By: Tom Khoudary
From January 31st – February 1st, Sullivan Engineering held its coveted 2-day annual retreat at our New York City office. From first time participants to our seasoned vets, we can all attest that this is one of the key drivers of our continued growth and success. Over the course of two days we had the opportunity to partake in team building exercises, engage with a myriad of presentations, and spend time with our team members from the New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and Alabama offices. The entire team was together, making this truly empowering event even more gratifying.
The purpose of the retreat is to dedicate time “on the business,” not “in the business,” to ensure that all team members know what our key objectives are. We began with a presentation by Brian Sullivan detailing where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. Next, Mike Frech discussed the many improvements within Human Resources that were made in 2018 as well as those that are planned for 2019. Mike Lopez and Adam McManus then talked about the enhancements to our Technical Review Process and updated us on the status of our knowledge management plan. After taking a break for lunch, Brian Sullivan and Josh Knopf engaged us in a financial education exercise, adopted from “The Great Game of Business,” where we learned how every dollar spent impacts the company.
Day one was also filled with motivational speeches, including team member testimonies describing their journeys, and a roundtable discussion with everyone’s personal and professional bests of the year. We were even lucky enough to watch a video from five students at L’Ecole de Choix, a grade school in Haiti. Sullivan Engineering has had the honor to sponsor students in this school for the past several years, so the opportunity to see the students’ excitement and growth to date was inspiring. After a great first day we made our way to Mustang Harry’s for a few drinks and a hearty meal. On the big screen, we ran a slideshow of photos from throughout the year, shared fun stories, watched basketball, and had plenty of laughs (at each other’s expense, of course).
On day two, we were honored to start the day by welcoming guest speakers, Pete Rose of Preserv and Matthew Doherty of Zutbakin Owners Representation. Each offered their perspective on what makes a successful project and gave some great feedback that will help us continue to grow and improve. We would like to thank Pete and Matt for their well-prepared presentations and for allowing us to walk a mile in their shoes. For all of our award-winning readers, please let us know if you or your company would like to present at a future Sullivan Engineering Retreat!
Following our guest speakers, Josh Knopf continued the open-book discussion from day one by illuminating all of the financial data from 2018, as well as how our many decisions and processes impact the bottom line. Kevin Duffy presented the Operation Team’s new and improved processes that will help our team to provide more efficient and effective services, allowing us to spend more time doing the work that we love. Tom Khoudary spoke about our upgraded sales and marketing efforts and highlighted the significant improvement in the marketing data captured over the past year. Lastly, Brian Sullivan closed out the two days by tying in some of the overall key themes of the retreat and of the upcoming year. He painted a clear vision for the company and invited each team member to see their own individual visions.
In 2019, we look forward to continuing to bring the team together and furthering connections in our industry with those who share similar values. We are excited to reach upcoming milestones, grow the team, and of course have some fun along the way. A few events we look forward to include: the 8th benefit dinner for the L’Ecole de Choix school at Saveur Creole Restaurant in Montclair in February,
our company anniversary dinner in April, a Memorial Day BBQ at the office to kick off the summer, our annual team member fall golf outing, and checking in with our students in Haiti from time to time.