By Megan Devlin, Client Experience Manager & David Deschenes, Systems Architect
The 2023 Andesa Client Forum was an unforgettable experience, especially for first-time attendees. It transcended the typical conference, becoming a celebration of community and a testament to the enduring bonds that unite us with our client partners. With its rich history and charming streets, Annapolis provided the perfect backdrop for this remarkable gathering.
As first-time attendees, we can attest to how special the Client Forum was. Approaching the event with both excitement and anxiety, we focused on building sincere relationships and taking the client experience to a new level. We were put at ease by the support from our employee-owners and the warm welcome from Andesa’s client partners. Our experiences underscored the truth that business relationships are fundamentally about human connections.
The theme of “Navigating 40 Years by Standing Strong Together” resonated throughout the week, evident in our clients’ stories of overcoming challenges and in the wisdom shared by our guest speakers. In today’s uncertain world, adaptability and trust are clearly paramount.
This year’s event was significant as it reunited our client partners from across the country after years of separation. Witnessing the strong connections formed over the years was astonishing. Meeting many clients, with whom we had worked for years, in person for the first time was a truly special experience. It provided an opportunity to connect on a more personal level, moving beyond the daily business interactions.
During the forum, our time was dedicated to building relationships and learning from one another. We discussed industry trends and were enlightened by an impressive lineup of guest speakers. Jessica Buchanan’s keynote speech left a profound impact, emphasizing the importance of mindset and resilience in overcoming challenges, leading us to reflect on our own mindset and what we can control.
Adapting to change was a recurring theme throughout the event. Marcia Dukes emphasized leading with intention and hosted a group exercise that we later shared with our team. And Christopher Fields from Arctic Wolf discussed the ever-changing technology landscape, highlighting the need for adaptability.
Among the many engaging moments, the tour of the US Naval Academy and the dinner at the Captain’s Club was a highlight. The tour immersed us in the Academy’s history and traditions. The Academy’s core values of —Honor, Courage, and Commitment—stood out, reminding us of Andesa’s own RICHIR values. The dedication and teamwork of the midshipmen were impressive, and their mentorship system emphasized the importance of accountability and bonds formed within high-performing teams. Our dinner experience was also exceptional, where a sense of history, prestige, and belonging intersected. Sharing that meal created a unique bond among the attendees.
We must commend the exceptional teamwork displayed by the Andesa team throughout the week. Every task was executed with dedication and attention to detail, no matter how small. This unity assures us that we can rely on each other when facing challenges.
The lessons from the Client Forum extend beyond the workplace, reminding us of the importance of community, not just within Andesa and its clients but also within our industry. Success isn’t merely about transactions; it’s about building lasting connections and working together as a team.
Leaving the Client Forum, we felt reenergized and eager to apply what we had learned. The relationships built and lessons gained will undoubtedly benefit both Andesa and our clients now and into the future.