The holidays are upon us and everywhere you turn celebration is in full effect. Here at Flow Tech we’re no different than everyone else. When we’re not selling or servicing HVAC systems we like to eat, drink & be merry. Luckily, we have an owner who believes in the “work hard, play hard” mindset. Every year since he purchased Flow Tech Rich Harper and his wife Patti have thrown the employees and their guests a holiday party to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments and to thank everyone for their hard work.
Typically a venue is selected and the party is hosted at the same location for two years in a row. This year was the first year at a new venue and Baci Grill in Cromwell, CT was selected. Due to the party’s size and needs the Bella Mar private room was most appropriate. The room featured a beautiful and seasonally-appropriate fireplace, which not only created a cozy ambiance, but served as a perfect way to display the party favors.
Stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that the guests would soon be there.
Each year a different way to assign seats is used. The thought is to provide everyone with an opportunity to sit next to someone different and get to know them a little better. Traditional place cards with table numbers was the method for seating assignments this year. Guests began to arrive and hors d’ oeuvres and drinks were passed around as they mingled during cocktail hour. Everyone took their seat for dinner as a delicious tossed salad and rustic warm rolls were served. Wait staff went around to check everyone’s meal choice making sure those who ordered the grilled filet mignon received their preferred temperature. The other meal selections were a tower of eggplant, roasted red peppers, spinach and cheese served over penne, and honey glazed balsamic chicken breast.
After dinner cordials, coffee and dessert was served. Guests had their choice between a chocolate mouse cake or apple tort cake – both were absolutely delicious. Keeping with tradition Rich performed for everyone. He usually incorporates the employees and their job roles into a song, poem or rap. Some years he’s replaced the lyrics of popular Christmas music, another year he switched up the words of the Night Before Christmas. No matter what he creates it is quite impressive and hilarious! This year Rich switched it up a bit and recited a poem, but more about the spouses/dates of the employees instead of it being about the employees themselves. He approached it from the “they’re so great at work because of their partner at home.” It was very special and rather funny too.
After a few more drinks and a lot more laughs the party had come to an end. Guests took their party favors on their way out. This year the favors were wine glass charms handmade by one of Flow Tech’s own, Nichole Petersen. It was definitely a magical and fun night!
The holiday party has been a Flow Tech tradition since 1998, however last year we started a new tradition – the Flow Tech Holiday Grab Bag. Also known as a Yankee Swap, each participant brings a wrapped gift to contribute (a dollar amount is determined a head of time). From there they select a number for the order in which they pick the gift. When its your turn you can pick whatever unopened gift you want and open it. You can decide if you’re happy with the gift and want to keep it, or if you want to switch it with someone’s gift who went before you. Number 1 is the best number to select because you get to start off the gift choosing, but also get to make the final decision once all the gifts have been selected and opened.
This year we had our grab bag on Thursday, December 17th. We had 8 people participate in the grab bag, but others came to watch and enjoy the fun event. Marketing Director Nichole and Office Manager Kim made some food and cookies to share. Holiday spirits were also enjoyed during the event.
Rich was lucky enough to select number 1 and ended up with a very thoughtful gift. His gift’s theme was centered around Flow Tech’s home town of South Windsor. It included popcorn kernels grown on a farm right down the road as well as a gift card to the local Dairy Queen. Other gifts included wine, chocolate and candles. Mike Davis definitely got the most jazzed up about his gift. He ended up with the gift he purchased a Pyle Handset telephone. It allows you to use apps and features on your phone while talking on it without having to be on speaker.
It truly is a magical time of year. It’s wonderful to be able to have some fun in and out-of-the-office with co-workers. From our work family to yours we wish you a very happy holiday season and a successful new year!