July 26 kicked off the first ever EERC Summer Connect. This event was the first time since 2020 that EERC employees have been able to gather in person. The event celebrated our resiliency as a team and served as a catalyst to continued team building and further connection to our Core Values: Be Safe, Ethical, Engaged, Effective, and Professional. Summer Connect was an opportunity for engagement, professional development, and fun.
The event began with coffee, doughnuts, and introductions on Tuesday morning. For many, this was their first opportunity to meet coworkers in person. To better facilitate introductions, employees were tasked with asking their coworkers fun facts about themselves. The idea was that an employee would submit an anonymous fact about themselves that would be randomly placed on a bingo card. The person who correctly guessed who all the facts on the card belonged to was entered in a drawing to win a prize.
Although the goal of the event was to bring together employees, Summer Connect also offered professional development sessions. At the EERC, we believe that maintaining a lifelong-learner mindset allows us to innovate, develop new skills, and enjoy new experiences in our careers and in life. Summer Connect did just that by encouraging and incentivizing our employees’ drive for learning and professional development. The week was jam-packed with keynote speakers and employee-led breakout sessions on topics ranging from overcoming unconscious bias to developing proposals.
It was not an easy task to organize such an event. Our team had to coordinate hotel reservations, travel, and office spaces, as well as book keynote speakers, breakout sessions, catering, and event space for nearly 300 employees, 25 percent of whom were remote workers. In addition to planning a three-day agenda, our support staff had to set up the technology required for each space, rearrange spaces in 5 minutes to accommodate different sessions, keep employees informed of session topics, times, and locations, and direct employees to where they needed to go.
The amount of work that went into planning and executing Summer Connect demonstrates how committed our employees are to connecting with one another. Our event met its goal of providing an opportunity to celebrate our team’s resilience and further connect with our Core Values. We are grateful to be able to work with people who are willing to go above and beyond their normal, daily responsibilities in order to produce work they are proud of.