Our National Data & Analytics team took their annual meeting to another level when they volunteered at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission-Family Home this holiday season.
The Centric Consulting National Data & Analytics (D&A) team’s annual meetings have always been cherished occasions for employees to unite, connect and learn. This year, under the direction of Kris Moniz, our National D&A Lead, we embraced a unique and heartwarming theme inspired by the popular streaming series Ted Lasso.
The meeting’s welcome video incorporated Ted Lasso images and quotes like “I believe in hope. I believe in dreams,” “Be a goldfish,” and “Be curious, not judgmental” before aligning the D&A team with the show’s characters and their positive messages of passion, teamwork and unwavering spirit. The video established the meeting as “the arena where data meets determination,” a place where “every problem has a solution waiting to be discovered.”
Those themes dominated the meeting and the charitable project we created as part of it. Following months of meticulous planning, the 2023 National D&A meeting transcended the typical agenda of learning and collaboration by including a giveback initiative aligned with our company’s core values.
The Giveback Initiative
“Our giveback event came from a place of gratitude,” Moniz said. “We are blessed with so many things, including working for a great company like Centric. We decided to find a way to come together and give back to the Orlando, Florida, community hosting our event.”
Our focus was clear: to make a tangible impact and ignite a passion for the greater good. We explored various means of contributing, from monetary donations to hands-on involvement, before choosing a meaningful endeavor – providing a special lunch for a local shelter for unhoused people.
We chose the Orlando Union Rescue Mission-Family Home for our project. The organization provides long-term housing for single women, single mothers and children, single fathers with children, and husbands and wives with children. Held November 10, 2023, the event transcended the National D&A meeting’s traditional scope of team building and professional development.
Menu Planning and Coordination
The challenge of crafting a lunch menu for nearly 130 guests at the shelter brought our team together in an extraordinary display of teamwork and creativity. We meticulously planned every detail, ensuring our contribution would be delicious and nourishing.
We purchased the meal fixings at a wholesale retailer to provide the most food for the greatest number. Then, the team assembled the ingredients into child and adult lunch bags. A smaller group then delivered the meals to the shelter.
“Afterwards, we received a nice note from the shelter, saying that a lot of people give them checks, but not many can devote time,” added Moniz. “They were very impressed we took the time to prepare meals for each guest and even delivered them in person.”
Adding a Touch of Joy
In a delightful turn, our budget allowed us to go a step further by including a small gift for each child at the shelter. Kris’s wife, Eileen Moniz, volunteered to wrap and label every present, ensuring each child would receive something special.
“Imagine being a child and never knowing where your next meal is coming from, or if it will come at all,” said Operations Manager Erlinda Vo, who helped Moniz plan the event. “Imagine how excited you would be knowing that someone had made a meal just for you and then discovering a gift on top of that.”
Moniz and Vo transformed the 2023 National D&A meeting into an event of significant impact. Drawing inspiration from the spirited themes of Ted Lasso, they ensured that our giveback initiative was not simply another task but a meaningful and engaging part of our gathering that contributed to our themes of relentless positivity, creative problem-solving, and teamwork.
On the day of the event, our team’s enthusiasm was palpable. A sense of camaraderie and purpose filled the air as we prepared the lunches and organized the gifts. The event was not just about giving back but about coming together as a team for a cause greater than ourselves.
“In the past, we’ve relied on a few D&A superstars for our success,” Moniz said. “This meeting and our giveback event pointed to the future where everyone has to work together to achieve greatness, just like in Ted Lasso.”
Our giveback initiative at the annual meeting was a resounding success. It not only brought our team closer but also allowed us to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. This experience has set a new precedent for how we view team events – as opportunities to learn, grow and give back to our community. We look forward to continuing this tradition of compassion and generosity in our future gatherings.