On Thursday, January 23rd, Rho launched its 30 year anniversary celebration at the Cotton Room in downtown Durham, NC during our annual, January company-wide meeting.
Employees made the journey from as far west as sunny California and as far north as blustery New York. Some local employees chose to get creative with their short commute by arriving in a limo! Five biostatisticians and five programmers decided on a whim that it would be a fun way to carpool to the meeting, where they knew parking would be limited. They specifically requested a white limo, reasoning that black might have been too classy for the occasion. (Pictured l-r: Kristen Harrington, Stacey Murphy, Carol Baker, Richard Addy, Charity Quick, Heather Dineen, Ben Vaughn, Leela Aertker, Paul Nguyen, Rob Woolson).
Co-CEO, Laura Helms Reece, praised the group’s originality in her remarks during the meeting by stating it was “a great example of Rho’s particular brand of quirky.” And indeed, it was. Despite the positive attention they received and the fun they had, the limo carpoolers did have one regret. Their limo didn’t have a sunroof. Maybe next time.
A coffee station and a southern breakfast provided a warm welcome as employees arrived. After everyone had their fill of caffeine, eggs, biscuits, and grits, Laura Helms Reece and Russ Helms, Co-CEOs, gave a brief presentation on the company’s goals for 2014, which include supporting and diversifying growth and continuing to support the development of leaders across the company Additionally, Russ and Laura reminded the audience of Rho’s entrepreneurial roots and commitment to chasing excellence while staying true to what makes Rho, Rho (great people, excellent customer service, and a family friendly culture).
Once breakfast and business were out of the way, it was time to have a little fun! And what better way to celebrate 30 years of business than with a good, old-fashioned paper airplane contest? Each table, made up of 10 Rho employees, made a team. Every team was provided with a “paper airplane kit” which included paper, scissors, branding materials for decorating their planes, and instructions for plane design options. Each team had 30 minutes to construct and decorate their plane before the first leg of the competition kicked off.
Distance judges assumed their positions and team-assigned pilots took their marks.
Above left (Stefanie Gagliardi, CRA,(l) and Beth Olen, Senior Clinical Data Project Manager,(r) served as official distance judges). Above center and above right (Team "Pilots" fly their planes in the distance competition).
After several rounds of distance competitions, the team whose plane went the furthest, “Skid Rho,” was rewarded with the “Longest Flight” award.
Once everyone returned to Rho, employees were able to take a closer look at all of the planes on display and vote on several additional categories including Best Name: AirRhoPlane, Best Constructed: Live and Let Rho and Flights. Right. On Time, Best Branded: Rholling Thunder, and Best All Around: Rholling Thunder.
Brian Goeckerman, Clinical Data Associate, commented on the paper airplane activity by saying, “The airplane competition was great fun because it was a chance to collaborate with some awesome people and develop an idea into a tangible product. It was very exciting to see all the different ways that groups decided to approach the same challenge and see which strategy soared above the others.”
All in all, the event was a great way to kick off our 30th year of business and re-commit to the ideals that have made us what we are today—a company of smart, creative, quirky, hard-working individuals who are truly one team committed to excellence.