For a purpose-driven firm full of purpose-driven individuals, the holidays are extra special – a chance to reflect on our work and give back in ways that go beyond our everyday mission.
Recently, our team from across four states gathered in Chapel Hill, NC, for a day of service and celebration. Working with two wonderful nonprofit food banks, the Inter-Faith Council and the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, we shopped, sorted, and donated to make the holidays just a little happier for our neighbors facing food insecurity.
As the firm’s founder, I am endlessly grateful for the smart, talented people who bring their best every day on behalf of Ascendient clients. Unfortunately, we don’t physically gather in the same office every day, so the holidays also gave us the perfect excuse for a little fun and team building.
First, a few hours of curling got us out on the ice (and out of our comfort zone!). If you’ve watched curling during the Winter Olympics and thought, “That looks easy” … trust me, it’s not. I’m sure most of us woke up the next morning feeling the burn in muscles we never knew we had.
Finally, everyone cleaned up, grabbed a significant other, and headed to dinner. Besides some excellent food and drink, the evening’s highlights included a DIY gingerbread house activity (also not as easy as it looks!) and the first ever Ascend-y awards. Next time you’re talking with an Ascendient consultant, be sure to ask what they won – they have talents even I didn’t know about.
Of course, none of this would be possible without Ascendient’s loyal clients, some of whom have been with us for more than two decades. Often we send small appreciation gifts during the holidays, but this year we took our entire gifting budget and made cash donations to two employee relief funds in places where our clients have experienced significant hardships this year. It felt like the right thing to do, given the times we’re in.
One tradition that didn’t change is our annual holiday card. In case you haven’t checked your email lately, please click below for this year’s message. It’s short and sweet, and we mean every word. Happy holidays!