This past week I was honored to attend the 47th Annual Atlas Forum. Although it was the 47th Forum, it was my first time attending this Atlas conference.
The conference was in our Nation’s capital, Washington D.C. What more could you ask for in a venue? The history, the atmosphere, the culture, and most importantly - the people. The Atlas attendees consisted of a few hundred relocation professionals, whether our fellow atlas agents, or our clients, we were there for the same thing. We were there to discuss our past year in relocation and where we are headed together.
I arrived on Wednesday to attend the kick off Paxton dinner at the fabulous restaurant, El Rey. Surrounded by Team Paxton and our guests, we dined on delicious food and drinks. We viewed an amazing Prezzi on Paxton in a beautiful courtyard of ….containers….Yes the restaurant was built out of containers - Steamship containers - Paxton ones nonetheless. I was a little kid in a candy store. The smile on my face was permanent. I am so proud to not just work at Paxton; but be one as well. What a great night!
The rest of the event did not disappoint. The hotel was the beautiful and historical Mayflower Renaissance. The conference was held just blocks away from the National Mall, White House, Museums, and other dining and shopping establishments.
Thursday was an amazing day, from the Opening Session to the Moonlight Monument Tour. Everything in between was just as spectacular. In the Opening General Session, we were greeted by four presidents, well five, including the CEO of Atlas, Glen Dunkerson. The warm welcome was followed the first keynote speaker, Jeff Havens, who was both hysterical and powerful.
There were three breakout learning sessions before lunchtime. Out of three choices, I chose, “Boots on the Ground, What does it really mean?” I found it extremely interesting to hear the challenges associated with these corporations when building their presence in global locations.
The topics for the other learning sessions were what everyone ought to know about what’s trending in Global Mobility and The Changes and Challenges of the Transformation of the Health Care Delivery System.
Lunch was amazing. Aviation and safety expert, and hero, Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger III was the second keynote speaker. He spoke about the “Miracle on the Hudson” and why freedom and innovation were so important in the moving industry today. He stressed the importance of education, urging the audience to constantly keep learning from mistakes, and reinventing themselves, but not losing sight of who they were to meet success. He advised the crowd to, “Live your life so that your core values are apparent, lead by example, and check your ego at the door.”
The rest of the afternoon consisted of The Corporate Relocation Survey Experience, and then Breakout Roundtable Discussions. The discussion topics consisted of domestic relocation, international relocation, trends and issues facing the industry, outsourcing, customer service, technology, economy, real estate, lump sum policy, and social media.
The end of the night was packed with fun and hilarious entertainment. Mike Rayburn is an extremely talented guitarist that provided humor in his unique musical delivery. Following dinner, we all hopped on chartered buses to tour the District by Moonlight.
Friday Morning was breakfast and the closing General Session. The final keynote speaker was Walter Bond. He was my favorite speaker at the Forum. His speech was motivational, emotional, and inspiring. I was able to meet him outside the hotel while he was waiting for his car. He was just as humble as he sounded during his speech.
I honestly do not think I can summarize the 36 hours while attending the Forum in a couple words, but I would simply say, “Job Well Done.” Everything was perfect. Atlas now has its own historical milestone to add to the long list of historical celebrities and events at the Mayflower Hotel. Move on over, Atlas is making history!