This month sees exciting changes at HRW and what better way to get our new financial year off to a flying start, than getting everyone together for a company day!
The EU team kicked off the day with their theme of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, with team members gaining entry via a golden ticket to a charming array of Wonka-esque confectionary and similar delights.
With significant changes to the HRW board recently, we had time to reflect on our origins as well as looking forward to our exciting future endeavours. This started, quite rightly, at the beginning. Our much-loved founder Caroline Jameson told the team the origins of HRW. Caroline was the founding member of HRW back in 2001 and since that time has built it up to be a global team of passionate researchers and operations team members, widely respected by leading pharma companies and other clients alike. As she hands over the reins to Christine Dalzell (previously our US VP), we had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Caroline’s success and an emotional team shared a few teary eyes with her whilst reminiscing. Caroline, from all of us to you – thank you for making HRW the place we want to be, for your passion and for your cheeky spark.
This was followed by a message from Jeanette Kaye (our Global Deputy MD who was with our Manhattan team across the pond), and Jo McDonald (our shiny new board director) who shared personal stories about their experiences at HRW. And last, but not least, Christine, our new leader, shared her journey with HRW and why she is excited about the future.
Hearing their stories allowed us to reflect on our own, why we are all here and what we want it to be.
It’s certainly the people who keep us coming in to work every day, but it’s also the values at the heart of the business which allow us to be our best selves and do our best work while we are here. These core values formed the focus of the morning sessions. In order to live and breathe our values, we were thinking about how we can always ensure these are upheld in all we do and we will continue to work to evolve how we ensure we incorporate these each and every day.
Whilst the EU team paused for lunch, the board headed off to start the US based team company day in the same manner.
Afternoon activities for the EU saw six teams enter into an ‘Apprentice Style’ challenge – each creating three different flavours of chocolate treats, branding them and marketing their wares to their peers. These included the hilarious ‘Choco-doodle-doo’ – a brand of chocolates for your early morning delight (including a toothpaste flavour) and the winning team who created two chocolates joined together for sharing with a loved one – Needless to say that we’ve decided to stick with our day jobs for now!
Whilst the EU team indulged in sweet delights, the US team started the day with warm NYC bagels surrounding the board room table – and a variety of cream cheese! Following in the UK’s footsteps from earlier in the day, the team reflected on the past, present and exciting times ahead at HRW as Caroline and Christine shared their own stories, news on changes to the HRW board and what to expect moving forward. Soon after, emotions continued to flow across the pond as we heard from Paul Boyce (VP of US Research), Nicole Shalette (Associate VP) and John Friberg (SRM) on their own paths to HRW and the values and passion that Caroline has ingrained into our global HRW culture. Keeping in mind our reflections and discussions throughout the morning, our team brainstormed ways to incorporate our core values for the new year into our everyday HRW life.
The US team continued the day with an afternoon in Brooklyn – first stop was for some delicious pizza for lunch (we’re foodies!). We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring our creative skills while participating in a graffiti tour and workshop. We learned about the history of graffiti, admired the work of numerous graffiti artists on the streets of Brooklyn and learned the complexities of using a paint can to create the right vision by some of NYC’s favourite artists themselves. After feeling inspired, we went back to the studio to try out these techniques, work on our personal ‘tags’ (sparking quite a competition between Brett Nicholas, John and Paul) and created our own HRW masterpiece to bring back with us to the office.
We are excited to start the new financial year with a fresh perspective whilst retaining the best elements of what we already hold dear. We thrive on success and this comes from within us, the individuals who work at HRW, who feel passionately about what they do and delivering the best for their clients. Here’s to a successful financial year ahead and doing what we love with excellence.