Nestlé Purina’s Veterinary Team traditionally incorporates team building activities into its annual meeting. But this year, planners found a way to raise their event to a higher level by adding a charitable component.
Vet Team members built 12 bicycles for a local youth charity during the meeting, held the week of Oct. 25 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“This was the first time our team building activity was charity-based, and it turned out to be a high-energy, fun event,” says Becky Tierce, Veterinary Sales Consultant and a member of the meeting planning committee. “The feedback has been super positive. The charity component made it more meaningful to people.”
With assistance from an outside company, the 120 associates in attendance were divided into 12 teams that competed in team building exercises to earn bicycle parts. Activities included finding ways to balance 10 nails on the head of one nail, and building a tower taller than the tallest team member using just balloons and tape.
After the parts had been won, the teams constructed their bikes – six for boys and six for girls, all for children between the ages of 7 and 11.
“We decorated the bikes and made cards for the kids who would be receiving them,” Becky says. “This was the kind of project that gives you warm fuzzies. Everyone totally got into it, especially in decorating the bikes. The competitive spirit of our group really showed.”
Through a partnership with the Broward County (Fla.) Veterinary Medical Association (VMA), the Vet Team donated the bicycles to a local charity, “Kids in Distress.”
“Our customers are veterinarians, and we’re always looking for ways to forge a deeper relationship with them,” Becky says. “The president and treasurer of the VMA came to our event, as did a representative for ‘Kids in Distress.’”
“This was a great community service effort,” adds Paul Converse, Vice President and Managing Director, Veterinary Sales. “Our associates took a team building idea and grew it into something that mirrored the best of Purina’s culture.”
In addition to Becky, the planning team consisted of Brett Wright, Region Manager, Veterinary Sales and team leader; Elaina Goldsmith, Veterinary Communications Manager; Kristine Costello, Manager, Vet Digital Communications; Donna Murphy, Veterinary Sales Consultant; Susan Miller, Veterinary Sales Consultant; and Dena Stanley, Administrative Assistant, Marketing.