The walk in the wintertime can be pretty brutal. Even so, Grant Gracis prefers his own two feet to his car when commuting to our Perficient Denver office. Colorado’s spring, summer, and fall months especially make the outdoor trek worthwhile.
No matter the season, Grant, a talent acquisition specialist, walks one mile to work every day down a scenic trail that winds through Lower Downtown Denver (or LoDo, as the locals call it) to where our Denver office resides at 1422 Delgany Street. On any given day, he’s surrounded by hundreds of other pedestrians pouring out of nearby high-rise apartments in the city’s oldest, yet most-vibrant neighborhood.
“It gives you some energy going into the office,” he said.
Grant isn’t the only one of his teammates who prefers to be out in nature. Several have traded four wheels for two, opting to ride their bicycles in. “It’s a super outdoorsy state,” Grant said.
Lots to Do in LoDo
Perficient Denver colleagues definitely enjoy getting out and about. They have plenty of opportunities to do so, as LoDo boasts some of the city’s best-known restaurants, galleries, shops, and boutiques – all in perfect proximity for a lunchtime meeting or an after-hours gathering.
“We moved the office about a year ago from the mid-town business district to the trendier Union Station area of LoDo,“ said Jerry Colwell, general manager, Perficient Denver.
Denver’s Cherry Creek Trail runs behind the office for colleagues who want to get some fresh air or get to and from work. For those who prefer to commute by public transit, there are readily available options as well. A refurbished and modernized transportation hub is only a few blocks away – offering bus, light rail, and train service.
Stylish Space Gives Startup Vibe
Even on days they don’t get out, colleagues seem to enjoy staying in just as well.
“Our new office is located in the historic Daniels & Fisher Warehouse No. 2 building with the converted warehouse feel of high ceilings and exposed interior brick,” Jerry said. The loft-style space features modern conference rooms, flat screens, and standing desks.
Our Denver office supports more than 125 colleagues. The entrance to the office is in the middle of the space, and that often brings together teammates who might not otherwise cross paths.
A wall of windows floods the work area with daylight and displays a scenic view of the bustling metropolis. “Denver is a vibrant and growing city with a steady influx of technology workers and start-up companies,” Jerry said.
Leave Your Ego at the Door
The energy outside the office seems to permeate inside, with colleagues describing the office vibe as “work hard, play hard.” On any given day, teammates of all positions and departments interact and exchange ideas.
“It’s more of a personal touch. It’s not just emails and picking up the phone,” Grant explained. “Everyone is treated on the same level regardless of title. We’re all here to win and all here to deliver. There’s an entrepreneurial feel, like you’re part of building the business. It makes it exciting to come to work.”
Keri MacIntyre, senior solutions architect, agrees. She’s worked at our Denver office for 14 years and has formed strong bonds with her colleagues in that time.
“I’ve met some really good friends through Perficient,” she said.
Collaboration Comes Easily
Keri spends much of her time at client sites but makes a point to head into the office as often as possible. “It gives me a chance to reconnect with my roots,” she said. And to bounce around ideas.
“There are teammates who make me think outside of the box,” Keri said. “One of my good friends in the office (Laurie Zant, a fellow solutions architect) has asked me to talk through challenges, as we typically take different perspectives on things. I appreciate that.”
“We don’t all think the same way. We challenge each other to learn and grow because we approach things from different viewpoints.”
Getting Together Outside of the Office
Keri previously headed the office’s Culture Committee, so she also got to know colleagues through the after-hours events she helped to organize. Some of the outings included baseball games at Coors Field, family trips to the Denver Zoo, and evenings at the Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar. The cultural events coupled with the new office location have helped break the ice between Denver colleagues.
“People have started to talk and get to know each other more. There are a few of us from both teams getting together soon for karaoke,” said Julie Ford, director.
Giving Back is Second Nature
Team-building opportunities come in large part from philanthropic efforts. The Denver crew is strongly committed to giving back to the community and does so often.
In late June, the “Perficient Peddlers” took part in Bike MS: Colorado. The charitable event takes riders from Westminster to Fort Collins and back again over two days. Twenty Perficient colleagues participated. Six rode bicycles and the rest supported the riders throughout the route and cheered them on. The team raised nearly $4,000.
Members of our Management Consulting team took on an extremely rewarding pro-bono project in October 2017 with We Don’t Waste (WDW). The local non-profit collects excess food from venues, caterers, restaurants, and other outlets and redistributes quality items to underserved populations in Denver.
Team members involved in the project so far include Allison Fries, chief strategist, go to market; Chris Coffin, lead business consultant; Kaitlyn McIntyre, lead business consultant; Bob Vanek, director; Dean Dormady, lead business consultant; Audra Johnson, lead business consultant; Amanda Lougee, lead business consultant; and Steve Storer, project manager.
Colleagues put their supply chain and Salesforce knowledge (among other technology skills) to good use to help WDW set up and operate a facility that makes day-to-day operations scalable.
A group of colleagues also dedicated a day to Junior Achievement Colorado and taught various levels of classes at a local elementary school. After some fairly extensive training, the group was provided the curriculum they would be teaching. Colleagues included Justin Bader, senior project manager; Heidi Kim, project manager; Ryan Thorpe, lead business consultant; Ryan Coburn, senior project manager; Brock Gustafson, senior project manager; and Luc Sauer, project manager.
In early June, colleagues walked a 5k in the 2018 Denver Heart & Stroke Walk. The team raised $450 for the American Heart Association. Participants included Jerry Colwell, Keri MacIntyre, Bob Datillio, senior solutions architect; and Bob McDowell, account developer; plus some friends and family. Teammates also ran in the Colfax Relay Marathon. The group (Tony Mauro, director; Ryan Coburn, Justin Bader, and Keith Bough, senior project managers) finished 52 out of 571 corporate relay teams with a time of 3:33.
There’s much more outreach to come by the end of 2018.
Life is Good
With Rocky Mountain National Park nearby, it’s no surprise that our Denver office boasts numerous skiers, runners, and cyclists. Julie is among the outdoor enthusiasts. She lives in a small mountain community called Indian Hills, about 15 minutes from the iconic open-air Red Rocks Amphitheatre. She spends as much time as possible outdoors, mainly running on trails that are within walking distance from her house.
“I still pinch myself sometimes as I absolutely love my life here,” she said.
Julie’s affinity for her way of life extends to her livelihood as well. She describes her coworkers as an “awesome, smart, and fun bunch.”
“I truly enjoy coming to work every day,” she said.
Grant agrees. He views the office environment as much more than “just cubes,” a perspective of the space that appears to be good for the psyche. So, too, are his daily walks to work. Just as his morning walk gives him momentum going into the office, his evening hike home serves as a way to wind down.
“It’s nice to decompress,” he said. The ease of doing so seems to suit him and his counterparts just fine.
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