As a coordinator for a scholarship program, I have had the immense pleasure of working with Cliff Tobin and Jon Fox from Empowering Ventures, Inc. (EVI). Each year, our program takes 40 first-generation college freshmen on a “Leadership Retreat,” where they embark on a journey of self-discovery through teambuilding and high ropes course activities. This past March was our program’s first time working with EVI. I can confidently attest to the fact that EVI met our needs and expectations above and beyond.
One of the qualities that sets EVI apart from other facilitating companies is their desire to make a difference in the lives of the people they work with. To ensure EVI’s effectiveness in meeting the needs of our program, Cliff and Jon were very diligent in making sure they precisely understood our desired outcomes. This included having several pre-Retreat meetings where we discussed goals, objectives, and logistics. Because of this, EVI was able to seamlessly incorporate our objectives into their programming for the weekend, while also being flexible and making any adjustments necessary along the way.
As facilitators, the EVI team is highly skilled in facilitating activities and the conversation surrounding the activities. Safety is of the utmost importance to the team; they are extensively trained and go above and beyond to ensure the safety of participants, especially in the high ropes course initiatives. Additionally, I have personally witnessed the diversity of the groups that EVI works with; from college students, to doctors, to working professionals, they have expertise in facilitating for a wide variety of groups.
Not only are Cliff, Jon, and the entire EVI team skilled at what they do, they are genuinely kind human beings who have dedicated their lives to positively impacting people. Their passion is evident in all of their interactions.
Our event was successful thanks to EVI. I am proud to call them partners and friends of our program!
TELACU Education Foundation
Ascend Software Inc
Over the past 20 years I’ve engaged organizations with the objective of strengthening a team. This is the first time that the benefits from an event were so immediately effective and with a lasting impact. Simply put, the team building activities were challenging and fun. My employees felt closer to each other, and more willing to rely upon and deliver for one another. It was impossible to see while it was happening, but each activity was a metaphor for different work situations covering a variety of interpersonal skills from ethics to communication. It was an absolutely fantastic technique to communicate ideas in a way that was easy to absorb and remember. They came into the day co-workers and left a team. Best of all, they had a great time doing it.
One of the activities revealed how different people approach problems in different ways. While my group performed well in an information vacuum (just follow orders), most other groups were extremely vocal that understanding the context of the requests enhanced their ability to perform. That gave me tremendous insight into how to best communicate with my team at work so that they can give me their best.
I can’t say enough about the positive experience we had and the benefits which have resulted. I absolutely give Empowering Ventures my highest recommendation and look forward to future events with you.
CEO Ascend Software, Inc.