ELITeXPO's 2016 Annual Meeting is now in the books and it was a great success for the whole team!!
The meetings and training were filled with great presentations and discussion. The information provided can be applied to various applications within the organization and in each employee's daily tasks. A real focus on moving from selling to clients to providing assistance to and educating clients was a common thread throughout many of the sessions.
It was wonderful to have a group of great guest speakers such as Mel White, Richard Erschik, Mike Morrison, Jay Burkette, and Mike Hamilton. A special thanks to each and every one of them. Hearing the information from the domestic, international, and trailerload operations staff was really informative. Having my marketing partner here at ELITeXPO, Jordan Mihalik present to everyone on the new website and inbound marketing initiatives was a fun and information-packed time, as well.
Following the two days of educational meetings, we enjoyed some great time away from HQ. Friday night we held our networking event at a local pub where staff from all over the country were able to relax, have a few drinks, talk, dance, and have fun!
Saturday night was the Awards Banquet. We're proud to announce that the Employee of the Year is Rich Peterson, VP of Business Development - West Coast. The Employee's Choice Blue Chip of the Year winner is Jen'i Forquer, Truckload Operations Supervisor. We celebrated the 20 Year Work Anniversary for Helen Wilkinson, our Controller. We also celebrated the 10 Year Work Anniversaries for Sarita Post from Accounts Payable, Jan Adolphs from our Sales team, and Jeanette Maschmann, our Data Entry Specialist. Several Achievement Awards were also handed out.
Congratulations to all those who were honored at the event. I'd also like to congratulate the entire ELITeXPO team for making this year the most exciting year, the most successful year, and the largest growth year in company history.
We thought that we'd share some of the comments from our team about the Annual Meeting:
It was really great to see the appreciation upper management had for the staff. I'm looking forward to experiencing more annual parties and to socialize with my coworkers in more than just a work environment. –Jenny Balt
Having all the sales reps in the office for the annual training is a bit overwhelming but awesome at the same time. It is great to see and interact with people you don't get to see on a regular basis. Whether it's your rep or not, there always seems to be something you want to catch up on with them. It's funny that a lot of people will say "I work with these people 40hrs a week, why do I need to spend my Saturday with them?" Then you go to the party and have a great time!!! I think we forget that seeing someone every day and actually talking to them is 2 different things!! I love when people are getting recognized for their anniversaries because you get to hear funny stories about them and learn about their family, hobbies and life in general. The best part of the party is we see each other as people, not co-workers. You learn that everyone is going through something, whether good or bad and makes us appreciate and understand them better. -Tammy Rood
The marketing class was top notch, and gave me a new perspective about how we interact with our prospects. And the Friday night at the bar was a blast as usual. -Tom Nourse
I rather enjoyed the teleconferences. I learned a lot from Mike Hamilton's presentation and think we should do a longer version at some point. The banquet was fun and I learned that I really want a good camera. :D -Jack Sackis
Had a fantastic time out there last week. The one thing that amazes me working for ELITeXPO is the connection to the people here. We truly are a team & being able to spend the time face to face in the meetings as well as being able to connect on a human level was invaluable. Anytime we meet as a group I always learn something new & this year was no different. In all the years I've shipped Internationally I had never known that clients are charged more if they build vertically in their booth spaces. Had never considered sending a client a simple follow-up form after meeting them at a show to qualify if they were truly a lead. I loved the innovative ideas to share with my clients about the digital fences surrounding the exhibit halls they could use as advertising. -Kati Box
I learned that it is easier to sell to a new client by educating them more before you try to sell to them. The banquet was a great time with great fellow employees and of course great food and drink to enjoy. -Scott McClain
An incredible event of information, education, recognition, value, networking, fun, camaraderie and even an opportunity to visit valued clients. It's exciting to work for an incredibly positive company that is never satisfied with merely being a leader in the industry -- but also strives to be on top of the latest innovations and techniques for the benefits of i's clients. We're not only able to provide the very best, with everything we do, but we're also able to be a resource for all things trade show and event. -Jana Morris
Another year passes and another Annual Meeting is in the books. Two educational packed days, and three fun filled evenings! What I learned:
- Presentations are key to opening new doors/opportunities. Remember that no matter where you are, when you are in front of a prospect or client you are always presenting. So be prepared and 'practice-practice-practice!'
- Planes Trains and Automobiles...don't present on the phone, instead get in front of your prospect or clients! After all, that is why it's call Face-to-Face marketing.
- We are NOT vendors, we ARE supply partners.
Once again, a great Awards Banquet! Hey Jack Sackis and Michael Reed, 'Am I really that old because I like the Grateful Dead?' –Chuck Michel
Awards Banquet was a lot of fun, and great to get together with everyone, as we only see each other once a year. Seems like everyone had a fabulous time. Thanks to all for my Ten Year Celebration. -Jeanette Maschmann
Had a great time at the Annual Meeting, again this year! It's always so inspirational! I think we should have one twice a year, to keep all the good momentum going! -Yvonne Cicero
Here is my take on the Annual Meetings: For the first time I got to sit in on the Sales Meetings to see what it was all about. It was really informative and gave me insights on different sales techniques that can be used. I think this will be really useful as a PM to be able to use some of these techniques to sell products and services when I am one on one with a client. The meetings were long but the speakers that were chosen kept us engaged by having new data, innovative technology, and ideas that immediately had the room exchanging looks and whispers.
Friday night is always a blast. Everyone goes out, lets loose, and has fun. I always have a great time. It makes me want to have get-togethers with co-workers like this more often.
The banquet was awesome, Dave and Les are so generous to the people who have been loyal to them. It really makes you feel good that you work for a company that cares about its workers. The food was awesome (the fish was amazing). I thought Rich and Jeni were also both excellent choices for the awards that they won. I always love to hear about the history of Elite, and old stories about my coworkers. –Adam Gilles
I always enjoy seeing our sales team from out of town and the new employees, as well. Friday Night filled with co-worker hugs... and of course Dancing. Saturday Night – Still can’t believe that I won the Blue Chip… Still shocked and pretty much speechless. -Jen’i Forquer
I love the training as we always learn so much new industry information. Friday night is kind of like Vegas; what happens on Friday stays on that Friday. The networking and dancing are always a blast. I really enjoy the Awards Banquet night because many members of my own family are in attendance. My mom, Jeanette and my sister, Ingrid both work for the company as does my wife, Michelle. Even my other sister, nieces and nephew have worked for ELITeXPO. We've had our own family table at the event for 19 years. ELITeXPO has been a major part of all of our lives for a long time. We always talk about ELITeXPO and share thoughts, experiences, and ideas whenever we're together, so getting together at the banquet is the pinnacle of our year. -Heidi Maschmann