Timothy Garbinsky, NCEO Director of Communications
As anybody who just finished attending our 2021 Fall ESOP Forum can attest, it's a busy time of year for us all. In my case, I found myself conducting interviews, moderating discussions, and joining some of the more casual networking sessions, all to make sure members and attendees truly got the most out of our event. And this doesn't even include the sessions I tried to attend for my own edification, since I, like all of us, still have a lot to learn.
I'm far from complaining. This busyness energizes me. Of all the happenings at our events though, nothing energizes me quite like our awards and contests. These awards give our member companies the opportunity to showcase themselves as they see fit, allowing them to shine in front of the community. The rest of us get to bask in their accomplishments and celebrate them as embodying the spirit and ethos of employee ownership that animates their accomplishments.
The Forum is home to our annual Achievement Award, and this year, like years past, it has been rewarding to be involved with the award. Keeping with the Forum's theme, the entries were to conform to the idea of evolution, showcasing what makes a company's ESOP special and allows its employee-owners to adapt and overcome challenges.
We had great entries submitted this year, primarily in video format—so many that we decided to showcase two different companies. The runner-up award was given to Bridges Health in Oklahoma City. This health and nursing facility sent an energetic and inclusive video that showcased a wide variety of its employee-owners espousing the virtues that make their ESOP work. Naming Bridges Health the runner-up was a way for us to welcome a new ESOP into the community while giving recognition to the hard work that healthcare workers have been doing throughout this pandemic and beyond.
The winning video came to us from Calibre, an employee-owned (of course) "management consulting and digital transformation" company based in Northern Virginia. Calibre's video won for its creativity, humor, and energy. Clearly laying out the company's principles and overall ethos, the video also takes time to showcase memes and camaraderie and to celebrate the graduation of some of the children of Calibre employee-owners. More than just telling people what Calibre is about, the video shows what Calibre is about—a company whose empathy and principles have allowed it to adapt to uncertain times. Setting the video to a Bon Jovi song didn't hurt.
An enormous thanks to all of the companies who entered, especially our runner-up, Bridges Health, and to the Achievement Award winner Calibre! We hope that all who attended the Forum enjoyed these videos and all the educational and networking content that was on offer, and we look forward to hearing your stories in the future.