Volunteering and Making a Difference

Volunteering and Making a Difference

Each year the Fairfax Animal Shelter helps four to five thousand animals by providing a safe environment and adoption services.  CC Pace employees and friends volunteered here last week to support this great organization and did a great job of cleaning the facility, folding towels, and organizing supplies.

While our employees did not interact with the animals, they were able to walk through the facility and see the dogs, cats, and other smaller furry and feathered creatures and their environment.   You can see by the smiles in the pictures of our people, that this was a very rewarding event for everyone!

Thanks to Deb Young, our account manager, for coordinating with Debbie Shatz, a Director in our Financial Services practice, to set up this event.  Debbie is a long-time volunteer at the shelter and she organized and directed our activities for the evening. We would like to give a special shout-out to Tracy Gordon, Bobby Pantall, Jason Kellenbenz, and everyone else who donated the vast amount of toys and essentials needed by the shelter.  They were well received and very much appreciated!

Want to get involved? Contact the Fairfax Animal Shelter, they can always use volunteers!

CC Pace recognized four employees who were celebrating their 15th and 35th anniversaries at our quarterly meeting earlier this month. CC Pace President, Mike Gordon, had the pleasure of recognizing Bill Lehman (35 years), Laura Campbell (15 years), Bobby Pantall (15 years) and Deb Young (15 years) for their service. Each were recognized for their dedication, contributions and hard work, and were presented with a service award and the always hilarious CC Pace gag gift!

In reflecting on these significant milestones, we decided to do a little research. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average tenure for employees with their current employers in the United States is 4.2 years.  At CC Pace our employees’ average tenure is 12.7 years, that’s 3 times the national average!

So, why is the average tenure at CC Pace so high?  Well, we decided that we would ask some of the service award recipients what it is that makes CC Pace such a desirable place to work.  They agreed on several common elements, which include:

  • The dedicated people they work with
  • The supportive environment received from their leadership
  • The work/life balance offered by CC Pace

In addition, Deb appreciates the feeling that she is “making a contribution”, Bobby highlighted “the interesting work” he gets to be part of, while Laura pointed out “the variety of opportunities that employees are given to help the organization grow”.

Or, could the reason the tenure is high be something else, like those world-famous gag gifts given on milestone anniversaries? The free bagels and donuts? The happy hours? The company parties? We may never really know the exact answer – but, it’s apparent that all these things together have created a unique culture where employees choose to stay and succeed in for many years.

Whatever the reason, we are grateful for these employees.  Congratulations and thank you!

CC Pace would like to introduce you to Deepti Agarwal a Senior Technical Recruiter who has been part of our Staffing team since 2013.  Prior to CC Pace, Deepti worked as a full life cycle, technical recruiter supporting both commercial and federal government clients. In addition, she worked with the account managers to strategize in acquiring new and building existing accounts.

What attracted you to CC Pace?
I first learned of CC Pace through my husband who had been working with the company. He spoke highly of CC Pace and felt they never compromised with the quality of candidates submitted to them.  He had known them to be very fair when it came to all aspects of the recruiting process and in all, CC Pace was a very reputable organization to work with.

When the time came for me to a make a move to a new recruiting position, I immediately thought of CC Pace. The interview process went very well and I knew that it was the perfect fit as I learned more about the CC Pace clients and the recruiting process they followed. It reflected that the recruiting group worked as a team and had a very strong value-based system. The environment was friendly and welcoming from the very beginning.

What is the biggest challenge in your current role?
There are actually two challenges. The first one is that we are in a very demanding and competitive marketplace, there is a lot of competition that we are up against every day from both a client and a resource perspective. The second is closing candidates with multiple offers at the end of the recruiting process. This process can take some time to complete as candidates are often interviewing with several companies.

How would you describe CC Pace’s culture?
First and foremost, CC Pace has a very value-based culture and provides a high quality of service to all our clients and candidates. In Staffing, we have a strong team environment and our Staffing group’s management truly respects our opinions and supports us. CC Pace also offers me the perfect work life balance, having flexible working hours makes things much easier for me and my family.

During your time here at CC Pace, can you share with us something you have learned?
Because of the values we uphold we never compromise on the quality of our service.

What do you like to do outside of CC Pace?
I love to spend time with my daughters. I cherish our time together, we enjoy taking dance classes together and of course, they are always up for a shopping trip!

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Cancun!  My family and I went there last year and it was absolutely gorgeous!  It was so relaxing and peaceful and there were so many activities and watersports available to participate in – my favorite was snorkeling by a reef, it was just beautiful.

Who inspires you and why?
My father – he is a doctor a heart specialist and he is truly my inspiration. His strong work ethic and sincerity taught me the meaning of what being a hard working individual was all about.

CC Pace moved into our current offices in September of 2003. At that time, Fairfax Corner was just being built, and we were one of the first tenants to occupy our building.

Over the years, our space on the 4th floor has changed as the company has evolved. Late last year, we began to pull together the vision to update our facilities.  After plans were finalized with our designer and contractor, construction began in early January.

These updates include creating a modern look throughout the office with new carpet, paint and wall coverings and new lighting, plus pops of CC Pace orange to brighten things up!  We have updated our training room to include floor to ceiling white board paint and some new, more comfortable furniture to improve the learning environment.  A major change to our interior offices area, we now have an open space breakout area, where our employees will have the opportunity to collaborate in a comfortable and casual setting with various technology tools at their disposal.

We have made additional improvements throughout the office with the goal of creating an open, comfortable and more collaborative environment.  It’s amazing what a difference the slightest changes can make, and these renovations have certainly given us a new look and perspective to start off the New Year!

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CC Pace joined Cornerstones in December for their annual winter coat event. CC Pace’s corporate contribution in conjunction with employee donations provided 20 coats for this important drive. Cornerstones offers the donated coats to those in need from November through March.

Cornerstones is a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services.

CC Pace takes pride in supporting our community by offering corporate contributions and participating in various events throughout the year.

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We held our last quarterly staff meeting for 2016 recently.  In addition to sharing a variety of information about the company during these meetings, we also celebrate significant employee milestones.

President, Mike Gordon, recognized our CTO, Kuryan Thomas, who just celebrated his 15th Anniversary with CC Pace.  As with each Service Award presentation, success is celebrated and hard work is praised with a certificate of recognition, a gift, and there is also the traditional gag gift. For Kuryan, an avid photographer, that gift played off his photography talents.

Thank you, Kuryan, for your contributions over the past 15 years.

Do you ever think about why there are some things in your life that that you do year in and year out, while others fall by the wayside?  For me, I’ve played in a Thanksgiving neighborhood football game every year since we moved into our house in 1994 and I’ve gone on a golfing trip to Las Vegas with some high school and college buddies since my wife arranged the first one for my 40th birthday (she might have re-thought the idea had she known it would become an annual event).  While you likely don’t know early on what will have staying power, certain events become meaningful in the tradition they become, the camaraderie they build, and the enjoyment they create both during the event and throughout the year telling stories about it.

While these examples cited above have limited to no societal significance, one tradition of mine that does is my attendance at the annual gala for So Others Might Eat (SOME) which just recently occurred.  I’ve been on SOME’s Corporate Advisory Board for the past 18 years and I’ve attended every one of their annual galas during that time except for one (I hope one unavoidable personal conflict in 18 years is excusable).

A little about SOME:  SOME was founded by Father Horace McKenna in 1970 as a soup kitchen to feed DC’s homeless. Under the extraordinary vision and leadership of Father John Adams, SOME expanded its purpose and has taken a more holistic approach to address this critical issue. On top of serving nearly 400,000 meals per year, SOME now offers a comprehensive set of programs to meet the needs of the homeless and to directly address some of the root causes that keep one homeless.  These include: medical and dental clinics; a drug rehabilitation facility; behavioral health services; temporary, transitional, and permanent affordable housing; and a center for employment training. As best expressed in its Mission Statement, SOME is “restoring hope and dignity one person at a time”.

Notwithstanding the enormous number of volunteers who donate their time to the organization, these programs require money to operate. As its major fundraising event, SOME holds its annual Gala to celebrate its work, to present the SOME McKenna Humanitarian award (this year’s honorees were Raul Fernandez, CEO, Object Video and Vice Chairman, Monumental Sports and Linda Jo Smith, Chair, SOME Board of Directors), and to support their programs.  Many of this year’s proceeds are earmarked towards development of a brand-new facility on Benning Road in DC that will include housing, job training, a medical clinic, offices and retail.  This building will greatly expand on SOME’s ability to serve the needy.

As soon as the gala date is announced, I block it off on my calendar.  So why do I attend every year?

It is a tradition that I look forward to and an event that I enjoy attending.  I love the camaraderie among SOME’s Corporate Advisory Board who, like me, religiously attend and support the event. And I get immense enjoyment and personal satisfaction, in this case from hearing about the impacts that we are making in helping to address this significant societal problem that would only get worse if not for organizations like SOME.

Somewhat the same reasons as my annual football game and golf trip, but with a whole lot more purpose.

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Father John Adams, President of SOME

 

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CC Pace was ready when we hosted our Thursday Night Football Tailgate Party, which included both current employees and CC Pace alumni!  The evening was filled with a festive BBQ menu, drinks, fun and fabulous door prizes! We were happy to have a number of CC Pace Alumni join us as we gathered and watched the Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh game on the big screen.  Luckily, for all the Hokies we had in attendance, Virginia Tech was able to bring home the win in a tight game with a final score of 39-36.

To make the evening even more entertaining, we held a cornhole tournament with single elimination rounds.  Champions George Perkins, CC Pace Staffing Director and Tracy Gordon, wife of President, Mike Gordon were the last team standing after a score in the game of 0-14.  They pulled off a huge comeback to claim the title and win the grand prize – Congratulations George and Tracy!

All in all it was a win-win evening for everyone!

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Recently, several employees gathered together to help out the local Ronald McDonald House.  The Ronald McDonald house is a place where families of patients who are in the hospital can go to spend the night, have a meal, and rest while they are visiting their family members in the hospital.  The house, located in Falls Church, supports all of the local hospitals and can house up to 8 families at a time.  See more information here.

CC Pace employees prepared a delicious meal for the families and staff including: vegetable beef soup, garden salad, cornbread, cookies and brownies.  In addition, our employees collected a variety of supplies, arts and crafts, and puzzles to go into activity bags for the patients in the hospitals, as well as the family members taking care of them.

Thank you to Beverly, the house night manager, for her help and giving us a tour of this wonderful house.

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Well, actually, let’s go watch a baseball game!  After our recent staff meeting, many CC Pacers climbed aboard a bus and we headed downtown to Nationals Park to watch the Washington Nationals play the Colorado Rockies.  Upon arrival, we were rewarded with our very own Max Scherzer Bobblehead.

Although it was a hot and humid day, there was an abundance of refreshing beverages available.  We also enjoyed lots of the traditional ball park food including; hot dogs, pretzels in the shape of a W, peanuts and cracker jacks!  But let’s not forget dessert, the delicious Breyers’ ice cream that helped us cool down a bit.

Despite the hot day, it was a great event and we enjoyed spending time together, having fun and rooting for the Nationals.  Our efforts paid off and the Nationals beat the Rockies 8 – 5, including a home run from one of our favorite players, Jayson Werth.  What a great way to end the evening!

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Yoga Pants? Sweats? Shorts? Pajamas? Working from home full-time is more than just having the option of turning on your laptop in comfortable lounge wear. It is learning how to be and remain an effective and productive contributor to your company.

Technology advances have made working remotely easier for workers. In the United States, the percentage of work-at-home employees, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005 according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.  Approximately 10% of CC Pace’s workforce is distributed across the country and work remotely.  In addition, a high percentage of other staff members have the option to telecommute at least one day a week.

How does a home-based employee stay both productive and connected? This article presenting 3 Tips for Productive Remote Work from the Huffington Post gives some sound advice for those workers to follow. It discusses working through shared/cloud based documents with your team; regular calls, emails and open tasks boards; and when the opportunity arises, getting in that all important face-to-face time. CC Pace Senior Consultant, Greg Self, home-based in Dallas, Texas, says to stay relevant and in touch, “Our Financial Services Consulting practice has a weekly meeting to get caught up on current and upcoming client work. Along with those calls, we communicate through regular emails during the week to management on status updates and engagement happenings.”

Another area that plays a key role in successfully working remotely is the infrastructure and support provided by the employer. CC Pace Agile Consultant, Jannette Brace, based in the Seattle, Washington area says, “CC Pace is very good at providing the necessary tools for working remotely. They also budget for trips for remote employees to visit the home office multiple times throughout the year, including the Annual Party which is always a great event!”

Forecasts currently show that by the year 2020 more than 30% of the workforce will be working remotely on a full-time basis – wonder where your desk will be?

Fairfax Corner offers more than just outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment it is also the place CC Pace has called home for the past 13 years.  As one of Fairfax Corner’s first tenants, we moved into our suite located on the fourth floor in the office building at the top of the plaza in October 2003, and had the opportunity to put our name on the side the building. CC Pace found being based in Fairfax Corner would offer employees close proximity to I-66, Fairfax County Parkway and Route 50, a variety of restaurants, free parking, shopping, personal services and a picturesque setting to greet them on a daily basis.

Over our time in this location, we have all come to enjoy the many offerings that Fairfax Corner provides from the splash fountain and free summer activities that include Concerts at the Corner, Little Tots, Yoga on the Plaza to the year-round variety of holiday activities and festivals.  We are also conveniently located near the Fairfax County Government Center, Wegman’s and Fair Oaks Mall.  Want to catch an event or game at George Mason University after work? No problem as it’s only about 10 minutes away.

Fairfax Corner is growing and is currently expanding its’ presence with the addition of a 950 space parking garage and a new 5 story office building.  The garage is opening this summer and the office building is scheduled to open next year.

As you can see, our employees have much to enjoy and many endless options that are always evolving around here at Fairfax Corner.  It’s a great place to work!

Well, it wasn’t actually a food fight with people throwing food at each other in a cafeteria, but rather a Food Fight to Battle Hunger!  Last Friday, May 13th, CC Pacers joined hundreds of other volunteers to help package meals to be sent to starving children around the world.  We participated in a mobile food-packing event sponsored by Feed My Starving Children that provides meals to children in over 40 countries.  The event was held at the Dulles Expo Center located in Chantilly, VA, over the weekend of May 13th through May 15th.  The goal of the event was to pack 5.1 million meals that would feed over 19,000 starving children worldwide for a year.

We started our session with lots of cheerleading from the event coordinators, donning very attractive hair nets, and energizing music to create lots of fun and excitement as we went to our packing stations.  We all had a good time doing our jobs while dancing and singing to “Up Town Funk”, “YMCA”, “Twist and Shout” and lots of other great tunes.

By the end of our session, the CC Pace team had packed 1316 meals and all of the volunteers for that session, packed over 146,000 meals that will feed 402 children for a year!

Thanks to all the volunteers for helping out at this very worthwhile event.  Already looking forward to the Food Fight next year!

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CC Pace President, Mike Gordon held a corporate staff meeting to review our previous year’s results and successes and introduce our business plans and initiatives for 2016.  This meeting provided a great opportunity for employees to understand CC Pace’s strategic imperatives and the direction on where CC Pace is headed this year.  In addition, the corporate staff meeting allowed all of our employees to gather together and have some valuable face to face time with one another. On a daily basis, a large number of our staff are working remotely or at client sites and it is a rare opportunity when we can all be in one place.

A highlight of the meeting was the celebration of Rechelle Card’s 10 year anniversary with CC Pace.  Rechelle, a Senior Technical Recruiter in our Staffing group, was recognized by Mike Gordon for the high value of service she has added to both the recruiting team and the company as a whole. Mike presented her with a service award and the traditional CC Pace gag gift – which was the development of her own TV show “The Recruiter”, a spinoff of “The Bachelor” – it was quite a humorous skit which included several staff members in the roles of candidates and a rose presented to the “winner”.  It was a “show” that is sure to be talked about for years to come!

Once the meeting concluded, we moved downstairs to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, here in Fairfax Corner, to enjoy our annual party. The food was excellent as always at Ruth’s Chris, from the beef tenderloin, crab cakes and shrimp to the delicious desserts!  There was something there for everyone to enjoy while reconnecting with fellow employees and getting to know some new ones! All our employees and their guests had a wonderful time and we all look forward to next year’s celebration!

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Do you want to be more successful this year?  Do you want to improve your relationships, your health, and your life?  Well, the New Year is a common time for people to evaluate where they are in life, where they want to be, and to look at making a fresh start.  Once someone does this, they often turn to setting goals. Goal setting is an important process that starts with considering and deciding just want you want to achieve.

Who really sets goals?  Everyone from business professionals, students, parents, and athletes to entertainers and politicians.  People set goals for all types of things, the most common categories are:

  • Artistic
  • Attitude/Outlook
  • Business/Career
  • Education
  • Family
  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Public Service/Volunteerism

Experts advise that you:

  • Write down your goal(s) to make the end result more real and obtainable.
  • Once you have written down your goals, be sure to put the paper in a visible place (your bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, your desk, the dashboard of your car or even taped to your cellphone!) to remind yourself everyday of these goals.
  • Come up with your action plan, listing the steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals.
  • Stay focused and on track, and remember it is a process so take it day by day.

Once you start to see progress as you accomplish the steps you have outlined, this will help to keep you motivated and achieve your goal in no time!

Have you set goals for this year yet?  If not, it is time to get going.  This article, Golden Rules of Goal Setting, can help you get the process started.  Now is the time to reflect, take action and move forward – Good Luck!

This past year as CC Pace celebrates our 35th anniversary, it has caused us many moments to pause and reflect on our good fortune.  Now, as we celebrate the holidays we have asked our employees to help us create a list of 35 Things they are thankful for this year.  Enjoy!

I am thankful for…

  1. Good Health
  2. The wonderful opportunity offered to me by CC Pace.
  3. CC Pace’s flexibility and support that allows me the ability to fulfill my volunteer commitments.
  4. Working within walking distance to Coastal Flats.coastalflats
  5. Clients who appreciate the high quality of our work and people.
  6. Netflix
  7. The new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens”!
  8. Our great company reputation built by previous and current employees.
  9. Our Fairfax Corner office complex.
  10. Phil’s laugh (Philippa Fewell is the Managing Director of our Enterprise Solutions practice)phil
  11. CC Pace’s family friendly policies and atmosphere
  12. The Thanksgiving Pie I received from Mike Gordon!
  13. Fantasy Baseball Championship (or runner up!).
  14. The Client to whom/which I was assigned –  I love this client, my team and my role on the team!
  15. My children’s smiles that I see every day!
  16. A great work Culture at CC Pace.holidaybreakfast
  17. The Cloud.
  18. The queso at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande – yum!
  19. My life, my love, my family (including our four footed creatures) and my work.
  20. I am thankful for our great team here at CC Pace.
  21. Family and good friends!
  22. Online shopping
  23. Staffing’s Holiday Breakfast!
  24. Being able to spend the holidays with my family!
  25. Today’s technology – after traveling for a week without access to a cell phone, I have a new appreciation for Google, text messaging and internet access!
  26. Free parking at work!
  27. Any day that 66 is not backed up!i66traffic
  28. Clay’s joke of the day – they never cease to put a smile on my face in the mornings.
  29. My furbaby, despite the fact that when I rescued her, I did so under the belief that she was mute and calm. She is neither.
  30. Amazon Prime for catering to my procrastination.
  31. Hoverboards
  32. Bagel and Donut day as well as the fresh fruit provided by CC Pace.
  33. Being in a great location that minimizes my commute and affords many places to shop, eat and catch up on errands.
  34. Moral victories in Fantasy Football.
  35. The U. S. service men and women that protect our freedoms.usservice

In America there are an estimated 50 million pumpkin pies served on Thanksgiving Day each year!  After all, pie is the traditional dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, and that is something each employee at CC Pace knows very well.  Since the 1980s, CC Pace President, Mike Gordon has given each employee a pie for Thanksgiving to enjoy – and, not just any pie, but a pie from Mom’s Apple Pie Company.

Mom’s Apple Pie Company, based in Leesburg and Occoquan, Virginia is owned by Avis Renshaw and has been featured in Southern Living Magazine, Fox News, Chowhound.com and many other news outlets bringing the spotlight to their famous pies. Mike Gordon came upon Mom’s Apple Pie Company, many years ago when both businesses were located in the same complex. Since then, Mike has made it a tradition to provide a pie for each employee during the holiday season.

Over the years, it is estimated that CC Pace has purchased over 1,000 pies from Mom’s for our employees.  While pumpkin pie is the most popular pie across the nation, at our offices the Top 5 Pie Selections are:

  1. Wild Blueberry Crumb
  2. Pecan
  3. Butter Pecan Apple Crumb
  4. Chocolate Meringue
  5. Bourbon Walnut

So it appears, the taste buds at CC Pace are quite a bit sweeter than what a pumpkin pie delivers. Although, maybe the question we should be asking is, why aren’t CC Pace employees ordering this Thanksgiving staple? How many employees are choosing to bake their own pumpkin pies? Those are some questions we will need to explore for next year’s Thanksgiving blog!

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It is said that the President of the United States is the most sought-after interview subject in the world. However, there’s another president just outside of the DC border (in Fairfax, Virginia to be exact) who may feel like a close second, as he’s had quite the interview agenda recently. Earlier this month, the #1 business radio show in the country, Executive Leaders Radio, sat down with CC Pace’s President, Mike Gordon, for an exclusive interview. We recently did the same, and while we may have asked different questions, both interviews unveiled unique and surprising facts about Mike and what it takes to be president… of CC Pace.

So, who is Mike Gordon, really? We asked Mike for 10 minutes where we threw random and fun questions his way to help us gain some insight on our leader. Always a good sport, here are his responses:

How old were you when you got your first real paying job? What was the job?  I was about 10 years old, and I took over a friend’s paper route delivering the Wilmington Morning News. 

Who is CC Pace and how often do people ask you that?  Occasionally someone asks me who CC Pace is, but more often the question I get (at least a couple of times a month) is where did the name CC Pace come from.  There is no person named CC Pace. I am happy to share the evolutionary story of how the name CC Pace came to being with anyone who has the time.

Describe your first sale/customer?  The first customer that I supported coming out of college was the Department of Energy (DOE), which was our largest client at the time.  The country had recently gone through an energy crisis with gasoline shortages and the DOE wanted to be better equipped to handle a similar situation, should it occur in the future.  I built a very small system that allowed the federal government to capture gasoline inventories that would be reported by the states in the event that rationing was needed. To the best of my knowledge, the system was never actually used.

Describe the first customer you lost and why?  Ironically, I would say that the first customer that I lost was Freddie Mac.  I had been part of a CC Pace team that had worked on building MIDAS, Freddie Mac’s legacy system.  Over time, I was the only CC Pace person remaining on the project and I communicated to Freddie Mac that this was a sustainable model for us.  When nothing changed, a former director from Freddie Mac who had joined Fannie Mae asked me to bring a team over there to help redevelop Fannie’s systems which is what we did (Like MacArthur, I returned 4 years later).

Who was the first employee you ever hired?  I’m not sure.  Philippa Fewell (the current Managing Director of our Enterprise Solutions group) is the first person who I remember interviewing, but I was not the ultimate decision maker. Jane (Abdunnur) Dwight is the first person who I remember hiring to a management position, but I suspect that there may have been others who I hired before that.

How many hours of sleep do you get on average each night?  7 (I like to get 8 hours when I can), but invariably there are some nights I only get 5 hours or less.

What is the last book you read?  The Snowball:  Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

What is the last movie you saw in the theater?  American Sniper

How would you describe yourself in one word? Practical

Golf or Tennis?  If golf, what’s your best score?  Tennis in my youth, golf now.  Best golf score on a legitimate course is 78.

What is your favorite restaurant?  Villagio in Clifton, Virginia

What is the best piece of advice you ever got from one of your children?  Don’t sing in public!

Have you ever met anyone famous?  I have met a number of famous people, with the most impressive being Maya Angelou.  She was a long-time supporter of SOME (So Others Might Eat) and I met her at a private reception during one of their annual galas.  When she spoke, her words were so full of imagery, her messages were always so powerful, and her voice was more commanding than anyone else who I have ever heard in my life.

What is your favorite band?  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Thanks Mike, now we know the boss likes The Boss, can hold his own on the golf course, and has had a great work ethic since the young age of 10!

Want to learn more about Mike Gordon?  You can check out Mike’s segment on Executive Leaders Radio and hear how at the age of 16, he and his brother took over his family’s business – not realizing how much impact that one decision would have on shaping him into the leader he is today. Executive Leaders Radio is the #1 business weekly radio show in the country and is broadcast nationally to an audience of 7 million listeners.

The warm weather is upon us and if you haven’t already, now might be a good time to plan your summer vacation.  We surveyed the CC Pace staff about their favorite vacation destinations. The results range from the Jersey Shore to all the way across the pond.  Here, in no particular order, is a list of the “Top 11 Favorite Vacation Spots for the CC Pace Team” (10 just wasn’t enough):

  1. Ocean City, NJ – Two of our teammates enjoy the beach and boardwalk of the Jersey Shore. This beach offers so much to do from golfing to boating, and is also known to have great seafood!
  2. Newport Beach, CA – With West Coast roots, we have one employee who tries to make it back to this beautiful beach at least once a year.
  3. Hatteras, NC – With its gorgeous beaches and laid back feel, Hatteras is a great place to chill with family and friends.
  4. Block Island, RI – This small little island off the coast of Rhode Island is purely a hidden treasure. It has that charming New England feel along with great beaches, this gem is a must see!
  5. Tampa, FL – If you like to fish, this may be the perfect destination for you! Tampa also offers great food and the opportunity to experience some Cuban and Haitian culture.
  6. Virginia Beach, VA – Just a short drive away from life in Northern Virginia is Virginia Beach! This coastline city offers a great boardwalk and some wonderful restaurants.
  7. Home, Staycation – That’s right, those who travel during the week enjoy relaxing at home to decompress. But, if they had to jump on a plane, they would head straight to San Francisco, California – a fascinating city with something for everyone!
  8. Riviera Maya, Mexico – This adventurer likes to explore the Mayan ruins, zip line over the jungles, and do some underground kayaking!
  9. Lake Washington, WA – In the summer, this beautiful lake offers the perfect environment for relaxation. In the cold winter months, this employee likes to soak up some rays in Mexico.  Not only is it a nice break from the cold but you can land some great deals.
  10. Anywhere International – This world traveler likes to hit different places as much as possible. One favorite is Italy…Rome, Venice, Tuscany, truly a magnificent place worth visiting more than once!
  11. Bethany Beach, DE – Sun, surf, and pure relaxation. The sights and sounds of the beach offer a truly calming experience that is much needed during a vacation.

Whether your ideal vacation is full of action and adventure or total relaxation by the water, it is important to take time to de-stress and recharge.  Proven studies have shown that individuals who do not take vacation are less productive and can burnout much quicker than those employees that take a break.  So, now is the time to go explore, relax and make some memories!

CC Pace employees took a break from their busy schedules for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta! This “holiday” is not Mexican Independence Day as most Americans think.  Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16th.

It just wouldn’t be Cinco de Mayo without Margaritas and luckily our Staffing Director had a spare Margarita machine we were able to use.  The fiesta included authentic Mexican goodies brought in by our staff, including homemade Salsa Verde and Tres Leches Cake!

The event also incorporated some friendly competition during a Wii bowling challenge.  The winner will remain nameless, but their victory may be short lived as there is talk of a rematch in the near future.

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Hard to believe we are almost through the first quarter of 2015!  Since CC Pace likes to participate in at least one charitable event a quarter we have decided to give back to our four-legged friends.  Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization that provides adoption in the Virginia, DC, and Maryland area.  They find homes for dogs and cats that were rescued from high-kill animal shelters or whose owners could no longer care for them.

Meet Branson, he is 6 months old and amazingly sweet, he will roll over on his side and show you his belly at first meeting. He is a young boy who will melt your heart and wants nothing more than to find his forever home. Branson is just one of many adorable animals that Homeward Trails has available for adoption.

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The CC Pace team pulled together and we were able to gather various items to help support this organization’s efforts.  There was even talk of a possible adoption.

For more information about Homeward Trails and their mission you can go to http://www.homewardtrails.org/.

Before heading down to Ruth’s Chris for our Annual Winter Party, CC Pace President Mike Gordon spoke at our corporate staff meeting and rolled out our business plan and new initiatives for 2015.  Our corporate staff meetings give us an opportunity to bring employees together from our main office and various client sites to share what is going on with CC Pace and provides a great time to catch up with colleagues.

Immediately following our Staff Meeting, we headed downstairs to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, conveniently located on the first floor of our building.  Our Annual Winter Party is a rich tradition that began at CC Pace years ago.  We once held our parties in December, renting out ballrooms at local hotels and other venues for the event.  One year, a hotel lost our reservation and we had to hold the party in later months.  The holidays are a very busy time of year and we found that having the party in the first quarter of the New Year actually served us well.  Generally, there is less going on during this time of year and things are less hectic and we found that people enjoyed the new timeframe and we had higher attendance as a result.

Big hits at this year’s party included seared tuna, beef tenderloin, sliders, and a great selection of decadent desserts!    It was a great evening to share with employees and their spouses.  The planning was done by our very own Staffing Manager, Laura Campbell, who did a great job of organizing the event.  We are already counting the days until next year’s party!

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Mike Gordon addresses the company during our staff meeting

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Jason and Clay kicking off our annual party!

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Everyone enjoyed great food and conversation!

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This is typically the time of year that everyone is recovering from the holidays, not only financially but physically.  On average individuals can gain from 1-3 lbs. over the holiday season.  That might not seem like much but over time this can add up quickly and is considered a major contributor to obesity later in life.  Making even the smallest adjustments can make a huge impact when you are trying to get back into shape, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from your destination, both can help you get in a few extra steps.  Eating breakfast is also an important step you can take to maximize your weight loss.  Researchers at The National Weight Control Registry found that individuals who ate breakfast every morning were not only able to lose weight quicker but also able to maintain the loss for at least a year and some as long as six years.

As part of the CC Pace Health and Wellness initiative we have started offering our employees healthy snacks and fruit to enjoy throughout the day.  We have also put up a Health and Wellness bulletin board in our kitchen that lists some helpful tips about staying healthy, eating right and reducing stress.  The HR department is busy looking into many possible events for the upcoming year such as, guest speakers, healthy pot lucks, and some contests to inspire some friendly competition.

We want to make it fun and easy for our employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Making just a few adjustments can help you get back on track; after all, summer is right around the corner!