Grovelands day 2011: the official report

The second annual Grovelands day has arrived. Directors David Leen and Mark Davies spoke about our achievements and future plans.

The invitations had been sent. The red carpet had been rolled out. The paparazzi were polishing their biggest camera lenses and the world waited with baited breath for the second annual Grovelands day. Okay, so this may be a slight exaggeration, but the atmosphere in the Grovelands office on the 8th September was not far off this level of excitement.

For those of you that are new to our blogs or to Grovelands in general, the first such day took place last year at Goodwood country club. Back then the Grovelands clan was a mere 15-strong, and the day was arranged to celebrate our first birthday. At the risk of patronising you all with basic mathematics, this year is our second birthday! We are bigger, we are better… and our second Grovelands day was set to be a suitably grand and marvellous event.

Those expected to deliver presentations paced the length of the office, wide-eyed and sweaty-palmed, mumbling a last-minute practice. Ella Tugwell dashed around frantically putting the final preparations in place (and she did a blinding job, it has to be said). Until finally it was time to leave and we all headed down to The Old Market with great anticipation.

The format of the day was roughly as follows; our directors David Leen and Mark Davies would lead the day, speaking about our achievements, plans for our future and the exciting directions they saw the company heading. The client managers from each department also all gave a short presentation (and the brevity of said presentations was rigorously enforced by David and his ‘Countdown’ timer). These presentations were also based on the future, but in more detail for each department. The creative genius never failed to amaze, with the most notable being Sam Jeffery managing to entirely base his Compliance, Audit and Assurance presentation around the Frank Sinatra song ‘New York, New York’ (I know! I didn’t see the connection before either… but now… no, no I still don’t).

Now, I know what you’re all thinking. You’re thinking that a day of presentations doesn’t sound much like a birthday party to you. You’re thinking that this doesn’t sound very much like the energetic, vibrant Grovelanders you know and love. Well, bear with me. Starting with the champagne reception, the day was absolutely jam-packed full of fun and amusements dotted throughout all the ‘serious stuff.’

An appropriate recognition needs to go out to each and every one of these and those that organised them. So… (takes deep breath) firstly I’d like to give a huge shout-out to my fellow members of the self-proclaimed ‘Team Embarrassment’ for the success of our version of George Michael’s ‘Faith’ – re-written to be a tribute to the finance team – performed live. Next I’d like to commend the simply brilliant videos and all the time that went into them – David Leen (and family) with his dazzling magic tricks, Kim and Nairi aka ‘Little Haters’ (featuring various members of the management team) and their spectacular version of Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ – performed live at the last minute due to technical difficulties, Shonagh and her violin skills and Jen the tap-dancing extraordinaire.  I’d like to show some appreciation for Mark Davies for spending a surprising amount of the day either juggling or teaching others to juggle (I’m not sure if this was planned… but it was great). And finally a big thank you to Laura Newton for keeping us thoroughly entertained (and cooled down) by some fantastic outdoor group-games throughout the day.

And as if this wasn’t enough to keep spirits high throughout the day we all got the chance to congratulate some of the many talented people in our midst as Ben Wilson and Hannah Moss announced various promotions. These were as follows; Reid Bailey, Sam Jeffery and Ashleigh Belgrave as official Client Managers, Shonagh Wardell as Organisational Development Manager, Ella Tugwell as Operations Manager, Laura Newton as Associate Care Manager, Laura Real as Legal and Compliance Manager and Toni Smith as Contract Compliance Manager.

And to end, I can’t possibly forget to mention that we all left with a brilliant memento of the day – a t-shirt that reads ‘I was there… Grovelands Day 2011.’ I think it’s fair to say that we all left The Old Market very proud to be Grovelanders and as we made our way through town towards an evening of merriment and pool we were all very confident that the future looks very bright for us all.

As Reid Bailey’s Risk team presentation put it (based imaginatively on the board game Risk) – it’s a game of global domination. Other financial recruiters -be afraid – be very afraid.

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