Every summer for the last decade, SPEAR has gathered team members from every office for our annual Picnic in the Park, a day of bonding and excitement in New York City’s Central Park.
This year’s Picnic on July 21st did not disappoint! Employees came together for fun, games and off the charts team building that reminded everyone what it means to be part of the SPEAR family.
The anticipation throughout the clinics leading up to this event is palpable, with everyone ready to bring their A-game to any challenge placed in front of them. Beginning with SPEAR-IT Week, each location participated in a daily photo competition on social media, bringing forth their most creative interpretations of themes like Music Festival Monday and Fat Tuesday.
SPEAR Penn Plaza getting into the Mardi Gras SPEAR-IT on Fat Tuesday
All of this lead up to the big events starting Friday afternoon, first with a truly wacky Scavenger Hunt starting from each team’s respective location to Central Park. The Picnic planning committee put real thought into having people step out of their comfort zones with every task on their list. They had to leap frog down Fifth Avenue, start a dance party on a subway car and take a picture with a group of tourists using their own camera, among many other fantastically fun things. The SPEAR-IT Week events culminated in an epic Lip Sync Battle (57th Street “put a ring on it” and the judges said YES…to them winning) and the beloved Egg Toss with Dan and Ryan taking the cake yet again and making it a 3-peat as reigning champs.
Egg Toss champs 3 years in a row – Dan Rootenberg & Ryan Kitzen
When all was said and done, Penn Plaza accumulated the most points and were crowned SPEAR-IT week champions!
2017 Picnic in the Park Champions, the Penn Plaza Panthers, celebrate with the coveted Picnic in the Park trophy!
The SPEAR Team Gets Thrown a Curveball
The final event of the day, the highly anticipated Relay Race, was shaken from the core when Sara Hovsepian, Revenue Cycle Director and head of the Picnic in the Park committee, announced that all of the offices would be divided up randomly into eight teams represented by colors. Introducing, SPEAR’s first ever…Color War.
Suddenly team members from all of SPEAR’s 15 locations were thrust into a team with colleagues they’d never met before, initiating each other with colored face powder. Spontaneously they started creating team chants, strategizing and supporting one another as if they’d known each other for years. In the end, the Red Team came up victorious, led by SPEAR’s CEO and Co-Founder, Dan Rootenberg.
Hovsepian was blown away by what she witnessed that day, saying “This relay race was really challenging in more ways than one. There were high volume burpees, air squats and sit-ups, and everyone had to do at least one rep. No one could take a back seat. We wanted people to be uncomfortable; great things happen when you’re uncomfortable. To see everyone rallying together, yelling and cheering for their new teammates, most of whom they’d just met, was incredible”.
In the heat of the Relay Race, the “Red” team cheers on their teammates through an intense round of burpees.
The newest members of the SPEAR team, in particular, expressed how meaningful this new color challenge was for them—to be initiated into the SPEAR culture by some of our veterans, and to feel first-hand the one-ness of the SPEAR team.
Hovesepian went on to say, “This latest picnic was a tribute to the amazing people that make up the SPEAR team, and to how choosing great individuals translates into superior experiences not only for our patients, but for each other as well. We are always looking for people that enjoy making a human connection. They make better partners, friends and co-workers, and do a better service to our patients”.
Team SPEAR-IT in action!