Like a lost episode from The Amazing Race, we arrived.
The Florida office dragged their feet leaving their beautiful 80° weather and met the mountains with wonderment and a pair of flip-flops. The Michigan office battled the road and Chris’ sing-a-longs, as they drove to the land of cheese to catch their flight. Texas led her one-woman wolf pack through the treacherous bowels of the Denver airport, anxious to breathe the mountain air. While Minneapolis joined forces with the Denver office to combat the perilous journey of Costco; which resembled a Mario Kart version of the Price Is Right. Traveling from five different areas, we made our way to the impressive mountains of Wolcott, Colorado and settled into 4 Eagles Ranch.
Our first night was met with many laughs and plenty of food, as we unanimously took a break from the outside world. Games, whiskey, late night karaoke and adult onsies filled our expectations with delight. As morning came, it was time to get down to business. Chad and Chris had us all in tears as we listened to the birth of Bottom Line Marketing in a small garage nestled Escanaba, Michigan. The journey of trials, gratitude, and unprecedented work that carved out the Bottom Line we know today humbled the entire room and left us speechless. Which ironically wasn’t a great thing since our individual speeches were up next!
Gus and Kendall talked about media through bananas while Ben blew us away by exposing our new Bottom Line website (you’ll have to wait for the public reveal). 🙂 Chad and Annette invited us to talk numbers and reminded us that company credit cards weren’t for purchasing themed bounce houses. Amber and Ann dropped the mic with a social media rap and then brought it back down to earth with a children’s story. Bekki delighted our ears with radio production sound effects (and unbeatable karaoke skills) and Shana showed us a whole new world of 360° video. Lastly, Ryan topped presentations off with Yelp review examples you wouldn’t read to your grandmother, showing us the importance of reputation management (and Annette thought this was pretty fascinating).
After presenting for two days straight, we were exhausted. Exhausted from listening, learning and late night karaoke. The Brooks surprised us with a Horseback riding trip and it could not have come at a better time. We had all finished presenting and we were ready to relax and have fun. The scene was out of a story book, beautiful and serene. The stillness of the mountains was just what we needed after a hectic two days of presenting. To end the trip, we all went to dinner at a nice restaurant in the town of Eagle, we finally left the ranch and made a debut in public as a BLM Family.
Through presentations, late night talks around the fire, karaoke battles, horseback riding through the mountains, inside jokes and a weekend full of laughter and tears… I realized something.
Yes, we work hard. We work late. We work in the office, at the beach, in the woods, or sitting in an airport bathroom if we have to. We work until the job is done and we work until the job is done well. The bottom line however… is that we are family.
The part that stuck out to us the most, the part that made everything all click in our heads. It’s when we all realized we are a huge piece to the BLM puzzle and we all play different parts with different personalities. We realized this wasn’t a business retreat. It was a Family Reunion! Chris’s speech quoting one of his favorite movies and announcing our parts in the company really brought down the house, in a watery mess of tears!
Here is the Breakfast Club Movie quoted during his speech…
(“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is…..”)
An overgrown paper boy with 9 guitars (Chris)
A smoothly grinding softball mom who “mother f’s” everything that plugs in (Annette)
A left-handed ass whopping’ super mom who believed (Tammy)
A weirdo from Rock who has been our Rock (Bekki)
A bird legged big thinking diva pitcher girl from Ridge street (Jackie)
A long haired corporate bean-counting shortstop from a gray skied mill town (Chad)
A girl who’s the glue, whose desk is by the bathroom (Ann)
A sharp elbowed mouthy sister with something to prove (Kendall)
A Mom whose really going somewhere (Jessie)
A heart on her sleeve, design queen who’s carried us on her back (Katie)
A wild eyed Salsa cat who’s about to soar (Gus)
A car dealer’s kid who decided to make his own way by busting down our door (Ryan)
A snowboarding, mountain man web geek from Gwinn (Ben)
A blue-haired artist who will soon find out how great she can be (Shana)
A pastor with a past, 6 kids, who just happens to play 9 instruments and sing like a bird (Scott)
A girl with a smile, a dog that craps bowling balls and a story you may not believe (Amber)