Our Annual Breakfast

Today we celebrated our annual employee appreciation breakfast, a day I look forward to every year. This tradition goes back years. . . I’m not sure when we started it. We did things a little differently this year. Typically, the corporate team members cook breakfast for all the employees, with different teams assigned to different shifts throughout the morning. This year, since we’d also scheduled our monthly Innovation Day for today, we needed to have everyone eat together in about an hour, so we could move on to our innovation projects.

That meant that we couldn’t spend all morning cooking, so we ended up catering the breakfast. So instead of cooking breakfast, the corporate team members mingled and chatted with everyone, trying to make sure we thanked everyone there for everything they do. It was nice to have everyone together in one room—and the food was fabulous! So I’m pretty sure no one minded the change.

Our theme for the event was “You make a difference,” and I loved the way our HR team used that theme in the decoration. There was a framed mirror at the first table, so employees would see themselves as they picked up plates, napkins, and silverware, and in the frame were the words, “You make a difference.” And that same theme played out throughout the atrium. . . . wonderful message!

I also present our Heart of Stampin’ Up! recipients at this activity, and I did that this morning as well. There were five all together (three at the home office and two at Kanab—I’ll present those awards tomorrow at our breakfast there), more than we’ve had before!

These employees are nominated by their colleagues and coworkers, who share why they think certain employees exemplify our Statement of the Heart. Of course, we have so many Stampin’ Up! employees who deserve this award . . . so many amazing people who give and serve and care. I always look forward to the opportunity, however, to officially recognize a few of our finest.

This year, our home office recipients of the Heart of Stampin’ Up! award were Mary Ramirez, Brian Pilling, and Claudia Dall. Congratulations! (Brian is out of town, so I didn't get a picture with him. . . )

After announcing these winners, I gave the mic to Rich, who had said he wanted to kick off Innovation Day with a few remarks. I was totally taken by surprise, when instead of talking about Innovation Day, he said that dozens of our employees had actually submitted my name as a Heart of Stampin’ Up! nominee, even though they knew I would never choose myself. He read some excerpts from some of the letters (which they had taken out of the pile of letters that were given to me) and had me come up, crying like a baby, while everyone stood and clapped. I was overwhelmed and so touched!

I work with wonderful people, and I was grateful that today I was able to express my appreciation for them—and it felt nice to be appreciated as well!