Summer Days, Summer Nights
It’s been another busy summer for GA-CCRi. We expanded our teams into two new buildings: one small office building and into a larger office building, all within easy walking distance, within the same office park, for a total of four buildings. Our strong growth has necessitated these additions. In tandem we’ve also been busy on the hiring front, bringing in 22 fabulous new people who will add their brain power and creativity to a variety of roles and projects. Additionally, this summer four super smart interns made an important impact and are already missed by their teams. We draw talented people from the local Virginia/Maryland geographical area and beyond, reaching all over the United States from the South, and the Midwest, and farther west– Arizona, Utah and California.
GA-CCRi believes in collaboration and knowledge sharing. This summer Gary curated the weekly “Lunch Time Learning” program where an employee could share his or her knowledge on a particular subject to a receptive audience in a casual Q&A environment, with the added bonus of free pizza. Topics ranged from utilizing Maven, Solr and Spark; GeoMesa integration; web apps like Jupyter and productivity tools like UNIX and JIRA. We also had some guest speakers like Sargent Greg Davis, captain of the Albemarle County Police Department Bike Team, to talk about the nuances of traffic laws of concern to cyclists, to keep both motorists and cyclist safe and aware. Shannon Tevendale, from the Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia, stopped by to answer our questions about the annual BGC Cycling Challenge. Several GA-CCRi employees will participate in the BGC Cycling Challenge under the name The GA-CCRi Cyclones, raising money for a great cause.
And despite project deadlines and demo crunches, GA-CCRi always manages to make time for fun and relaxation. Not content with just our semi annual spring and fall brewfests, Kyle and Andrew H decided that we needed to take advantage of the long summer days AND our new smoker to have more warm weather celebrations. Thus, Fourth Friday’s was born for June, July and August. And I suspect that as long as mild weather holds out, more days will be added. June saw the successful production of a delicious pork barbecue, shredded and seasoned to perfection. Kyle boldly asserted, “Now that I have mastered the art of barbecue…” which immediately caused Andrew H to glance heavenward, and shudder in fear at the risk of offending the Barbecue Gods with such arrogance. Despite this impertinence, however, July saw the successful result of perfectly cooked, tender brisket. Succulent, mesquite-smoked whole chickens rounded out the menu for August, and were a culinary delight.
Inspired by his gastronomic success and love of entrepreneurship, Kyle decided to branch out into the lucrative breakfast sandwich market. After a free test run to test production and gain valuable customer feedback, the Capitalist Machine took over. On the next round employees were charged an extremely reasonable $1 for an egg with sausage or bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich, hot off the grill. It was also Kyle’s birthday, so free Mimosa’s were on tap to help wash down the delicious, eggy goodness. We’re still holding out for the French Toast, though…
Meanwhile, the Tuesday Trivia team continues strong. In a smooth transition, Bob K. took the reigns from
departing leader Jake K. with nary a variance in dedication nor intensity. Core regulars Bob, Nick E., Ben R, Charlie, and Yours Truly show up every Tuesday, along with a variety of rotating semi-regulars, ready to compete and win. Though rocky at times, we managed to pull off a first place lead as we headed into the semi-finals, only to be pushed into second place in the final round. We will dust ourselves off, and come back even stronger for the winter season. The nail biting and brain churning begins.
Finally, sometimes you just need to relax with a nice glass of wine and enjoy a beautiful view with a few of your estrogen-infused workmates. Recently, a few of the women of GA-CCRi took a midweek break to enjoy the spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from a semi-sheltered vantage point at the King Family Vineyards. While Addie’s friendly and exuberant Bernese Mountain dog rolled and frolicked on the polo ground greens, we sipped wine and chatted in the warmth of the late afternoon.