As my hands slipped from their grip on the slick, white rope, fingers stinging from pulling for dear life (team tug of war), I caught laughs, smiles, and sweaty pats on the back from the coworkers surrounding me. The first of its kind, Terakeet Field Days, a wild success. But let me rewind for you…
An internal initiative came about a few months ago to promote mentorship and meet-ups that would allow employees to have a better chance of getting to know each other. That’s when Director of Reputation Management Joseph Torrillo and a few brand strategists came up with the idea of a company wide event that would capture this initiative and also serve to celebrate the success of the business in Q2. With the help of Office Manager Martha Cummings, the vision was soon realized. It was a large-scale chance for employees to get together while supporting the lively and creative Terakeet atmosphere.
Last Friday, July 18th marked the official day of Terakeet Field Days. After our traditional Friday morning group circle up, CEO Mac Cummings spoke about Terakeet’s recent success and rapid growth, as well as the company’s future. But for Terakeet, it’s not only about the numbers. A successful business is built upon the strong attitudes and values of the employees. This is what field days was all about – celebrating the dedication each worker had put in. To take a day away from the office to enjoy each other’s company and to participate in team-building activities to strengthen the Terakeet bond.
At noon, we all gathered at the Sawmill Creek Shelter at Onondaga Lake Park for some fun in the sun. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day.
Decked out in custom-made Terakeet tee shirts, more than 100 employees sat for a delicious potluck barbeque: hotdogs, burgers, and chicken wings, plus every other side dish, snack, and dessert imaginable. Luckily, we had time to digest with assorted leisurely lawn games like Kan Jam, cornhole, soccer and Frisbee, before the big events.
First up, we were broken into 10 teams. Each group participated in “speed meet-up,” a quick way to learn some fun facts about coworkers you don’t normally get to work with. Fun fact from Sales Engineer Dan Russell, aka Big Russ: “I’m basically obsessed with Germany. I’ve been there twice; I’m going to a German restaurant tomorrow for dinner, and of course was extremely excited they won the World Cup.”
Management had warned us to “dress accordingly.” Things would definitely get messy with our second activity, the egg toss. After some dedicated hand eye coordination and nerve-wracking lobs, Kevin Owens and Matt Rotchford won after a sudden death tiebreaker. Some messy high fives were given out as a token of good sportsmanship.
Our third endeavor was without a doubt the most challenging: leg band relay. Think of it as a three-legged race, but with your entire team attached. As you would guess, there were definitely some stumbles to the finish line. My own team member, Mac Cummings, had the out-of-the-box idea to “jump” our way to the finish line instead of walk… it worked better in theory.
And last, but certainly not least, tug of war had to be the funniest team building exercise of the day. We have some pretty competitive workers at Terakeet. Put them up against each other in an aggressive activity like this, and things will get intense. Highlight key players included Alan Coholan, Kyle Bome, and Collin Kohberger. But Kevin “the man” Graham showed off his pro-wrestling skills and proved to be MVP when he effortlessly pulled the complete weight of the opposing team from the back end of the rope, prompting someone to wonder, “Did he just curl that entire team?”
The day was dedicated to athletic contests and we all walked away feeling like winners. Although Terakeet will continue to grow in the future, I don’t think we should ever forget the importance of developing and bonding as a family. Terakeet’s vision is more than just building a great company. Being located in the heart of the city, we also want to be part of the change happening in Syracuse. We have the chance to show what it looks like to be part of an extraordinary team.