FormAssembly Team Reunion Recap 2016


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You know those trips you wish would never end? Most people wouldn’t put company retreats on that list, but then again, most people haven’t been to a FormAssembly company retreat.
From September 21st to 24th, FormAssembly teammates from around the country (and around the world) gathered near the Bloomington, Indiana, headquarters for a little work, a little play, and a lot of quality team-building. Planned by our amazing Kari Shaevitz, the roughly three-and-a-half-day trip included a day at the beach, a distillery tour, and a healthy dose of local Bloomington sightseeing.
Though our long-waited FormAssembly Annual Reunion has now come and gone, we’re left with stronger relationships, tons of pictures, and enough memories to last us till our next reunion.

Day 1: FormAssembly Teammates Assemble

On Wednesday, we all made our way to our meeting place in Bloomington, a hotel just a block from the FormAssembly physical headquarters in Fountain Square Mall. Some of the team had met before, but with all the hiring we’ve been doing (and still are doing!) lately, we had a lot of team members who’d never met in person.
The first order of business once everyone arrived was to gather at The Tap, a Bloomington craft beer and sports bar just off Fountain Square, for food and drinks. The FormAssembly team could have fit around one big table last year, but in 2016, we took up an entire room at the restaurant!
Here are a few shots of the evening:
Left, FormAssembly founder Cedric Savarese talks to members of the systems team. 
Team members gather at Bloomington restaurant The Tap.
From left, Maggie Tharp, Kevin Hoyle, Peter Bernardi, and Shira Beder chat over delicious food and drinks.

Day 2: Security Training, State of the Company, Boat Day

Reunions are great for having fun, experiencing a new city and just plain hanging out as friends with our remote team members. But they’re also great for the practical reason that they let us go over important information while we’re all in the same location.
On the second day of our reunion, we held a security training and heard the “State of the Company” address from our founder and CEO Cedric Savarese. Having these events in person allowed us to absorb a lot of information at once and reinforce the fact that we’re all on the same team, however spread out that team usually is.
With these two talks successfully completed, we left for boat day (which was one of the most-requested and anticipated reunion activities). We camped out at Monroe Lake for the day, enjoying our own private double-decker boat ride, swimming, jetskiing, canoeing and kayaking.
Here are a few shots of our team enjoying the day:
Jaret Manuel captains the boat.
Dogs very much allowed! Steven Watkins’ dog Dexter was the life of the boat party.
A sunny day on the water is more exhausting than you might think! (Seriously, we were exhausted.) But dinner at Upland Brewing Co. was as relaxing as it was filling.
Most of the support team and some of the marketing team enjoying dinner at Upland Brewing Co. From left, Andrea Hall, Valerie Mertsock, Justin Wolfe, Adrian Kothman, Ashley McAlpin, Katrina Garza, Deborah Kim, and Mike Karlin.

Day 3: Bonfires and BBQ

After a few hours of business as usual in the morning (plus getting our new headshots), we recharged with lunch before a group tour of Cardinal Spirits, a local craft distillery.
If you’re in Bloomington, you have to go to this local gem to sample their carefully crafted spirits and mixed drinks. The tour was interesting, fun and it put us in a party mood for the night’s BBQ dinner and bonfire at the Friends of the Police Lodge.
Photo 2016-09-23 03_30
The FormAssembly crew gets a quick lesson in distilling at Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington.
It was pretty much your standard late summer get-together: delicious barbecue, a bonfire (complete with s’mores), and even an epic cornhole tournament. Support team members Kaleena Perkins and Mike Karlin remain the undefeated champs!
14361398_10155317412212699_7879144929147956895_oFrom left, Jaret Manuel and Cedric Savarese enjoy the early stages of a truly awesome campfire.
14435026_10155317411792699_7720202718982835871_oThe whole team gathers for a picture.
Depending on our individual locations, we all drove or flew back home shortly after the BBQ. What a trip! We can’t wait to do it all over again, and who knows, maybe you’ll be there with us, too!
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