Savoring the start of the fall season in New England, a select group of AlphaGraphics franchise owners and AlphaGraphics Boston customers joined US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics athletes to set sail in Boston for a special two day event run by USSTAG, Group Experiential Learning (GEL), AlphaGraphics Boston and Courageous Sailing Center.
Friday morning was an opportunity for AlphaGraphics Boston customers to attend an informal educational session run by AlphaGraphics Corporate on their recently launched “New Now” capabilities. A month prior at their Annual Conference, AlphaGraphics launched a new corporate identity to reflect a global focus on innovation and ingenuity as they shift into the marketing services arena. The afternoon allowed the AlphaGraphics Boston customers to meet and sail with Olympic hopefuls by enjoying a GEL “Boatworks” program.
(Photo top: back row LtoR: Dean Brenner, Alana O’Reilly, Rob Crane and Hugh Freund. Front row: Deb Mantyla, Katie Smith, Mary Sue Orpin, Joe Vasta, David Orpin, Ray Mantyla and Ellie Vasta. photo: Laura Dandaneau)
The highlight was on-the-water team building “Boatworks” program facilitated by GEL, USSTAG’s official team building and leadership development partner. Victoria and Carmine Camerato, co-owners of AlphaGraphics Boston, put together four teams of four people on host Courageous Sailing Center’s J/22s. Co-workers worked alongside USSTAG athletes with a goal of understanding each person onboard and how one takes a leadership role in a small group.
GEL’s Jay Palace encouraged participants to learn through boat handling drills which illustrated how to communicate within a team’s boat. Each participant was tasked with setting clear goals, defining and practicing roles, and utilizing multiple forms of communication to develop precision of execution of their onboard roles. (photo: Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner, Courageous Sailing Center’s Director of Adult Sailing, Dave DiLorenzo and Jay Palace of GEL. photo Laura Dandaneau)
“Everyone seemed to have the most fun while trying to sail the J22s like the Blue Angels, at high speed, in specific but changing configurations, and in at times, as tight a formation as Finns on a starting line,” commented Palace.
“We believe that having USSTAG athletes participate and share their experiences with our customers elevates our brand and business to a higher level,” said Victoria Camerato.
“We had customers (with us) that were just thrilled to know that we are part of something bigger than ‘Carmine and Victoria. The athletes’ stories are compelling and interesting. Being able to sail with members of the team is likely a ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’ and our customers truly appreciated the opportunity to do so.” (photo left: Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker shares her gold medal with a guest while Hugh Freund, center, looks on. photo Laura Dandaneau)
“Bringing members of our team and members of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics together for this event no doubt left customers of AlphaGraphics Boston with an experience they will not soon forget,” said AlphaGraphics Marketing Program Manager Jerel McShane. “How often do you get the opportunity to spend the day learning about the evolution of marketing and technology, and sail with Olympic athletes? I can assure you, it was a first for me."
The day prior, New England owners met with CEO Kevin Cushing, USSTAG athletes and Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner to explore how the partnership can be tailored in the lead-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It also gave the owners a rare opportunity to mingle with Olympic hopefuls and compare notes on how running their business has many parallels to running an Olympic or Paralympic campaign. To kick off the meeting, the group spent a few hours sailing on the Charles River with USSTAG athletes Alana O’Reilly, Hugh Freund and Rob Crane.
Overall, the time spent in Boston was deemed a success. “The on-the-water activities really brought to light the importance of communication and teamwork,” continued McShane. “By working together from the beginning of a project and carrying that philosophy though to the finish line, we will have greater success together.”
(Photo LtoR: Joe Vasta, Alana O’Reilly and Ellie Vasta. photo Laura Dandaneau)
Victoria Camerato summed up the group’s enthusiasm: “We always embrace the opportunity we have to engage the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics in anything we are doing. Having the athletes play a key role in any event hosted by one of our centers inevitably elevates the impact to AlphaGraphics customers. We appreciate having them as a partner."
A special thank you to Jay Palace (Group Experimental Learning), Carmine and Victoria Camerato (AlphaGraphics Boston), Dave DiLorenzo and the Courageous Sailing Center Boston staff, Ray Mantyla (AlphaGraphics Worcester), Jerel McShane (AlphaGraphics Corporate) and Ilene Stroh (AlphaGraphics Corporate) for all of their efforts in helping this event be a succes.