Just a follow-up to our opening retreat held on September 22nd and 23rd. It was very informative, challenging and fun! The accommodations at the Fairfield Inn were wonderful.

We had a very interesting class participation exercise with W-B City Councilman Tony Brooks. He took us through a detailed time line of the history of Wilkes-Barre City regarding its expansion and revitalization, while Pat Endler, Vice-President of Borton-Lawson, drew detailed illustrations of the key moments in our city’s history. Mr. Brooks also confirmed for our class that the proper way to say Wilkes-Barre is Wilkes “berry”, such as in strawberry, and explained the history behind that fact.

We then went to the Farmer’s Market and had a walking tour of Wilkes-Barre City while being instructed by Larry Newman, Mike Lombardo and Joe Boylan, who all are involved in the economic and revitalization of W-B City, and are doing a magnificent job I might add! Part of our tour included visiting the offices of Pepperjam, which was very uplifting as I had no idea such a large tech savvy corporation exists right in the center of our city. The walking tour took us across Market Street Bridge to Kirby Park where we met Brianne Oempke and her team from Quest and participated in team building exercises, some of which were more challenging than others, but all were very fun. I was able to interact with many of my classmates and I find all of them very kind and helpful people. We all gathered later that evening for a fun mixer at TGIFridays and had a great time.

The second part of the retreat was where we learned Personal Assessment and which of the four primary categories we fall under: Thinker, Director, Relater or Socializer. I fall under the Socializer category, meaning I am open and direct and react at a fast pace. We learned the pros and cons as to each category and broke up into groups, which we then realized would be our team project groups. We learned how to come to a consensus in our groups and I must say … I am very happy with the team I am part of and believe we will do a wonderful job on our project.

On October 6th we went to CVS Caremark for the day and learned all about their facility and also were able to come to conclusions about which projects we will be working on. The team I am on will be doing a project involving the Special Olympics and I can’t wait to begin.

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