Last week, Silverline gathered in Santa Fe for the annual Silverline Summit. It was an odd feeling to reflect on ten years of Silverline while only having been here for the last three months. But it was odd in the best way — in a way that feels like I’ve been here so much longer, because every single Silverliner is so kind and unique. In a way that already shows the impact of the work I’ve done in a short time. In a way that energized me to work even harder because I want this team to succeed as much as I want myself to succeed.
How did I walk away feeling like that after only three days in Santa Fe? Oh, I’ll tell you.
Day one: All hands on deck
We came from all corners of the U.S. — from sea to shining sea. And some of us came even farther, with SL India joining and our folks from Ukraine, too. After receiving a warm welcome and checking into our hotel rooms at the Buffalo Thunder Resort, we all gathered for a cocktail hour in anticipation of the company All Hands meeting.
I didn’t know what to expect at the All Hands meeting. Having been to a few at previous companies, I assumed lots of slides about quarterly earnings and YOY ROI, etc. But in the entire time we spent listening to our CEO Gireesh, we only lingered a minute or so on a single slide talking about earnings. The rest of the time was spent celebrating team successes, awarding outstanding employees and coworkers, sharing stories of favorite moments past, and learning more about how Silverline got its start.
I walked away with warm, fuzzy feelings and a sense that Silverline was meant for great things. I suspected it before, but this introduction to our three-day summit solidified that Silverline really isn’t like any company I’ve ever known.
Following the All Hands, we had a reception, complete with a Silverline-themed photo booth and plenty of chances to chat with friends and colleagues normally separated by time zones and terrain. I was happy to meet everyone in person, rather than simply on my screen at home.
Day two: Abandoning our comfort zones
The next day, we had a big team breakfast and then all filed into the ballroom for a day of team-building workshops. Yikes. And then we found out it was team-building improv workshops. Double yikes.
But not really yikes at all. The day was led by Brave New Workshop co-owner John Sweeney and Director of Applied Improvisation Margi Simmons — and they were fun. Silverliners were grouped at random and assigned tables with coworkers they likely hadn’t worked with before. And slowly, through exercises and group games, we broke down walls and learned how to better communicate with one another. We learned new facts about the people making up our company, more about ourselves, and more about our founders — who sat down for an interview with Sweeney about all things Silverline.
After an improv-filled day, we moved over to the next room and stretched our brains in another way. As a part of our Silverline Cares initiative, any time the whole team is together is a time we take to give back. This year, we partnered with STEM Santa Fe.
For our part, we packaged up over 500 bags of materials for making small solar-powered cars, and built 30 of those cars ourselves. And of course, we had to test them out — in an all-out race with only one team reigning supreme in the end.
We ended the day with individual team dinners, trips to the hotel casino, and a final group gathering for cocktails and toasts to a great day.
Day three: Team outings, meetings, and “See ya laters”
While some team members slept in, others got up before the sun to enjoy a nice sunrise hot air balloon ride, complete with a champagne sendoff as they headed back to the resort.
A final group breakfast got us all together to reminisce and say farewells as we split off into our own teams to do our own things. Some stayed at the resort to work on planning for the next half of the year. Some left to explore downtown Santa Fe.
The marketing team headed over to Meow Wolf, where we immersed ourselves in some seriously interactive and incredible art.
No matter how you spent your last day of #SLXsummit, it was clear as we parted ways — we were ending it just the same: reflecting on the passion of our teammates and gearing up to continue doing incredible work the rest of the year.