Laughs, reflection, insightful conversations, team encouragement and more filled the air last week as the z2 team headed to Grand Geneva Resort & Spa for our annual retreat. We gathered to take a look back at the past year and explore ways to grow individually, as a team, and as a company.

View of the sunrise from Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

View of the sunrise from Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

To kick things off, we reviewed our creed as a reminder of who we are and what we strive to achieve not only for our clients and ourselves, but also for z2. We then took a look at highlights from 2014 and the beginning of 2015 – all an inspiring reminder of the great work we’ve done together.

A big initiative for Deb and Cory is to pay it forward, so we were given 30 minutes to leave the space and do a random act of kindness. Some gave money toward a meal for those in the dining area; some gave Gatorade to local construction workers; some gave money for a family activity; and some paid for someone’s gas. Regardless of what it went toward, these random acts of kindness left a genuine smile on someone’s face, in turn encouraging them to pay it forward. Isn’t it great what a little random act can do?

Ashley surprised this teenager by paying for her gas.

Ashley surprised this teenager by paying for her gas

Next, we had a little recess, where we enjoyed some lounging and drinks poolside, naps or personal time, as well as a pizza lunch. Upon our return, Deb and Cory surprised all of us with painting and drawing materials. Confused at first, we were challenged to create an RFP book on what inspires us, each employee creating a chapter using paints, words, sketches, photos and more. And yes, finger painting was allowed.

z2 employees enjoying some vitamin D out by the pool

z2 employees enjoying some vitamin D out by the pool

With a deadline looming, everyone came together to create our RFP book with his or her chapter. With our teamwork, we got the book put together by the 7:30 p.m. deadline and presented it to Deb and Cory, each explaining our personal chapters.

Some employees used paint and a canvas to create what inspires them for their RFP chapter

Some employees used paint and a canvas to create what inspires them for their RFP chapter

Relieved that we met our deadline, we headed to The Links Patio and Grill for a delicious pasta dinner and then onto the bonfire. Singing Kumbaya (i.e. poking fun at each other), playing bags, indulging in delicious cocktails and roasting marshmallows, we enjoyed each other’s company outside of the work environment.

z2 team talking around the bonfire

z2 team talking around the bonfire

While it was a whirlwind, the retreat was a great way to unwind and take our minds off of work. We came back inspired and determined to exceed our goals, aim for new ways to utilize our creativity and put out even better work for our clients.

June 9, 2015 · Posted by in art, event, misc, z2 news  

z2

The z2 Team took a little break last week to get out of the office and spend some time together at Grand Geneva for our annual retreat, which provided us with some time to redefine who we are, and reboot some of our processes.

Preso

Since we have a number of new people, Cory and Deb started off with an overview of z2; how we got to where we are today, with a nice history lesson thrown in. (And yes, we did get potty breaks.)

Ewan

Don’t worry, there were no trust falls at this retreat! Instead we were treated to a variety of communication exercises, let by two amazing improv performers from Second City. (Yeah, we were all a little confused at first.)

Crazy

It’s safe to say things got a bit crazy, but we managed to learn a lot while have a good time. There were exercises that involved anywhere from two people to six, to the entire staff, and everyone got in on the laughs.

Photo Op

We got a bit of free time before an amazing dinner, and while some chose to hang by the pool, others sat quietly under a tree and read a book, or grabbed a quick nap. The weather was amazing, so what better way to cap off a day of excitement than with a campfire…

Campfire

There were S’mores, wine, Cards Against Humanity, some bean bag tossing, lots of talking, and then drinks and more drinks.

While the normal work week can be a bit stressful at times, it was refreshing to be able to kick back with everyone, take a break, and remember that we all share the same goal: creating kick-ass work we can be proud of. It’s safe to say everyone left the retreat feeling inspired.

(Want more photos? Check out the full album on Facebook.)

Bean GIF

June 10, 2014 · Posted by in event  

While we’re back in the office now, this week started out a bit differently than most others. Monday morning, the Z2 team set sail to Grand Geneva for our annual retreat. Each spring, we take this time to refresh and recharge our batteries in preparation for the rest of the year. It’s so important to get away from all the noise and unplug, even for a day or two.

We arrived at the hotel around 10 am and headed straight to our conference room. We had a special guest join us to get our day started. Keith Tozer was nice enough to come in and deliver an inspiring speech. For those who don’t know, Tozer is the Head Coach of the Milwaukee Wave, the longest running professional soccer franchise in the U.S. Lesson learned: wake up each day with the mindset that it is another day to better yourself and not to take it for granted. For the next few hours, we took part in a variety of team-building exercises.

Afterward, we had free time to enjoy all Grand Geneva offers. The weather was perfect, the golf course was packed, and the lake looked as peaceful as ever. Some of us hung out at the bar to socialize, taking advantage of the BOGO Foursquare deal in the lobby bar. Others went on a run through the trails, some enjoyed services at WELL Spa + Salon and some took a quiet walk around the incredibly large campus.

Dinner at Geneva Chophouse was exquisite! The food was delicious, the atmosphere incredible, and the company enjoyable. After dinner, our team had a private bonfire, with lots of drinks and treats, to cap off our night. For dessert we had s’mores by the fire. We had a great time getting to know everyone just a little better—learning everything from favorite bands to favorite vacation destinations. It was a great ending to an amazing day.

The next morning before heading back to the office, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Grand Café that included huge stacks of pancakes, fruit-covered French toast and all the bacon one could ever ask for.

It was an energizing experience for our team. The real success is that we’re back in the saddle with renewed focus and an even closer team.

May 2, 2013 · Posted by in misc  

Cory visited the gorgeous Grand Geneva Resort & Spa this week to snap some summertime photos of the property. It was a beautiful day in Lake Geneva and we were really pleased with how they turned out, so we thought we’d share a preview of them with you.


Grand Geneva pool with view


Sweet little girl at Grand Geneva


Nice shot!


Brand new trolley!


Timber Ridge

Don’t they make you want to get out and enjoy the rest of the summer? Happy Friday and have a great Labor Day Weekend!

September 2, 2011 · Posted by in photo  

We’re excited to announce that Z2 recently received a Telly award in the 32nd Annual Telly Awards contest, which received more than 13,000 entries from around the world. The winning video, created to promote wedding sales at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, was filmed last summer on our RED ONE digital camera.

The video won the award in the film/video sales category. We invite you to view it below.

Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films.

We’d like to thank everyone who worked hard to make this shoot a success!

June 24, 2011 · Posted by in marketing, video, web