Purolite 2018 Annual Americas Sales Meeting

On Monday, November 26, Purolite employees from Purolite’s Americas regional territories (and some from overseas) boarded flights to Dallas, Texas to attend the year-end Sales Meeting. As people checked into the hotel, the phrase “everything is bigger in Texas” began to make sense. The Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas was the event venue, and stood towering around the group. In the distance behind the hotel reception, over 2 million warm white lights lit up a vast glass-dome covered indoor garden space that was transformed for the holiday and winter season.

Employees used the rest of the travel day to explore the hotels spas, holiday events, get some rest or make final presentation tweaks. At 7 p.m. the Purolite team re-convened for a dinner at the Mission Plaza (or what would become known as the giant Christmas tree) buffet for a classic Texas meal of fried chicken, grits, and steak.

On Tuesday morning before 8:30, different faces could be seen coming and going from the breakfast room and claiming seats in the main meeting room of the conference hall. The day began with a welcome speech from Jacob Brodie, Vice President of Sales in the Americas, followed by three corporate presentations. Attendees spent the morning hours reviewing company goals, and each department went over their specific goals for the coming year. After hearing from Jacob Brodie (Vice President), Steve Brodie (CEO), Satish Bapat (Global Operations Manager), Warner Jarnigin (Plant Director), and Joe D’Allesandro (Laboratory Manager), the team headed back to the Mission Plaza for a buffet lunch.

“The food on this trip has been truly remarkable,” observes Karen Beck, Human Resources Manager, form Purolite in the USA. “I am loving these buffets and the opportunity to have lunch and chat with a lot of employees I don’t get to see every day.”

After lunch, the group headed back to the conference room for operational and departmental reports. Attendees heard from John Madiraca from Customer Service, Jack Dolan from Purchasing, Francis Boodoo from the Technical Applications, and Karen from Human Resources. Their presentations helped unite departments by explaining what each does individually and how they interact with and impact other areas of the company. The day finished with international reports by Jamie Rosie (UK), Dr. Gero Gaube (Germany), Matteo Garegnani (Italy), and Peter Nikitin (Russia).

As the conference ended, many employees headed over to see the hotel’s special attraction called “ICE!,” a temperature-controlled room (7° F) filled with holiday themed ice sculptures. After receiving a complimentary parka, visitors witnessed reindeers pulling sleighs, elves, and even a giant ice slide that tempted visitors (and of course Purolite had some great races there!). The exhibit even had a bar at the halfway point.

“I was cold,” explains Chase Migliore (Southeast Technical Sales), “but the overall experience was worth it. The amount of work and detail put into making that exhibit was awesome.” The ICE! exhibit was not the only activity at the hotel, however. in break times employees could enjoy coffee shops, restaurants, shopping, ice skating, swimming, escape rooms, working out facilities, and even indoor snowball fights. Accompanying partners, led by Christina Brodie, were taken on excursions to farms, ranches, and even did some bull riding.

“The facilities at the hotel were remarkable. The hotel was amazing, so many fun afternoon activities. And the gym was beautiful!” Says Mike Guerra, Director of Finance, who could be found at the fitness center for an impressive two hours after dinner one night.

At the end of the second night, the group all met at Zeppole Coastal Italian restaurant under the dome to enjoy chicken parmesan and an assortment of fish and pastas. Participants then retired to bed to get some rest before Wednesday’s big teambuilding activity.

Wednesday morning was spent in the conference room hearing from Jacob Brodie about new products, Robert Miller (FP&L), Doug Carney (IT), Jack Dolan (Purchasing), Amanda Riddle (CRM), and Jeffrey Frain (Marketing). Plans and strategies for the next year were developed and explained in each department further.

After all presenters finished, teams were announced for this year’s teambuilding event…Topgolf!

A bus collected all participants and drove to the facility. Teams stood on the top level of an elevated, specialized driving range to use their skills at chipping, hitting and driving into targets that were set in the distance. All the while, people enjoyed tacos, churros, and free drinks.

After two hours of whacking golf balls, the instructors tallied scores and gave an almost accurate score of all the teams points, but had some trouble with math. Congratulations to the Baby Blue team (Chris Friesen, Allison de Ploveora das Neves, Darrell Shaffer and Jack Dolan on first place. Andrea Bartus (Marketing) and Jack Dolan (Purchasing) were also recognized for best overall scores in female and male categories.

"My favorite part of the sales meeting is the multiple opportunities to connect with people—especially the ones who I work with or will be working with. The conversations help me gain understanding of their needs so I can find new ways to integrate information and help them out,” mentions Financial Analyst Jason Hsu. “This golfing activity was definitely a great place to chat with co-workers and company friends.”

“Participating in the American Sales Meeting was a great opportunity to get to know colleagues working on the other side of the world. It turned out to be great fun and educational. The highlight for me was being taught to play golf by Don Downey who leads the field sales group in Canada. I never had the opportunity to swing a club before, but with his guidance I actually managed to score some points. Kudos for the great food and Southern hospitality—Texas is definitely a place to visit,” Says Peter Nikitin (Russia) about his overall experience.

Thursday marked the last day of the conference. It was filled with technical updates and new concepts from different employees in the Applications department. Speeches on topics such as chromium Removal, adsorbents, and PFAS were given by Matteo Garegnani (Italian Technical Director), Sean Kennedy (Technical Specialist), Fabio Sousa (Latin America Managing Director), Bob Moore (Technical Manager for Sweetener and Catalysts), Fred Ghanem (North American Business Manager), Joe Klimek (Northeast Regional Sales Manager), and Don Downey (Canadian Sales Manager). The day was ended with a wrap-up speech given by Jacob Brodie, a Purolite Top 10 Moments from Don Downey, and a fast-paced recap video produced by Global Marketing Director, Jeffrey Frain, that captured photos from all aspects of the meeting and extra activities. Attendees then used the two hours to rest and change into jeans and t-shirts, before a bus would take them to the Dallas Cowboys vs. Saints game at AT&T Stadium.

“Would it be wrong to wear my Eagles Jersey?” asked Jacob Brodie in a Zoho chat, prompting many quick responses from devoted fans. Apparently, many did not think so as they chanted “E-A-G-L-E-S” and sang the Philadelphia Eagles theme song on the way to the game. The Dallas Cowboys would not match up with the Philadelphia Eagles for another week—but none of that mattered in the excitement of the moment.

Once off the bus, the group headed towards and into the stadium, taking time on the way to pick up burgers, ice cream, and pretzels for the game. Even from Purolite’s high seats on the top level, employees had a perfect view of the field. After hours of cheering, taking pictures, and watching the Cowboys beat the Saints, the group walked back to the bus, and headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

“Everyone at the Americas meeting was very engaged, participating in the discussions and helping the entire team learn and grow from experiences in the field,” says James Rosie (Business Manager UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia), speaking on the presentations. “Being a smaller group facilitates more focused topics and an ability to discuss and agree actions at key global clients. I got a real sense that we were making decisions and agreeing courses of action.”

By Friday afternoon, most employees had boarded their departing flights headed home, taking with them new motivation for our company’s success, and of course the new friendships they made while on the trip. Thank you all for coming!

Every year Purolite corporation holds two sales meeting, one for the Asian, European and Austral/Asian offices, called the International Sales Meeting, and one for the offices in the Americas. These meetings generally consist of conferences and presentations, coupled with case studies and new ideas for moving the company forward. Teambuilding activities are integrated to increase company comradery and encourage new, inter-regional relationships. The purpose of the sales meeting is to better educate employees on sales strategies and departmental goals, review sales and strategy, and to give employees from different territories an opportunity to meet in person.