Garver goes big with Summit 2023
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Garver Summit. Once a quarterly breakfast, then an annual meeting, and now an annual themed event including a firm-wide expo, an awards show, and more, Summit has grown as Garver has grown. Every year, the celebration expands and breaks the previous year’s record, as all Garver full-time employees are invited.
As the number of attendees increases, there’s more and more to celebrate. This year, we again celebrated being named the Zweig Group #1 Best Firm to Work For. This year also saw Garver break into the top 100 of ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms list, coming in at #96. And the Garver footprint continued to expand, with new offices opening in Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Colorado.
Summit is a big part of how the firm honors the everyday project successes, innovations, and personal dedication that make it a trusted advisor and community partner - all the things that lead to the recognition, standing, and growth Garver has achieved this year and in years past. It’s an investment in the firm’s people and people-centric culture. And it’s a lot of fun.
Held in Grapevine, Texas, at the magnificent Gaylord Texan, Summit 2023 began with a dinner honoring employees who had been nominated for a Garvy or Spirit of Garver award. In addition to dinner at the Glass Cactus, a lakefront nightclub on the Gaylord property, employees played a round of putt-putt as part of the Masters Golf Tournament themed evening.
Activities the following day included a firm-wide Expo. Teams from Garver’s business lines, office support groups, and Office of the Year (OOTY) nominees filled 26,921 square feet with interactive games and creative displays that spread the word about the services different teams offer. Highlights included a giant Hungry Hippos inflatable, hosted by OOTY nominee the downtown Dallas office; a voluntary employee head shaving to raise money for Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, hosted by OOTY winners the Georgetown/Austin office; a cart race, hosted by Garver Transportation; a Velcro ax throw, hosted by the Legal Team; and a Barbie-themed Human Resources booth, just to name a few.
That evening, Garver employees dressed as musical icons and attended the Garvy awards at the Toyota Music Factory. Leadership kicked off the dynamic, MTV-inspired show, with Garver CEO Brock Hoskins and COO Michael Graves appearing as country music greats Brooks & Dunn. Individuals and teams received firm-wide recognition for their hard work and success over the past year, and Hoskins and Graves shared information about the firm’s performance and future goals.
The next morning, employees participated in either a Texas two-mile fun run around the Gaylord, a yoga session on a balcony overlooking Grapevine Lake at the Glass Cactus, or a GarverGives and Texas Music Project sponsored concert. A truly unique GarverGives event, the concert featured young musical artists and was recorded so that it could be streamed directly to hospitalized children across the state.
After team lunches, Summit concluded. Overall, it was 48 hours dedicated to what makes Garver a great firm to work for: Garver’s people.
Investing in the time, effort, and creative energy to bring employees across the firm’s 18-state, 49-office footprint together is an investment in keeping the firm united and connected. It’s also one powerful way that Garver continues to create a culture of valuing and respecting employees.