STO was pleased to visit Donny’s Fantasy Farm for our 2016 corporate retreat. The house, dating from the mid-1800’s, was perfectly suited to our needs; the land was great for a hike; and Donald was a wonderful host. We accomplished much, and felt quite relaxed—the perfect balance for which we strove. I was reminded, yet again, that the greatest assets of our company are its people. I am pleased to say that it is the wonderful people, with whom I am honoured to work, that make me happy to arrive at work every day.
I want to thank everyone for coming up and having a good time. Big congratulations to everyone for not burning the place down. When my parents came up on Saturday they remarked how clean and tidy we had left the place, obviously showing respect for the old mid-1800’s farmhouse that sometimes feels like it is falling down around us. The Field Reviews on the structural stability of the farm were much appreciated, and they were thankful to hear that the house is indeed not falling down around us. Our family has lots of great memories up at the farm; you all have certainly contributed to that as well, and hopefully your memories are all fun and positive as well.
Thanks to Donny (and Family) for letting us use the Fantasy Farm™ last week. The time away from the office allowed us all to reflect on where we’ve been, where we want to go, and how we see ourselves getting there. It is easy for us to get caught up in our day to day activities, but with a chance to disconnect and re-energize, we can return to the office feeling fresh and ready to give each day our all. Big thanks to the De Souza Method® we will all fare much better in the zombie apocalypse now that we have had practice with axes.
The annual Office Retreat is an opportunity for us to bond socially—beyond the confines of our professional 9-to-5 relationship. Getting to know one’s co-workers in a relaxed, non-urban setting makes for a more rounded and more human team dynamic. 2016’s retreat was particularly inspiring, with the prospect of a very exciting and busy year ahead. The revelation that we have entered a new chapter in STO history: one of larger, more diverse, more complex projects re-ignited our individual passions and collective desire to learn, grow, and build.
The story of the 2016 STO retreat featured several memorable moments including a frantic mystery escape game, an exhilarating walk through the countryside, and an epic game of Pictionary that brought us more questions than answers. We learned how far we could push each other in the face of certain death, and we tested the limits of frozen ice. We also rolled up our sleeves and worked on how we could make this great company better. 2016 is destined to be the best year on our record and I can’t imagine doing it with any other people than the ones we have with us.
This year marked the 3rd annual STO winter retreat, and each year we continue to utilize the getaway from the office to have even more fun and create better plans than the previous year. Many companies would shudder at the thought of spending weekend time with their colleagues, but at STO we look forward to the chance to spend some quality time together having fun while analyzing the past year, and planning for the future. A personal highlight for me was recapping all of the new upcoming projects STO has on tap, which are some of the largest and most exciting we’ve worked on to date. Fair to say that 2016 will be a big year for STO.
The STO retreat 2016 is part of an annual reflection on the past year, the goals we’ve made, and the things we’ve accomplished. It is also an opportunity to look ahead to the coming year, make goals and put ourselves into action to achieve them. Hearing about everything that STO has in the pipeline for this upcoming year makes me ever more excited to be part of such an inspiring, innovative and motivated group of people.
The 2016 STO retreat was a success, thanks to our truly inspired and inspiring team - committed to sustainable architecture and growth. Special thanks to Donny for hosting at his historical ‘fantasy’ farm (which we managed not to burn down) and to Joel for planning this event, with just the right balance of work and play. While looking back at STO and forward at a refined plan, I am proud and energized to be working at a firm, true to our clients and beliefs - to a fruitful year of hard work new relationships.
Our 2016 retreat marked the beginning of a new generation of STO. Our three newest colleagues were the planners and star performers of this year’s activities. The “original 6” have been friends/colleagues since 2003 in most cases, so having a new wave of talent come into the office and make an impact is very refreshing. Seeing our team grow and prosper speaks volumes about the company we are building, and it gives me great pride.Now let’s get to work!