PSA Gets Its Preak On

Posted in: News

Trashy Classy Preakness pic for blog

For years, PSA’s annual Kickoff combined an awards ceremony with a themed party to celebrate the beginning of a new fiscal year. However, this year, the program was split into two separate events. This allowed us to focus more on recognizing last year’s accomplishments in February, while dedicating our May event to kicking off our 2017 fiscal year and appreciating our hard working team.

PSA’s 2016 Kickoff party theme “Trashy vs. Classy Preakness” was inspired by the Maryland Preakness weekend. Leading up to the celebration on May 19th, PSA had a fun Spirit Week to get everyone excited for the party by doing fun activities throughout each day. Employees received small Preakness themed gifts, celebrated Maryland Pride Day by wearing Maryland flag colors and favorite sports team gear, and played horse-racing trivia for a chance to win small prizes.

Our new Marketing intern Hunter Samuelson had the chance to join PSA’s Kickoff for the first time. We asked her to share her experiences and thoughts with us, and here’s what she had to say:

I never would have thought that I would find so much energy, character, and warmth in an insurance brokerage and risk management company, but here I am interning at PSA, finding exactly that.

As a college student, one of the reasons I applied for an internship at PSA was to experience real-life professional responsibilities. I was surprised to see that PSA has a healthy work-fun balance. They believe having fun as a team while providing outstanding client service go hand-in-hand. Workplace relationship harmony to them is everything. This is clearly reflected in how they collaborate during their busy days and enjoy each other’s company when they pause to celebrate their accomplishments at the PSA Kickoff.

Employees miraculously transformed a large conference room into the Pimlico race course. The grandstand was placed on the outside of the race tracks with a classy bar serving Black Eyed Susan cocktails and a food station preparing elegant and scrumptious small plates.  

Completing a realistic ambience, the infield was set up in the middle of the room with an out-of-order porta potty, lawn chairs, a picnic table with nachos, and a shopping cart filled with beer cans.

Prior to the races, PSA employees engaged in different games peppered throughout the room – Horseshoes, Pin the Manager’s Face on the Preakness Kegasus, and a photo booth with dozens of funky props.  

PSA’s version of Preakness races brought out a fun and friendly competitive spirit. In each of the three heats including the finale, three relay teams raced with three team members. The audience was fiercely cheering as the first leg hopped around in potato sacks, followed by the second balancing a Black Eyed Susan flower on a plate, and the third galloping around in “drunk goggles” riding a stick horse.   

The Kickoff concluded with a costume contest. The trashy contestants embellished themselves in fake tattoos, beer helmets, floppy hats, shorts and T-shirts, while the classy competitors wore tuxedos, derby hats and spring dresses. The winner of the trashiest costume was Senior Safety Consultant Steve Pomponi, while Accounting Assistant Mary Dyson was selected to be the classiest. Coworkers cheered them on as they made their way to the infield for a photo op in front of the porta potty and to receive their cash prizes.

The Kickoff party illustrated many characteristics of the PSA employees: energetic, competitive, yet team-oriented and collaborative. PSA is a team that values integrity, compassion, employee engagement and a healthy organizational culture.

These values allow employees to build and maintain strong relationships with fellow coworkers, clients, and partners, which are critical to the success and long-term viability of any organization.

Every year we aim to outperform expectations and top past year’s experiences when organizing the Kickoff. Judging from positive feedback from impressed employees, I believe it’s safe to say that PSA did it again. But we couldn’t have done it without our loyal employees, clients, and partners Chef’s Expressions and Coyle Studios.