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Cultivating Company Culture with Peppers
by Sarah Spinosa

When the idea struck for this type of blog, it was based on ContactEngine’s environmental impact. Our team has blogged extensively about our commitment to the environment. The efficiencies ContactEngine has introduced to our clients, saving millions of metric tons of CO2 this year alone by intelligently scheduling (or eliminating) appointments and reducing truck rolls, has been well-noted.

But, as I stood on a farm in the hot, sticky Virginia humidity this past weekend, my plans changed without consciously knowing it.

You see, more than 20 members of the ContactEngine Inc. staff, friends and family volunteered time and sweat equity for a wonderful cause at the JK Community Farm, about 45 minutes outside the McLean office in Purcellville, Virginia, during the farm’s third annual Plant-A-Thon.

In total, the Plant-A-Thon enlisted the help of hundreds of volunteers to plant more than 18,000 produce seedlings. Once the seedlings mature and are harvested (again, by volunteers), the farm will donate the produce to local and regional food pantries, including Loudoun Hunger Relief, Fairfax-based Food for Others, and Arlington Food Assistance Center. While there, we learned that without the help of farms such as theirs, many food pantries struggle to secure fresh produce to feed the local food insecure.

Our team worked on several rows, preparing the soil with fertilizer, compost, and finally planting the pepper seedlings. The overwhelming feeling of cheerful camaraderie was contagious. About halfway through our two-hour time slot, I looked up to see our CEO’s 13-year-old son and my 5-year-old daughter working together to prepare the soil… As I looked around, it was awe-inspiring to see that kind of teamwork for the greater good happening all over the farm. In fact, the team loved the event so much so that we’ve already planned to volunteer for the harvest so we can continue giving back, together, to the local community.

It’s that kind of commitment that makes the ContactEngine team so special. The same kind of hard work and dedication that went into the Plant-A-Thon is precisely the same kind of hard work and dedication that goes into everything we do for our clients. In situations like meeting a tight deadline that allows a client to proactively communicate with their customers during an emergency, the ContactEngine staff consistently goes above and beyond.

We’re looking forward to harvesting the fruits­–or, vegetables as the case may be–of our labor.

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