March 27, 2017
A Day of Celebration, Appreciation and Professional Growth: 7th Annual Conference
Over the weekend, faculty members from all 12 of our corporate locations (as far as Florida!) gathered at Samuel’s Grande Manor in Clarence, NY, for a day filled with professional development, appreciation, motivation, silliness, celebration and fun! This year’s early childhood conference, Follow the Doodle Bugs! Way, was our seventh annual. The event hosted over 200 Doodle Team members, many dressed to align with our theme, the Wizard of Oz, and gave us the unique opportunity to collaborate and celebrate together.
The day started by recognizing the many individuals that make up our “Happy” community; teachers, administrative staff, maintenance crew, mentors, Center Ambassadors and more. We also honored one of our team members, Chelsea Heins, Center Assistant at our Clarence, NY location, with a very impressive award, Employee of the Year. Congratulations, Miss Chelsea!
Next, we welcomed highly-acclaimed speaker, best-selling author and CEO of Brand Integrity, Gregg Lederman. Gregg, and Ryann (Senior Account Executive, Brand Integrity) delivered a high-energy, interactive and motivational presentation on “Living the Doodle Bugs! Way”. Doodle Bugs! has been working with Brand Integrity for almost 2 years. The company uses a mix of unique culture consulting and their Brand Integrity employee recognition platform to help companies boost employee engagement and create a more positive customer experience.
Throughout the remainder of the day, Education Team members, Teachers and other members of our Early Childhood team conducted amazing workshops. Some of the topics included: creating a positive perspective, STEM, meeting the unique needs of boys, incorporating yoga into each day, and many “make and take” sessions where teachers were able to walk away with creations that they can now use, and build upon, in their classrooms.
After some really impactful sessions, we gathered one last time for some more recognition, appreciation and celebration. We took a moment to honor a long time Infant Teacher from our Cheektowaga location who passed away in the fall. Miss Karen was a part of our Doodle Team for 19 years (!!!) and is sorely missed by her coworkers and the many families whose infants she cared for. This was a truly powerful moment for all.
This year we introduced the #RedSneakerAward, given annually to the center that exhibits the most “Doodle Spirit” throughout the year. For the inaugural award, West Amherst was chosen. If you’re a family at that location, keep your eyes open for the coveted “red sneaker”– and wish them congratulations!
All of our faculty members were able to take home amazing gift baskets and prizes most of which were so graciously donated by our AMAZING families. Thank you! This is definitely a highlight of the day for our team! Oh, and one lucky team member took home a $500 Visa Gift Card!
Before we said goodbye we celebrated a really awesome milestone– 25 years in business! While we just heard the “sparknotes” version of the story during the event, we also launched a new page on our website that tells the story of three siblings and their passion for children and “doing what’s right”. The business was far from an overnight success, but as soon as the first child (Joey!) enrolled back in 1992, the Insinnas knew they were doing the right thing.
As we reflect back on the past two and a half decades, we are so thankful for our wonderful faculty and amazing families– without you, we wouldn’t be here today– thank you!
The final surprise of the day? Our new Doodle Bug! He’s come a long way in two decades and we are so in love!