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Little things and big things…

- Written by Scott McNeil

Like many companies, GPA likens itself to a family. However, unlike most other places I have worked, GPA does indeed feel like family.

Sometimes it is the little things.

Little things like the company newsletter. In the newsletter we get important updates on how the company is doing and what projects are going on and coming up. But we also get birthday and work anniversary shout-outs. We get employee spotlights where we learn a little bit about each other, which is great as we are spread out all over the country and do not always get to meet or interact with some team members very often.

Little things like my desk being covered in Star Wars trinkets, pictures of my kids, switches, firewalls, wireless access points and various notes taped up everywhere. It is my own personal space and everyone is good with that.

Little things like all the dogs that come to the office with various team members. Honestly, having dogs running around the office really helps bring down stress levels when working on big projects. Whether it is playing tug-o-war with Luna (German Shepard) or throwing a toy for Hatch (English Cream Retriever) or picking up little Ginger (Yorkie-Poo) and scratching her head, the GPA dogs make the office feel like home (sadly, little Ginger recently passed, and we all miss her).

Little things like laughter. Granted we have our serious times, but, more often than not, you will hear lots of laughter throughout the office, on meetings and even on client sites. We do our jobs to the best of our abilities, but that does not stop us from having a good time while we do it.

Sometimes it is the big things.

When I say big things, I truly mean it. My son Jackson has Autism. As such, I try to be as active as I can in the local Autism community. I am a member of several “Autism Dads” discussion groups. My wife, kids and I attend as many Autism Awareness functions as we can, and our big project every year is the local Autism Awareness 5k run/walk. We participate every year and try to raise as much money as we can for the cause. We are Team Jedi Knight Jackson!

One year we were able to get the UNCW Men’s Soccer team to come out and be on our team. It made Jackson feel like a Rockstar with all these great guys hanging out with him for the day. That year we were able to raise over $1,500. We were so happy!

The next year I began to get our team together and happened to mention it to some teammates at work. The next thing I know I am meeting with our CTO and CFO, and amazing things start happening. First, an email went out to all of our GPA employees that if they donated to my sons team, GPA would then match that donation dollar for dollar. Donations from team members from all over the country started pouring in. It was Incredible! Then our CTO held a fund raiser and ICS team building event at our Virginia office. All proceeds went to my son’s team.

I was overwhelmed. Team members from all over the country, some of whom I only knew through an occasional email or phone call came together and helped my son raise over $6,300 for our local Autism Awareness and Support foundation.

That is what family does. That is my GPA family.


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