2016 Highlights and Year in Review
December 23, 2016
Every year at the holidays, I get some great cards from people I don’t get to see very often (or even at all), and I always love the ones where people list out what they did that year. One of my classmates from college always sends this awesome custom card with a great outline of all the awesome stuff they got to do. It is a great chance to connect, even just a little. I put the card down and think, "I should really do that."
And then I look around at my two kids running around, weigh my list of things I want to get done at the office, and think about that TV show that I keep meaning to watch, and realize it just isn’t going to happen. Sorry everyone, you’ll get nothing from me, but keep those cards coming! What I do get to do, though, is create my favorite blog post of the year, my year-end review. It is a weird mix of business and personal (sorta like how we run everything here). I was looking back at past ones and laughing, as I always step back and realize how far this company has come in such a short time.
So, what the heck happened with Board & Vellum (and me) in 2016?
We grew (again). Looking at my 2015 Year End Recap, we had 16 people at the end of 2015.
Right now, we have 23 awesome people with number 24 starting early in January. So THAT explains why I’m so tired!
We’re now firmly out of the baby stage with our two boys, and this has meant they can keep each other occupied, leaving me some time to cook, or sit, or relax. Kellen just turned four, and Zachary is a hysterical little two-year-old who is constantly cracking us up. What an awesome pair of boys; we love watching them grow.
FINALLY! A new office. Hands down, this was the biggest thing for Board & Vellum in 2016. Our old space was crowded, hot, and just not us. We spent the first half of the year building out the space (here’s a little insight into that), with our friends at Woodmark (who did an awesome job), and finally got to move in at the middle of the year.
It has been nothing short of revolutionary for us, and we finally have a space that we feel proud bringing clients into, and hosting public events like Night School in our “Below Grade” event space, and the monthly Art Walk in our “By Others” Gallery. Explore some glamour shots in our post announcing the new space, and more over on our portfolio.
In the “I Can’t Believe This Is Still a Thing” category, Facebook sensation and one of my own personal idols, George Takei, reposted an article about my LEGO room.
I was named one of the Top 200 Influencers in the Construction Industry by Fixr.com.
This one means the most to me: we were named the #4 Small Business to Work For IN THE STATE, by Seattle Business Magazine.
Damn. I love coming to work every day, and I’m determined to make this a place where others feel the same way. If Board & Vellum does nothing else, I hope we elevate the working environment for people in our industry.
From the beginning, our core service was always architecture. We dabbled a bit in interior design (my first job was actually as an interior designer, fun fact!), but didn’t really embrace it as a separate service. In 2016, we dove down and now have a full interior design team, as well as a landscape architecture studio. Projects are just better when we factor in all of those aspects of design, and having a full integrated practice here has been incredible.
Board & Vellum was recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal not just as one of the Top 100 Places to work in Washington State!
But, besides that, as one of the Top LGBTQ-Owned businesses in the state. I’m proud that we create an environment that is great to work in no matter who you are.
In what has become an annual tradition, we held a full company retreat up in the mountains at a gorgeous spot.
Besides unwinding and generally just having a ton of fun together, we were able to focus our goals for the company and all weigh in on where we are going.
As part of my goal to be not only an awesome place to work, but also to help push the industry forward, we publicized our benefit package to help shift the needle a bit.
We continue to push that ahead, and are rolling out (finally!) dental insurance for 2017. Something we'll all appreciate while we continue to have fun next year!
Another crazy year is in the rear-view window, and I’m excited to slide into 2017 with all the great momentum behind us. I hope everyone has a fantastic bunch of holidays and I look forward to seeing you all in 2017 (even if it is just in a card!). Cheers!