It’s that time of a year again, the Rockton annual summer/fall retreat.  This retreat found us packing our flip flops and sunscreen to head down to beautiful Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, with our families in tow!

If anyone ever tells you that early October is the end of the rainy season in Puerto Vallarta, they are probably trying to sell you a time share.  We arrived right in the midst of Tropical Storm Narda.  Don’t think for one second this stopped our team from having an amazing time enjoying all that Mexico has to offer!

But before we get to the fun, lets talk about the work.  Our dedicated team woke up with the sun each day and descended upon a windowless conference room where we consumed countless cups of coffee and protein bars while we strategized and planned for the year to come.

We found that we had a lot of things to celebrate during this retreat.  First and foremost, it is Rockton’s 20 year anniversary this year! We reminisced about our humble beginnings and dreamed about the many places we hope to go in the years to come.  We strategized excitedly about upcoming new products (have you checked out RPM yet?) and ventures (stay tuned!).  The selection of the recipient of our annual charitable software giveaway was an important agenda item (Congratulations Donor Network of Arizona!).  We welcomed several new employees into our midst.  And we talked about HR while sitting in a circle on the beach with our feet buried in the sand, the way all HR conversations should happen.

Tropical Storm Narda was a literal wet blanket on the beginning of our work-ation. That didn’t stop our lively crew from playing on the beach or in the pool during the balmy rainstorms, or willingly trudging through the flooded streets of downtown Puerta Vallarta in pursuit of an authentic cultural experience. During the daytime our families enjoyed fishing in the bay, zip-lining, massages, and visiting the local zoo.  Our evenings were filled with delicious shared meals, nightly shows, karaoke, and bottomless tequila.

By mid-week the storm had passed just in time for our special group excursion to Rhythms of the Night – SAVIA.  This evening started with a sunset cruise across Bandera Bay.  We docked in a tropical rainforest at Las Caletas, near a crumbling pyramid. Hundreds of flickering tiki torches lit our way to a breathtaking show about the Aztec creation story.  This stunningly beautiful show was followed by a delicious meal and a late night cruise back to our resort.

By the end of the week we left with a renewed spirit of community, feeling more relaxed and more excited for what is to come for all things Rockton!

One final note: As a part of our retreat we picked one local charity to give back to.  Rockton matched all donations made by staff to Familias de la Esperanza.  If you would like to read more about this charity or contribute to their cause, please read below:

Familias de la Esperanza (formerly called Children of the Dump)
In 2006, it was found that many families were living and working at the base of the city dump in Puerto Vallarta. This charity organization was created to help those families with the basic needs of food, water and clothing. It also named the road at the base Hope Road. Giving these people an actual address, they could now get birth certificates and register for school.  Over the years, housing has been built, childcare and schooling has been coordinated and provided. You can find more information about the organization here:  www.familiasdelaesperanza.org

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