Jan
07
2013

Findr Group Retreat 2012 - Mexico!

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Each year Findr Group takes a much-needed retreat to a sunny destination to unwind, reconnect, reflect, and prepare for the year ahead.  This year’s retreat took place in the stunning coastal town of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and proved to be an unforgettable experience for all parties involved.  Even Forbes acknowledged our retreats as exceptional by including us in their Unique Job Perks that Employees Love article.  True to Forbes’ reputation—they got it exactly right because we certainly loved this trip!
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Welcome to Playa Del Carmen!
Findr Group Mexican Fueled Smiles

Mexican Fueled Smiles.
It may seem that this Mexican vacation would be filled solely with festive drinks, over-indulgent consumption and hours of tanning on the beach but this simply was not entirely true. In reality, the underlying purpose of this retreat was to build stronger relationships between all employees and to reunite our West Coast team with our East Coast team. Not to get sappy on the readers but when we walked away from this retreat something beautiful was created –solid friendships.
Findr Group Friends
Friends =)
Plenty of people find it hard to believe that almost 3 years ago we had 12 people working in a cramped office. Fast forward to now, after being nominated the fastest growing agency 2 years in a row, Findr Group has blossomed into a true tour de force. The bonds that we share as a team, and that were strengthened during this trip, have only solidified our ability to handle anything thrown at us.
Findr Group dinner

This night was filled with plenty of food and wine and we handled it. 
Findr Group Dinner 2
Discussing how to handle it.
A few days before we left for Mexico, Yuriy Boykiv, one of the founders, sent us an email asking us to read two Harvard Business School case studies. Now, we don’t know anyone who likes homework so you could imagine our faces when we found out each case was 16 pages long.  As we all sat on our 7am flight cramming in these case studies instead of watching The Dark Knight, we began to connect the studies with our own experiences and grew increasingly interested. 
Findr_Group_Mexico_Plane
High in the air, low on sleep but filled with joy for case studies.
 For the next few days we debated these cases and discussed how they should be handled.  Through the tried and true debate process we uncovered our strong analytical minds, wit, and personalities.  Ultimately, with the subtle guidance from founding partners Yuriy Boykiv, Boris Chernyy, Luba Tolkachyov, and Artur Melentin, we all arrived to solid solutions that rarely differed much from the real-world solutions that actually occurred.
Another activity was to teach the group about the struggles our designers have to deal with on a daily basis. We were split up into 3 groups with each group assigned two creative mentors.  The activity was to create a 30 second TV commercial with 20 minutes prep time from conception to execution.
Each team had a different client:
  1. Ashley Madison – (You know, that site that allows married people to have an affair.)
  2. Speedo – (Honestly, some people should never shop here.)
  3. Findr Group – (Simply the best group to work for- EVER.)
All we can say is we certainly felt the pressure and mostly made fools of ourselves. But, we laughed so hard at ourselves that all of the commercials were successes.  The laughs and ogling by strangers was also the cherry on top.
Findr Group Scuba

We were used to the laughing by that point.
A huge emphasis of the trip also revolved around the senior team’s communication of our growth plans and the expanding roles each individual would need to master to achieve this growth. When you’re growing this quickly, we learned, its important to figure out how to sustain our business so that the foundation doesn’t turn to dust.  Even though the gorgeous resort was constantly tempting us to explore, it was extremely hard not to be anxious and excited for our companies’ future.
But, let’s be serious, once the discussions were over we couldn’t resist everything the resort had to offer.
Findr Group Laugh
We couldn’t resist laughing.
Findr Group cheers
…or cheersing!
Findr Group pool

We couldn’t resist this poolside corner until after the sun set.
Findr Group Mexico night
see?
Findr Group Mexico lunch
While chowing down some of us weren’t ready for the camera.
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Some couldn’t even resist the urge to keep eating.
Findr Group dressed to impress
We also couldn’t resist dressing to impress.
Unfortunately, like all good things, our retreat had to come to an end and many were sad to leave our home in paradise.  After a brief black cloud descended on the group we shook it off and arrived to work on Monday ready to take on new responsibility, prepared to be part of a larger engine and excited to make the group even stronger in 2013. 
Findr Group Mexico last day
Everyone jumping with joy as they wait to leave.
Like last year’s tradition we once again “borrowed” a pillow sheet from the resort and every person hand signed it to be hung up in the office to remind us of the good times.  We leave you with a quote from Erma Bombeck which we think paints the best picture of this “band of characters”:
“The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together”[1]


[1] Emma Bombeck
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