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20th Anniversary Celebration/Reunion Reflection

Michael Darden


In this blog post I look to explain my feelings around Interactive Advantage's 20th Anniversary and what it means to me to be apart of this company as a new employee.

            When starting a new job it is expected that you will go through a learning process. You learn about your responsibilities, day-to-day operations, your co-workers, the company itself, and much more. During that time it is important to be like a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge as you can from those around you. As a new employee here at Interactive Advantage, I have been that sponge the last two months. I have learned what e-learning and instructional design is. I have learned the importance of having a plan and executing it and what all goes in to delivering a project on time. I’ve learned the importance of tracking leads and potentials and ensuring that they are followed up with regularly in order to secure projects. I’ve learned the importance of understanding the service that you provide in order to field customer questions and concerns. These are all things I expected to learn along the way. What I didn’t expect was to learn so much about the quality of people that I work with on a day-to-day basis this early.

            It really came to light last week when we hosted our 20th anniversary celebration and reunion. The atmosphere in the room where we held our event was indescribable. Everywhere I looked I saw smiling faces or heard people laughing as they reminisced on the “good ole days”. People were hugging those they had not seen or heard from in some time and rushing to sit down and catch up. Seeing the energy and pure joy that old co-workers showed for seeing each other really stood out to me. The feeling in the room was much more of a reunion of old friends than one of old co-workers.

            As someone who has only worked here briefly, I felt a sense of comfortability and acceptance amongst those at the celebration that I was not expecting. I had multiple conversations with people from the early years of IAC who told me stories of when the company started in the basement and how happy they are to have been a part of it. There were several people who talked about the impact that IAC had on their lives. There were also those that talked about how they considered themselves lucky to have been a part of the last 20 years and that they take great pride in Interactive Advantage reaching this milestone.

            By the end of the celebration a smile was permanently slapped on my face. It just wouldn’t go away. I felt a sense of pride in my company that I hadn’t yet experienced. Even as I sit here and write this I have a smile on my face thinking about how proud I am to be a member of this awesome company. I feel blessed to work with such amazing people who genuinely enjoy what they do. I work in an office that is filled with laughter and positive energy. It is no surprise to me that we have made it 20 years in business and wouldn’t surprise me if we make it 20 more. It’s one thing to be successful; it is another thing to impact those around you positively through your success. 

Here is some of the feedback we got regarding the reunion:

"Thanks again for such a nice, thoughtful get together.  My family really enjoyed it and it was great to see everyone. I look forward to working with you and making more memories." - CC

"That was a lovely celebration. We met some interesting people and had a great time. Thanks for thinking of us. Congratulations again on the milestone!" - PS

"Thank you for a great event. We had an awesome time and really enjoyed the venue!" – MD