Cherry Bekaert, LLP, a favorite client, recently asked us to beef up their company team building strategies. This time they invited us to conduct a special Rescue Buddies Stuffed Animal Team Building Workshop. It was to be part of a “reconnaissance mission” in Orlando Florida.

Cherry Bekaert, LLP has a 70-year track record as one of the largest accounting firms in the country. Their CPAs provide tax, management, and accounting services to healthcare and transportation firms. They also work with real estate developers, restaurants, and multinational corporations; and government agencies, and organizations in many other industries.

Magnovo has been honored to work with them several times over the past few years. In fact, they were so inspired by the impact of their last Rescue Buddies workshop that they requested an encore this year.

A world of wonder

This year we were inside the Disney Theme Park at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek in Orlando. The hotel’s customer service was outstanding, and the Epcot Center and Disney’s Animal Kingdom were at our doorstep. So we could have been easily distracted by our luxurious surroundings, but our client was on a serious mission and so were we.

You see, each year Cherry Bekaert hosts a summer conference to introduce students to their industry and corporate culture. This year they decided to add another component: our workshop would be used to evaluate potential interns.

So 134 youth worked in small groups to create their Rescue Buddies while seeking to impress the Cherry Bekaert execs. And a manager was embedded in each group, a bit like the “Undercover Boss” TV show. Cherry Bekaert, LLP is a very prestigious firm so a lot was at stake. While it might have been daunting for some students, for others it was their chance to shine.

Accountability in accounting

At Cherry Bekaert, it is very important to them to have a workforce that values the importance of philanthropic service. Giving back to the community is one of their core values which always resonates with Millennials. They expect the companies they work for to have a sense of social responsibility.

They are particularly excited about businesses that believe as they do. Naturally,  our client had already vetted these prospective interns. Doubtless, these students also vetted Cherry Bekaert and were excited about the prospect of coming on board.

Although this generation is always game for community outreach, there are other professional demands they must master, too.  That’s where we come in. Magnovo has a reputation for working successfully with Millennials in developing skills they’ll need to bridge the great multi-generational divide. We accepted the Cherry Bekaert challenge eagerly.

Company team building with stuffed toys

Rescue Buddies are stuffed animals that help emotionally traumatized children heal after a family tragedy. Each cuddly animal comes in a brightly colored backpack with its own birth certificate attached.

Two wonderful local charities delivered this batch of Rescue Buddies. The first, New Image Youth Center provides year-round academic support to troubled youth. And Bridges of Light Foundation targets abused, abandoned, neglected, and other at-risk children.

During the presentation, each aspiring intern held their donation in their arms. They were surprised to learn that the gifts would go to children in crisis in the Orlando community. The expressions of joy and delight on their faces brought tears to the eyes of the charity representatives. They said that seeing the impact this experience had on the participants really affected them.

Everyone was emotionally overwhelmed and gratified by the whole experience. The Cherry Bekaert executives were impressed with this year’s crop of Millennials. And, of course, Magnovo is honored to remain their go-to company team building expert.