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Celebrating 15 Years of Commerce Architects!

Megan Wiltshire, People Experience Manager

Any anniversary or milestone allows one to reflect on the journey, celebrate achievements, learn from past experiences, and pave the way for an even brighter future. Commerce Architects is celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, and we chose to celebrate in a big way - an entire week of events at our home office in Spokane, Washington! Work From Spokane Week (WFSW) has been an annual tradition for quite a while, but it’s recently expanded to a week full of events and activities. Reaching 15 years as a company is a testament to the resiliency, adaptability, and dedication of the people behind the business. The team behind the success of CA was all in Spokane last week, biking in the woods, dining in local establishments, and embodying CA’s core values.

Commitment to Quality

Sebastian Vargas (c) with Areej Cluntun and Myles Krisik

We’ve built our reputation on providing high-quality software solutions, and that commitment to quality extends beyond the work we do for our clients. Sebastian Vargas, a Senior Software Engineer who has been at Commerce Architects for five years, commented on how every year, the summer party gets better and better, and goes to show how much the company cares and listens.

Sustainability for the Future

Trenton Miller showing off the trash he found along the river

Though it’s our newest core value, it’s not a new concept for our team. Our core value states, “We will do our part to leave the Earth in a better place than when we entered it.” We did our part during WFSW by volunteering with the Spokane Riverkeeper for a river clean-up. Our troops braved the heat and spent a couple of hours on the banks of the river, leaving it in a better condition than when they arrived. We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with our community, especially when we have so many team members in town. As we look ahead to the next 15 years, we will continue to scale our efforts and contributions to our community and the Earth.

Relationships Matter

Many comments were heard during WFSW about how challenging it was to find time to do “work.” To which the response was, “The work this week is building relationships.” Relationships matter - that is at the core of CA. Strong relationships among colleagues foster better teamwork and collaboration. When people know and trust each other, they are more likely to communicate openly, share ideas, and work together effectively. These strong relationships allow us to collaborate better and build even better solutions for our clients. Taking the time to build relationships in the workplace is an investment that pays off in various ways, creating a positive and productive work environment and contributing to the overall success and well-being of the organization and its employees.

Luke Berg with a scavenger hunt find

What better way to build those relationships than by creating a little friendly competition? We did just that by creating teams of people who don't regularly get the opportunity to work together. Teams were designated by color with bandanas. Every color team had to work together to create a team name, complete scavenger hunt clues, and compete in Minute-To-Win-It challenges. Senior Software Engineer Sarah Headley was one of the first employees hired at CA and has seen how celebrations at CA have evolved over the years. She expressed that one of the highlights of WFSW this year was the team assignments and the opportunity to converse and work with folks outside of her usual work circle. One of CA’s newest Software Engineers, Luke Berg, agreed with Sarah and expressed that he especially enjoyed having the CA owners and executive team members mixed in, expanding the scope of the cross-socialization.

Another big highlight of the week for many was our trip to bike the Route of the

Hiawatha Bike Trail! We filled a charter bus with the CA team and bussed across Idaho

for a day of downhill biking and fun in the sun.

Scott Proost is ready to hit the Route of the Hiawatha

Solutions Architect Scott Proost laughed about riding on a bus again, not recalling the last time he’s done that. Luke Berg told the story of him and a small group taking off on their own down the bike trail, stopping to eat lunch in a tunnel, and getting to hang on the bus while the rest of the team finished their ride. All of the stories coming out of a day spent on the trail are stories of camaraderie and laughter, all reflective of a day spent building and strengthening the relationships within the Commerce Architects community and sparking energy for the remainder of the week!

Employees Are Our Greatest Asset

CEO Joe Conaty took the floor at the end of our All-Hands meeting to reflect on 15 years of Commerce Architects. He expressed that when the company first started, they “wanted to do great work with great people. I think we’ve done a great job of that.” He continued that it’s “fulfilling and rewarding to look around this room and see all these folks. I wouldn’t have envisioned it, looking back 15 years ago. My biggest thing is gratitude for the people. I’m grateful for our greatest asset - we would not be here if not for you guys.”

Sarah Headley and her client team donned pilot outfits for our All-Hands meeting

Another team member took some time to reflect, and to him, the most surprising part of WFSW was “reflecting on how much the company has grown these past few years….feels like a bigger company where it used to feel like such a small company.” These are the thoughts of Trenton Miller, a Senior Software Engineer hired with Sarah Headley as one of the first two employees of Commerce Architects. He continued his reflection: “Now we have so many folks filling different roles, it feels much more like a fully functional company - we have Accounting and Recruiting now. Wow, we are really growing!”

In conclusion, our 15th-anniversary celebration during Work From Spokane Week truly reflects our core values at Commerce Architects. We demonstrated our commitment to quality by celebrating our achievements over the years and showcasing our dedication to delivering top-notch solutions. Moreover, our sustainability efforts came to life as we engaged with the community during the river clean-up, positively impacting the environment we cherish. But perhaps the most vital aspect of the week was building and strengthening relationships among our incredible team members. We recognize that our employees are, without a doubt, our greatest asset, and their camaraderie and dedication have played a significant role in our company’s growth and success. As we look to the years ahead, we are filled with gratitude for the fantastic people who have been part of our journey and excited about the future we will create together. Here’s to many more years of excellence and camaraderie at Commerce Architects!


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