Browse Tag

corporate outings

SportsFest Teaches Lessons in Teamwork

Where’s one place you can catch employees and executives battling side-by-side in the sandy trenches of a beautiful Florida beach? Why America II Corporate SportsFest of course!

Once a year 150+ companies from across Tampa Bay compete for the esteemed title of SportsFest Champions… a position that we at BlueGrace® Logistics do not take lightly. This year brought our 3rd go-round at the event and our team of 41 players was pumped full of excitement and eager to compete! Never before have you seen such camaraderie covered in tanning oil; just bring your team spirit and game-face… no athletic skills necessary!

With five events to participate in, co-workers certainly get a chance to bond. Considering our staff has nearly doubled in size since last year’s fest, it was a perfect opportunity to get to know some of the new faces. Heather Anderson, our Culture Coordinator and Team Captain raves how beneficial the games are for team building,

A lot of our employees are die hard competitors, so it’s nice to have to depend on each other to beat the other teams.

Mudwars 2011 St. Petersburg, FL
BlueGrace team demonstrates what they're made of at Mudwars 2011.

Though BlueGrace employees make it look easy to function as team in the workplace, it does not happen automatically. Ideas for team building activities come from all employees and are supported by the leadership staff. BlueGrace schedules group activities including company softball and bowling league, Mudwars, and monthly themed office days such as barbeques, potlucks, corn hole tournaments, and #FreeBeerFriday (after 4pm). Each event allows employees to engage with one another to build stronger relationships and contribute more effectively in a team environment. In 2011 and 2012, BlueGrace Logistics was honored to be recognized as a Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work finalist.

Effective teamwork can yield incredible results, in the sand or the workplace. Listed below are just some reasons to participate in team-building activities within your company:

  • Creates unity where everyone is focused on a common goal
  • Encourages employees take ownership in the company’s success
  • Keeps everyone on a level playing field promoting a leaner business model
  • Increases the ability to adapt by fostering flexibility
  • Boosts morale by encouraging achievement

Though we didn’t come home with a win from SportsFest, we consistently win at providing the best service to our customers thanks to our stellar employees and impeccable teamwork. Babe Ruth said it best,

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

To join our team of MVPs, contact our recruiting team via email or follow them on Twitter @BGCareers to learn more about career opportunities. Did you participate in SportsFest this year? Does your company conduct regular team building activities? Tell us about it!


-Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Twitter: @BG_JennyD 

Warrior: Family is Worth Fighting For

How captivating and entertaining can a film about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) really be? Well, employees at BlueGrace went to see the movie Warrior for themselves thanks to Randy Harris at the local sports talk radio station Knockout Radio! Read below for the comments and reviews of Warrior… Perhaps you’ll want to add this to your weekend plans.

“Not just for the MMA fan. This was a great movie of the true struggle of raising a family in these times, and the real struggles we face.  I can’t wait to take my sons to go see this movie. Many hidden lessons.  I am a huge Rocky fan with movie posters in my Man Cave. This is truly a modern day Rocky but more deep.  Looking forward to adding this movie poster to my collection.”
Steven Hicks
National Account Manager

“My son and I give Warrior a Big Thumbs Up! It was a mixture of everything – drama, light moments, family relationships, determination, winning attitude. It did an awesome job portraying the guts and grit behind an MMA fighter. Definitely plan on purchasing when released on DVD.”
Michelle McCormick
Accounts Receivable Associate

“Warrior is a definite must-see—a film enjoyable to those who follow UFC, or even those who are looking for a good fighting flick.  Once the movie settles in, and you get a feel for who is playing what part, the end is unfortunately mildly predictable.  However, the producers did such an incredible job in making sure that fight scenes were both real and original, that it took your mind off of how the movie was going to end, and forced you to focus on what could possibly happen next.  It’s a great film about UFC, but also about the strength in both brotherhood and reparation of broken families.  Will definitely see it again—loved it!!!”
Jamie Kaplan
Customer Loyalty Team – Diamond Desk

“The warrior is my new Rocky!!! It was great!!!!”
Juan C. Ortiz
Manager, Customer Loyalty Team

“Phenomenal movie with an intense storyline. Very moving and the acting was definitely Oscar-worthy. Cannot wait to buy the movie on DVD.”
Whitney McKay
Personal Assistant to CEO

Go see for yourself on September 9 in a theater near you and share your reviews with us at BlueGrace Logistics!

You Play to Win the Game

Not too long ago, a disgruntled job candidate sent me an antagonizing email upon learning he would not be offered a position. He closed by saying “…did you really say kickball during our interview?!  Was that part of the “process” – to see if the candidate can keep from laughing at you?  (Make sure you have all of the parental consent forms signed before your next game.)” Now the “parental consent forms” part was a little funny, but the rest clearly showed me that I was right in assessing this person could not fit into our corporate culture. Yes, we have a company Kickball team. In fact, our first season was so successful, that this season we will have two teams. Yes, we competed in America II’s Corporate Sportsfest. Yes, we are having a company Cornhole tournament on our operations floor with our BlueGrace branded Cornhole set. Yes, we competed in Tampa Bay Club Sports Mud Wars. Yes, we even had an exhibition game versus the nationally ranked Tampa Rays wheelchair softball team – and lost horrendously. We play together, we celebrate together, we workout together, travel together, enjoy each other’s families together. Our victories are sweeter and defeats softened because we did them together. Most of all, we work together.

Our kickball season was not successful because of our finish. We took second place only to lose in the first round of the playoffs. What you did get was customer service and sales cheering each other on; executive assistant’s ordering VP’s into their fielding positions; a competitive spirit many people didn’t know they had. My only regret was that we failed to come up with a team name more creative than BlueGrace Logistics. Being in transportation, perhaps the “mudder truckers” would have turned more heads.

Corporate culture can define an organization. In transportation and logistics, you live your life dealing with the intangibles. Some cultures may consider all of the things we do as distractions. I find each and every day that the productivity you get from loyal people who truly believe what you believe will always outperform any environment focused strictly on the numbers and daily tasks. Every late LTL shipment is an emergency! Every truckload quote has to be the lowest! Every customer service call needs to be handled as the most important, and yesterday! New customers need to begin shipping freight today! Under the wrong setting, these conditions could create a very stressful and counterproductive environment. I’ve always understood “logistics” to mean a process. The logistics of our organization, on our worst days, are fluid and efficient because we play together. In this culture everyone can share the same vision. Everyone acts to accomplish the same mission. Disputes are resolved quicker. Negative attitudes are left at the door and the competitive drive to WIN takes over. Everyone is built to serve each other.

Nick Klingensmith, Director of Sales Development
Follow us @theBGexperience