Wells Gray Tours Annual Retreat – A Gathering of Minds
We recently held our annual staff retreat. With five offices in BC and 5 Tours Directors out on the road in various parts of the world, it takes considerable planning to gather us all together in one location but it’s well worth it. Bringing everyone together annually provides insight into the challenges encountered in our different positions and creates new understanding, new ideas and the ability to share solutions. It removes us from the office environment and our daily work providing a fresh atmosphere where we can maximize productivity and look at our work with a fresh perspective.
While we do meet weekly on a live internet conference call to address any questions or convey company information, there is nothing that can replace the importance of meeting your colleagues face to face and developing relationships on a personal level. Retreat days are filled with training on various topics, team building exercises and tour planning. The highlight of our annual retreat is the planning stage for new travel destination ideas. Everyone is asked throughout the year to make notes of the destinations our customers share with each office or tour director. Look for lots of new tour destinations in the coming months!
At the end of each day, we celebrate over delicious food and enjoy an evening activity. This year Saturday evening’s highpoint was a bonfire complete with S’mores and a sing along; a step back in time for me to my childhood days as a Girl Scout and camping trips with my parents.
The staff retreat this year was also the perfect opportunity to honour long time employee Wendy Syms’ retirement. Wendy has been with Wells Gray Tours for 20 + years as our Reservations Manger. Wendy’s last day with us will be April 26th, the day of the Kamloops Appreciation Tea. We hope that those of you who live in Kamloops will stop by to wish Wendy well on her retirement. On the morning of April 27th Wendy will board a Wells Gray Tours bus to be whisked away on our Panama Canal Cruise to celebrate this new chapter in her life.
This was the first retreat for our newest team member Marnie Davis-Schaak. Marnie started with Wells Gray Tours in the fall of 2015 to fill the maternity leave for General Manager, Stephanie Dilling. Marnie will now take on a permanent position as the Reservations Manager.
Left to Right: Wendy Syms and Marnie Davis-Schaak
I cannot write this without expressing gratitude from our entire staff to Stephanie Dilling for organizing all of the components of the weekend and to the South Thompson Inn in Kamloops for doing such an amazing job hosting all of us.
We are looking forward to seeing you at our Annual Appreciations Teas.
Written by: Joan Niemeier