of 50 to Cancun, last year was nearly 100 when we kicked off the year in Puerto Vallarta, and this year, we almost took over the entire resort as our group of 180 arrived to the Fiesta Americana resort in Cabo San Lucas.
The size of the trip alone should give you an indication of how tremendous the growth over the last few years has been for SendGrid and it was a treat to get all of our employees in one place. All offices, from Colorado, California, and Rhode Island were in attendance along with employees literally from across the globe in Japan, England, and Romania.
Our first night we had a dinner overlooking the beach and our CEO, Jim Franklin presented awards to employees who have really embodied our 4Hs throughout the year. This year, the awards were given to:
- Honest – Silvia Botros and Rishi Malik
- Hungry – Regan Peschel and Sam Nguyen
- Happy – Nick Quinlan and Ryan Harris
- Humble – Jon Verson and Joe Hamlet
After dinner we had the first of many SendGrid dance parties while our very own Brad Stouffer was our DJ for the evening.
Ken Apple, our Director of Technical Services, and I had the honors of hosting the meetings our second day. It was something like the “Ken and Carly show” where we heard inspiring stories from our founders about where SendGrid came from, learned the company vision from our CEO, Jim Franklin, and reviewed metrics and numbers from 2013 while looking ahead to forecasts for 2014.
We heard from each department with fun videos and we did interviews and panel discussions to hear what everyone has in store for 2014. Of course we also worked in our own version of the Family Feud and some entertaining Minute to Win It team building activities, which ended with one of our founders, Isaac Saldana, winning the two minute pushup, sit-up, and squat challenge to earn his team first place.
We spent our last day doing excursions including snorkeling, ATV rides, zip lining, spa treatments, and swimming with dolphins. We enjoyed a final dinner on the terrace of the resort looking out over the beautiful golf course, beach, and ocean. In true SendGrid fashion, the last night was an epic dance party that lasted for hours.
It is an honor to work for a company that values the culture of the company and the relationships that employees have to make the Mexico kickoff a yearly tradition. And I know my team members feel the same. Here’s what a handful of them had to say:
“Bringing us all together fostered the opportunity to plan and meet with new teams and share 2014 goals. I’m excited, to get started and glad to know that I have buy-in and support from other teams as well.”
“It was the best way to kick-off 2014. I came back to the office with new friendships and connections, feeling happy and relaxed. I am officially ready to hunker down and get some kick ass work done!”
“I feel more enabled than ever to make a difference in 2014.”
“I made a lot of great connections with people in other offices that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“I left with a true understanding of our 2014 initiatives and a sense of unity amongst my team, my central office, and the entire company. Feels great to know we’re all striving towards the same thing.”
Finally, we crowdsourced the company to see what 1 word best described this year’s kickoff…and we couldn’t land on just one!
We’re looking for energetic members to join our team, so check out our Careers page for our current openings.