By Joel Morgan Kearney
October was national ESOP month and since setting up our own Employee Stock Ownership Program at WebAssign in 2013, we were excited to celebrate! The ESOP Committee hosted a series of events to build some excitement about what it means to work for an employee-owned company. These events included an ice cream social, birthday party, spirit day, and a sampling of local beer. The goal of these activities was to both raise awareness of the ESOP and instill a sense of pride in all WebAssign employees.
Ice Cream Social
On October 10th, the ESOP Committee brought the employees together for Howling Cow ice cream, made right here at North Carolina State University. The TVs in the Café were set up to explain and show the process they use to make it, and they brought several flavors for taste testing. The runaway favorite among employees was Wolf Tracks, Howling Cow’s bestseller.
NC Beer Sampling
On October 23rd, employees were treated to a beer sampling arranged with Wine 101. They were nice enough to supply several varieties of beer, along with an expert on site to answer any questions about the beers or the brewing process.
Throughout the month, the ESOP Committee sent out ESOP trivia emails with promises of prizes to come later. Prize winners were determined by a drawing, and everyone seemed pleased with their quirky or tasty winnings.
After the Town Hall meeting on Halloween, employees trekked back to the office to enjoy soups and sandwiches. Three delicious crockpots of warm soup were arrayed on the counters, along with various wraps from Jason’s Deli. There were assorted vegetables, hummus, and other veggie-friendly dishes too.
Also on the day of the Town Hall, employees were encouraged to show their WebAssign spirit by wearing costumes with a company theme. Anyone who participated earned an automatic entry into the ESOP prize drawing. Many employees showed up in WA t-shirts and colors, and we even had a visit from WAUGerine and the WebAssign Kid (aka Matt Lawson and Jason Justice) at the Town Hall. The winners of the Spirit Day Costume Contest were Bridget Hales for her Waffle Ticket costume and Shane Taylor for his Captain Correct ensemble.
To celebrate the WebAssign values of service and teamwork, throughout the month WA teams donated items for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. We collected a total of 1144 items (compared to 657 last year), weighing in at 875 pounds. Sales was the winning team by a margin of one travel soap.