This has been another year of significant growth and positive change for our company. Going fully remote in 2020 was a big change, but I would argue that this year’s work schedule changes and systems for forecasting and measuring productivity have been even more impactful. We’ve added new team members in 5 more states this year, and our average project size has grown. We’re doing higher-quality work for clients and increasing our contributions to their impact.
I’m as proud as ever to be a member of such a great team.
I’ll share below a few of the high points from the year.
Inc 5000 Recognition
We achieved a major milestone by being named to the Inc 5000, a list of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. We were one of just 34 companies in Columbus to be recognized this year including Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Lower (the sponsor of Crew Stadium). I remember my first year in business when Paul Tela joined me as an intern and we literally shared a cubicle for his first weeks on the job. I mentioned to him how cool it would be if we could achieve $1M in revenue in our first 10 years in business. It felt like a long way off, but we made it right on time. In the 3 years that followed, we grew over 101% to make the list for 2021, and we grew at an even faster rate in 2022.
Resting has always been a challenge for me because I looked at it as wasted time. I wanted to be moving, working, and achieving constantly. It wasn’t until my mindfulness work with Juan Alvarez that I started to appreciate the power of controlling my attention through meditation and presence. My wife, Abbey, has been a major positive influence in this area as we work through differences in vacationing and activity styles. Multiple studies have shown the importance of rest and brain breaks (thanks, Neil Collins, for the article to reference). My favorite books of the year were Rest and Shorter by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, two books that I read while preparing to implement a shorter week with a day of intentional rest for our team. You can read more about our journey in our Four-Day Workweek blog post.
I’ve used my Fridays for some exceptional personal and professional growth opportunities as well as more time with my daughters and my wife. I’m still tempted to keep my head down in the week’s work through Friday. But I remind myself of the benefits intentional rest has on our productivity and happiness. The Strategic Planning for Life program we did with Owl & Key helped me focus my intentions for work and for life. I’m going to run another series of surveys in 2023 to ensure our team is complying with our new norm!
Camp Innovation Retreat
Since going fully-remote in March 2020, we have started growing our team outside Ohio. We’ve added new team members in 5 more states this year, now totaling 8 states where we have a presence. Our accountant, Sara Becker, has done a great job keeping up with all the state filings! We were overdue for a team all-hands in-person meeting, and it finally happened the first week of November 2022. Everyone on the team attended, which was amazing. The opportunity to meet and connect with team members face to face was very much worth the major undertaking of getting everyone here and planning fun activities (easy for me to say–I wasn’t on the planning committee!). A big THANK YOU goes out to Madeline for her planning and execution along with many other team members who contributed significantly to the success of our gathering.
We met up with several clients and partners at PINS Mechanical during our day at Easton Town Center that also included two challenges at The Escape Game. We spent our other full day at the Columbus Metropolitan Library downtown with a guided mindfulness and stretching session by Healthy New Albany. I love how many of our clients participated in the retreat, and I hope we’ll be able to include even more in future years. We are planning for at least one–maybe two–retreats next year. If you’re interested in joining us for an activity at the Columbus retreat, let me know. We’ll make sure you’re on the invite list!
I’m personally very excited about increased engagements in our community this year. Most notable is probably our partnership with our new client, Besa. They are a major civic engagement force in Central Ohio, and I’ve been delighted with our partnership. They are a new client this year, and we’ve also had an opportunity to adopt several seniors for the holidays and to invest back into Besa financially. I’m so thrilled to support them and to have them as friends and clients.
I also took on the Governance Committee Chair role on the City Year Columbus board, and we have an inspiring group of incoming board members joining us next month. We formalized a partnership with Color Coded Labs and look forward to meeting their current cohort at a couple of events next month. The Columbus Metropolitan Library continues to be one of my favorite organizations. We increased our support this year for their 30th anniversary of the Celebration of Learning program many of our team members attended last month. We also have numerous municipal government clients and have added more this year. I look forward to contributing to a stronger community in new ways in 2023!
It’s easy to look back and see many blessings we’ve enjoyed this year. I am so grateful to my team and to our clients for the hard work we all do within our organizations and throughout our communities.
2023 will be a big year with continued and new opportunities to amplify our clients’ impacts on their communities. I hope to have an opportunity to catch up with old friends and to meet plenty of new friends this year. If something new inspires you and you would be up for sharing about it, I would love to hear from you!