Survey says: Holiday Season Favorites!
The holiday season brings with it a flurry of fun activities, things like, gatherings with family or friends, taking part in treasured traditions and eating special dishes (there is always so much food!). With all those things in mind we have decided to kick off the holiday season with a festive and fun blog where we surveyed the CC Pace team to find out what they enjoy most during this time of year. So, without further ado, here’s a little insight on what our team enjoys most about the holidays:
What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Stuffing was the #1 answer with 49% of CC Pacers in agreement! Looks like we have a lot of carb lovers, and they like a variety of stuffing. The answers varied from “inside stuffing” to “chestnut stuffing” to “cornbread stuffing” and just the classic “stuffing”. So, let’s hear it for stuffing!!
Which outdoor winter activity do you enjoy most?
- Building a snowman – 5%
- Skiing, Snow Tubing and/or Sledding – 40%
- Shoveling snow – 0% (hey, some people like shoveling snow – right?!)
- None, I like to stay inside and watch the snow from there – 55%
Apparently, staying cozy and warm inside is the priority for most of our team on a snowy day! Speaking of snow, here’s an interesting fact for those who live in the DC area: this year local forecasters are calling for a total snowfall of 10-16 inches inside the beltway, and 15-25 inches outside. Let’s all look back here in April and see how well their predictions held up!
What is your favorite holiday movie?
When it comes time to sit back and relax our team clearly goes for the comedies, with Love Actually and Christmas Vacation tying for the #1 favorite holiday movie, to which we can only say “yes, please”!
Which method do you prefer for holiday shopping?
- Shopping online – Amazon Prime all the way! – 68%
- Going to mall – I like the hustle and bustle of the crowds and grabbing my Starbucks! – 32%
Do you have a charitable organization or volunteering opportunity that you like to attend/favor during the holidays? If so, which one?
Our employees are very generous year-round, and this season is no different. Here are the Top 5 charity organizations they will be supporting during the holidays:
- Toys for Tots seems to be the most popular charity at this time of year amongst our team. That is great news for us since this year CC Pace is again participating as a collection center for the Marine Toys for Tots Program. Toys for Tots was started in 1947 and distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually. All are welcome to drop off toys at our headquarters through December 13th!
- Wreaths Across America
- SOME (So Others Might Eat)
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Tie – several local shelters and children’s charities.
Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate by a landslide – 75%.
What is your favorite Christmas carol or holiday song?
All I Want for Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey, was released in 1994 and quickly rose to the top of the charts; it is the most downloaded Christmas song of all time. Ms. Carey said when recording this song that she wanted to create a classic, and that she certainly has accomplished!
From CC Pace to all of you, have a happy holiday season full of good cheer and best wishes for the new year!
For CC Pace’s 2nd quarter community outreach event, we collected personal care items in support of the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter (KHFS). KHFS is located in Fairfax, right around the corner from our office!
Thanks to everyone who participated. We were able to collect and put together “Care Kits” for 15-20 children, 10-12 women and 10-12 men. These Care Kits were comprised of items such as tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a tooth brush. These items will go to the families and individuals in need at the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter.
KHFS opened in 2007 and was the first emergency shelter in Fairfax County to adopt a rapid re-housing approach – an approach that was so successful, it has been incorporated into all emergency shelters in Fairfax County. Currently, KHFS houses 72 people, 45 of which are children. KHFS is part of the Shelter House organization.
Shelter House is a community-based, non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, safe housing, and supportive services to homeless families and victims of domestic violence in our community. Shelter House was formed in 1981 as a grassroots responder to the homelessness crisis in Fairfax County. Shelter House is comprised of 3 emergency shelters: the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter, Artemis House and the Patrick Henry Family Shelter.
In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served over 2,300 individuals, more than half of which were children. Of the families that exit Shelter House, nearly 70% move to permanent housing.
Thank you to everyone for your support and participation!
If you would like to learn more about Katherine K. Hanley or Shelter House, follow the link below:
Giving back to our communities is important to CC Pace and we believe it is essential for us to involve ourselves as an organization and as individuals, to contribute to making our communities a better place to live and in helping others when there is a need. People give back in many different ways, such as making monetary donations, giving their time to volunteer at a local school or event or fundraising for a cause.
When we asked our employees to tell us about what organizations they support, we were overwhelmed with their responses and all they have accomplished. We have highlighted a few of them, and the great causes, organizations, and charitable programs they support.
Dorian – American Red Cross
Dorian gives blood at the American Red Cross on a regular basis. After having close friends with cancer who needed blood transfusions and her own experience needing a blood transfusion, she realizes how fortunate we are to have access to a potential lifesaving blood supply.
Ron – Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, State Prisons and Federal Prisons
Ron, since the 1980s, has performed volunteer work in local jails and State and Federal prisons. Through these efforts, he has worked with serious and violent criminals. He volunteers on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Debbie – Fairfax County Animal Shelter
Debbie, through donor and volunteer support, provides food, supplies and more to help the shelter care for these loving animals. More than 5,000 pets, including cats, dogs, small mammals, reptiles and livestock, come to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter each year.
Jeff – Youth Mentor and Miriam’s Kitchen
Jeff volunteers as a mentor to two 5th grade boys at a local elementary school which has 70% reduced and free lunch. He gives them support, guidance and friendship. Jeff also volunteers at Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington DC. Previously, he volunteered weekly for about four years in the Case Management group working with individuals to ensure they had access to basic needs. He currently serves as a sub to the group as needed.
Dawne – Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC)
Dawne volunteers and has supported the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) for many years, through various initiatives including; the LCAC thrift store, warm coat drive, holiday food baskets, conducting food drives for their food pantry and the school backpacks for kids’ program.
Keith – MicroMentor and Umps Care
Keith is active in several organizations where he works as a mentor, consultant and board member. For ten years, he has focused on channeling his business skills and knowledge to help individuals (via kids and entrepreneurs) achieve new levels of personal success. While each of these organizations and others Keith has worked with are unique in their offerings, all of them have been very rewarding to him, regardless of the challenges.
Mike – SOME (So Other’s Might Eat)
Mike is a Corporate Advisory Board member who provides guidance and support to SOME’s management. He attends and sponsors their Annual Gala, occasionally serves meals at their dining hall, and participates in other initiatives to provide clothing and other goods to help the homeless.
Collectively, our employees support more than 40 charitable organizations. Many of them also take on active and leadership roles in their churches, local schools, children’s sports teams/associations and their communities on a regular basis. A sample list of some of the national charities our employees support include:
- American Cancer Society
- American Heart Association
- American Red Cross
- Boy Scouts of America
- Catholic Charities USA
- Habitat for Humanity
- JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
- Lupus Foundation of America
- Make A Wish Foundation of America
- Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
- Salvation Army
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Wounded Warrior Project
Whatever an individual chooses to do, no matter the size of the donation or the means by which they choose to volunteer – they in turn make a difference for the greater good of a community or cause. And, that is what giving back is really all about! Thank you, CC Pacers, for all you do!
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.
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!
In a business world where people are always moving on to new opportunities, what makes someone stay with one company? What makes you say, ‘I think I want to learn and grow with this company’?
This year CC Pace celebrates the 5 year anniversary of two employees, Jenna Bayer and Ashok Komaragiri. Jenna is our Corporate Marketing Manager and Ashok is a Technical Consultant in our Enterprise Solutions practice. CC Pace President, Mike Gordon, recognized both at our Staff Meeting in March 2015. He spoke about each regarding their accomplishments and how they have grown over their tenure with the company. Mike then presented them each a service award and the traditional CC Pace gag gift. We wanted to find out from Jenna and Ashok what drew them to our organization, what have they learned here and what do they see in their futures at CC Pace.
Why did you chose to join CC Pace?
JENNA: Ultimately, I was drawn to the culture of CC Pace. I liked the work-life balance they offered and the fact that there were a number of employees who had been there for a decade or longer. At the time of my hiring, I believe the average tenure was around 11 years. To me, that said there were opportunities for growth and indicated that CC Pace must be a great place to work to have such a low level of turnover.
ASHOK: I first heard of CC Pace from a friend of mine who had worked with them very closely on one of their earlier projects. He spoke very highly about the standards set by CC Pace on that project, and the technical skill set they brought with them to the table. My friend mentioned how without ever losing focus on the client’s needs, the CC Pace team always delivered efficient solutions to complex problems. The fact that they were also at the forefront in using Agile Software Development Methodologies greatly caught my attention. When I was looking for a new opportunity, I was very fortunate that my friend could refer me to CC Pace.
What have you learned while at CC Pace?
JENNA: I’ve learned so much in my 5 years, but I think the most impactful lesson I’ve learned is to not be afraid to take risks or make mistakes. Having the freedom and support from upper management to try things out and really be able to figure out what works, (along with what doesn’t) has taught me more than if I had it all spelled out for me.
ASHOK: The most valuable skills I have learned are the practical application of Agile Methodologies combined with Engineering Practices like Test Driven Development (TDD) and Extreme Programing (XP).
What is one of your most memorable moments?
JENNA: It’s hard to pick just one, but October 2013 when our new website launched was definitely a highlight. It was my first time working on a large marketing project and I was so excited to be a part of it. It was a much larger project than anticipated, but I learned a great deal and it was a lot of fun to see the final product!
ASHOK: The most memorable moment for me so far has to be when we went live with both the Student Tracker for High Schools Rewrite, and the Student Matching applications at the National Student Clearinghouse. It was very gratifying to hear from a client how we greatly improved their productivity and what used to take them a month to process now takes only a few hours. In our world that is a huge success!
What are one or two of your future professional goals that you would like to achieve while working at CC Pace?
JENNA: I’d definitely like to see our blog readership take off (shameless plug: if you haven’t subscribed, now would be a great time to do so!) and I am looking forward to being a part of increasing our marketing efforts.
ASHOK: Personally, I look forward to continue to deliver quality projects by always focusing on clients’ needs and adhering to Agile Principles.
As we look forward to seeing what these two accomplished individuals bring to their futures here at CC Pace, we see that having a work environment that encourages growth and learning are strong factors in why employees make the decision to stay.
The answer: CC Pace Technical Consultant, Christopher Soule! Each year, members of the Fairfax County community are named “Lords” or “Ladies” Fairfax, an honor presented to individuals based on community service and leadership. These honorees are named by Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and receive their awards at the start of “Fair Week” each June.
Chris received this award because of his exceptional community service! He has spent close to a decade as the President of the Jefferson Manor Citizens Association, one of the largest and most active civic associations in the Lee District. In addition, Chris was named chair of the Lee District Association of Civic Organizations (LDACO). He also represents the LDACO at the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.
Chris said he has always had an interest in politics and government. That interest led him to the board of the Jefferson Manor Citizens Association back into 2005. The association acted not only as a community building tool within the neighborhood, but as a bridge with the local elected officials at the county and state level.
If Chris is not busy enough, there is even more on his plate. As a long-time resident of the Route One Corridor, he is dedicated to revitalizing the area. Chris recently joined the Board of Directors for the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC), a nonprofit economic development organization that promotes redeveloping and revitalizing the Richmond Highway corridor from the beltway to Fort Belvoir. As a board member with years of experience in the civic association world, Chris has had a front row seat to how contentious redevelopment can be. He knows it can be easy to lose track of the daily life experiences of communities when redevelopment happens. Chris hopes working with business owners, developers, and local residents that the Route One corridor revitalization efforts will be understood by all sides throughout the process.
Chris will receive his “Lord Fairfax” award during the Celebrate Fairfax fair being held June 5-7. Now the big decision, should he or should he not add “Lord” to his business card?
You can read more about the “Lord” and “Ladies” Fairfax awards at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2015/may/20/lord-and-lady-fairfax-crowned/
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.
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/.
Keeping with the giving spirit of the holidays, CC Pace has decided to partner with our neighboring tenant AAA and participate in Toys for Tots. CC Pace tries to give back to the community whenever possible and participates in several charitable events throughout the year. This time of year in particular is a great time to remember those that are less fortunate. Toys for Tots is a well-known charity that provides gifts to less fortunate children in the community. The goal of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves is to ensure no child goes without experiencing the joy of Christmas while also bringing a community together to send a message of hope to these children that will help groom them to become caring and productive members of society. Together, with AAA, we were able to collect over 5 large boxes of toys for some much deserving children. To find out more about Toys for Tots, visit their website here.
In 1970, Father Horace McKenna, S.J. and an interfaith group of priests, ministers, and lay persons founded So Others Might Eat (SOME) to offer food, clothing and health care to the poor and homeless. CC Pace has long been a supporter of this exceptional organization; and, CC Pace President, Mike Gordon has been a member of the SOME Corporate Advisory Board for fifteen years.
Each year SOME holds their Annual Dinner Gala and Silent Auction to raise funds for a specific need of the organization. This year’s funds will benefit SOME’s Capital Campaign to develop a site on Benning Road in DC that will include housing, job training, offices, retail space and a medical clinic. This year’s event was held November 22nd at the National Building Museum with 850 attendees. The evening was full of a very giving spirit with gracious donors and praise for all the important work being done by SOME. The entire event and silent auction resulted in approximately $1,000,000 of donations.
Highlights of the evening included a touching film featuring Dr. Maya Angelou; and, a tribute to her generous support and contributions to SOME over the years. Each year SOME recognizes members of the community for their outstanding contributions and support with the SOME McKenna Humanitarians of the Year award, this year’s recipients were Ed and Kathleen Quinn. Ed Quinn is the CEO of TW Perry.
Pictured here are CC Pace President, Mike Gordon, his wife Tracy and SOME President, Father John Adams who has directed SOME for more than 35 years.
CC Pace employees recently participated in Operation Gratitude, a program where Halloween Candy, Dental Hygiene items and cards and letters are collected and care packages are sent to the troops.
This year’s program was a great success!
We collected a whopping 37lbs of candy, many toothbrushes, various containers of toothpaste and dental floss and numerous letters and pictures for the troops!
We thank all who contributed and thank all of those that are currently serving and have served our country. Learn more about Operation Gratitude at https://www.operationgratitude.com/.