Everyone’s calendar is marked, it’s the first Friday of the month and 40+ HBA employees gather around the table for lunch and a little sharing. Principal, Chris Michael, is the man in charge of being sure the monthly HBA “First Friday” is orchestrated without a hitch. Executive Administrator, Rebecca Dozier, sees that everyone gets plenty to eat – and for some, that’s a tall order! The tradition goes… everyone line up at the café door, plate…food…drink and DO NOT FORGET THE COOKIES! Then off to the learning center we go…
Chris makes sure new employees and interns get a moment to say hello and share something perhaps no one would know about themselves (you never know what you’ll get there!), then a few tenured employees give us a refresher on their life. It’s a nice way to learn about the people we spend around 40 hours of our life with each week.
The leadership of HBA does a great job of making sure the employees are in the know about the “business” of HBA. Periodically, Managing Principal, Bruce Prichard, will share where we are financially, how we faired in the past and how bright our future will surely be. This takes a little preparation on Bruce’s part, but he and the other partners want us to know the facts so we can celebrate our successes and have a realistic point-of-view about our challenges. We appreciate the Principal’s willingness to make us part of this; it helps us have a sense of ownership in where we work!
Each month we have members of the staff present projects they have been working on; for our “feature topic” in June we were graced with 3 of our summer interns, 2 veterans and 1 brand new! Becky Cook, Grace Cope and Maggie Lewis shared with us projects they had created during the previous school year at Virginia Tech. We saw pictures, heard stories and learned of the trials and rewards that came with their efforts. It also gave these young ladies an opportunity to do some public speaking in a comfortable setting, but to a room made up of veteran architects and designers – that’s an educational experience they probably don’t get during the regular school year!
HBA’s First Friday is a great way to bring us all together, give us a chance to laugh a little, learn a little and bond as a team.