Charitable Teambuilding in the Arizona Desert

In the heat of the Arizona desert, we conducted one of our coolest Bike-a-thon Charitable teambuilding Workshops ever. Our client: LeadMD based in Scottsdale. They’ve got the right prescription to generate leads for businesses that want to maximize their marketing dollars.

We arrived on a Friday and found these laid-back, lead-generating rock stars in full Millennial mode. Translation: the atmosphere was both relaxed and competitive.

Friday at LeadMD is “movie day.” Big screen TV monitors streamed hit flicks all day long. Magnovo workshops are always fun, but this turned into a party with food, libations, and non-stop good times.

Where other companies dread dealing with Millennials, Magnovo actually enjoys working with this generation. They generate lots of energy, are always innovative, and love a good challenge.

New beginnings, new challenges

They’d just moved into a new building a week before our arrival, and some areas were still under construction. New digs for a new company. This was their first charitable teambuilding workshop and they were stoked. Already close-knit, the CEO wanted the newbies on staff to see their colleagues on a more informal, personal level.

Of equal importance, their main interest in working with Magnovo was to build their philanthropic muscles. Our reputation had preceded us, so they were excited about our training and about giving back to their community.  

The 30 participants divided into small groups. They upped their competitive game as they strategized to “earn” the various components needed to assemble the bikes. And they improved their communications and problem-solving skills during each step.

Charitable teambuilding at its best

The recipient was Family Promise of Greater Phoenix headed by Lisa Randall. Magnovo has had the pleasure of working with this charity dozens of times. We count it a privilege to partner with them because of their mission. Equally impressed were the LeadMd employees. They were riveted to and inspired by Randall’s presentation.

Family Promise provides a hand up instead of a hand out to homeless families, and their success rate is phenomenal! They “adopt” a family for two months, taking care of their basic needs for food and clothing. Through their partnership with local shelters, they also provide a place to stay at night.

During the day, they offer job training and vocational resources. The ultimate goal: to help families secure new jobs and new homes. Those are the ingredients for a fresh start. Their work makes charitable teambuilding workshops like ours worthwhile.

Top marks all round

During the post-workshop survey, LeadMD CEO Justin Gray posted 4’s on everything–which means on a 0-to-4 rating system, we got top marks on every aspect of the event. Gray said, “Having a charity leader come in and reinforce the meaning of the exercise on several levels was impactful. The bike assembling was awesome and well facilitated.”

A participant commented, “I enjoyed that there was not a prize at the end,  as I had expected, because it reminded me that there was an intrinsic reward to be had for the charitable work we did.”

Our facilitator was a Magnovo veteran who has conducted hundreds of Magnovo workshops over the years. He claimed that this was absolutely one of the most enjoyable workshop experiences he’d ever had with some of the nicest people he’d ever met.

Essex Property Corporation Team Bonding

In the City of Angels, we recently spent the day facilitating team bonding activities with some old friends. The Essex Property Corporation has earned a stellar reputation for quality apartment construction and the development of beautifully designed communities. They’re one of the biggest real estate developers on the West Coast; and philanthropically, they have one of the biggest hearts.

We’ve worked with Essex in the past, and they’re a very strong team with a healthy corporate culture. But they want to raise the bar even higher in their team bonding goals in order to become more dynamic industry leaders.

And there’s nothing more important to these change agents than giving back to the community. So they convened 90 members of their staff from all over California to meet the Magnovo team at the Hilton Woodland Hills, in Los Angeles. They were eager to participate in our Wagon Builders Team Building Workshop.

Before we could get started with the Essex contingent, we were bowled over by the Hilton Woodland Hills management. Our team had a rather short window of time in which to set up. When the hotel managers realized that we were in a bind, they rolled up their sleeves and helped us unload the wagons and gifts so that we’d be ready for our clients.

It was a hot day and the work was hard! Nevertheless, these managers pitched in without being asked, and they worked just as hard as our Magnovo team. And to top it off, the room they provided for the main event was simply fantastic! Their customer service was elevated to the level of genuine customer care, and it exceeded our wildest expectations!

Wagons roll with Essex

The Essex staffers were divided into teams to collaborate in what surely must have been one of the most gratifying team bonding experiences they’d ever had. They assembled 14 wagons which required communications and problem-solving skills. Then they “blinged out” each wagon with colorful and imaginative decorations. And for the piece de resistance they crammed each wagon full of toys, books, and games for hospitalized children, all of whom are gravely or terminally ill.

The wagons were distributed by the Ronald McDonald House of Pasadena. Melissa Malone, their Director Of Development, Events and Corporate Engagement, was delighted and grateful for each wagon. When she explained why these particular wagons were so special, the Essex staff fell into a stunned silence.

Each wagon would become a “chariot of love” for those patients who were able to leave their beds so that their parents could wheel them around the hospital. What a welcome diversion from the daily physical and emotional onslaught with which they have to cope every day! And the toys, games, and other gifts would be shared with the siblings of these sick babies.

Charity begins at home

As always the Essex team receive the emotional payoff that comes with Magnovo’s charitable team building events. But they also received a trophy for their artistry. Each member of the team with the most original and imaginative decorations won a trophy! So they left the event with their arms full, their hearts overflowing, and the company’s team bonding goals achieved.


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Team Building Thursdays: Walt Disney

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.

~Walt Disney

The Importance of Teambuilding to Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is one company where the importance of teambuilding is as clear as a blue sky. They started out as a small crop dusting operation. Now Delta commands more than 15,000 flights every day and serves 180 million passengers each year. They couldn’t stay aloft without a strong team.

A vital part of that team involves cargo management. In 2017 Delta’s cargo ton-miles came to 2.15 billion. Yes, ton-miles is a real thing. To be precise it’s the tons of cargo they transported last year multiplied by the miles they covered.   

Delta Air Lines- ACS/Cargo Learning asked Magnovo to facilitate a charitable workshop as part of their training and teambuilding. Nothing can bond a staff like pets.

Our Happy Tails Charitable Teambuilding Workshop was just the ticket.

Happy Tails fills the gap between love and commitment for prospective pet owners. First time pet parents may spend more than $1,00 the first year, and $500 every year after. Buying a pet from a shelter can run as high as $250, and initial veterinary bills can add additional strain. These costs can put pet ownership out of financial reach for a lot of people. Our pet care donations make it easier for families to open their hearts if they’re reluctant to open their purses.

The benefits of giving back

We met 50 Delta staffers at Atlanta’s Crowne Plaza Hotel and divided them into small groups. Our facilitator read the group well and tailored the workshop accordingly. He kept the energy level up and reinforced the importance of teambuilding at every step.

Each team competed in a series of high energy activities. Success earned the teams the pooch presents and kitty cache for their Happy Tails pet care packages. Dog collars, chew toys, blankets, food and water bowls, leashes, and pillows. Each item brought a homeless pet closer to his forever home.

The benefits of pet parenting

Pet ownership is good medicine. Pets can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They can fill an emotional void and relieve depression. Pet therapy can even help reduce chronic pain.

The recipient of these pet care packages was the Best Friends Animal SocietyThey gladly received each one and appreciated what they would mean to a lot of orphan animals.

The Delta team enjoyed the whole experience because it created such a high engagement level for each of them. Overall, feedback after our Happy Tails Workshop was full of happy tales of camaraderie.

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Team Building Thursdays: Ambassador Yakovenko

A certain part of the British elite has made a strategic choice in favor of worsening relations with Russia, it’s difficult to reach a different conclusion when you hear that the political leadership of Great Britain regards your country as the main threat on a par with Islamic State.

~Ambassador Yakovenko

Company Team Development with the Thetford Corporation

Company team development can be difficult to achieve. The Thetford Corporation got the job done thanks to one of our most popular workshops. The Rescue Buddies Stuffed Animal Charitable Workshop helps companies with teambuilding goals along with children in crisis.

The Thetford Corporation is a leading designer and manufacturer of portable toilets for campers, RVs, and trucks. They service a number of other industries including marine, trucking, and disaster emergency.

Nobody really thinks about portable toilets–at least not until they need one. Picture: sporting events, outdoor concerts, political rallies, and the like. They’ve had an interesting evolution, to say the least.

Today portable toilets cleaner, more hygienic, and energy efficient. What’s more, they use 90 percent less water than conventional toilets. And save 45 billion gallons of fresh water each year. The Thetford Corporation is a major player in this billion dollar industry.

Company team development objectives

Consistent company team development is one of the reasons they’re forerunners in their field. They invited Magnovo to their hometown Ann Arbor Michigan to help them up their game.

We met their staff at Weber’s Inn, an 80-year-old, family-run boutique hotel near the University of Michigan. It provided an intimate picturesque setting for our event.

The 17 participants divided into small groups to assemble their stuffed animal donations.

It’s not unusual for Thetford to deliver portable toilets to first responders at disaster sites. However, this time around was different. They chose to team up with police officers, firefighters, and EMS workers in response to a different kind of emergency.

Rescue Buddies are stuffed animals for children who’ve survived a house fire, a flood, or other life-altering disasters. These cuddly toys comfort and soothe them. They literally rescue the kids from the emotional distress they’re suffering.

Company team development through giving

The Thetford team was honored to help some of the traumatized kids in their community. They also welcomed the chance to practice the teambuilding techniques we taught them  boost their company team development.

Communications and problem-solving skills along with an understanding of collaboration. They used these tools to reach their company team development goals and assemble their Rescue Buddies.

After assembly, they tagged each toy with a “birth certificate” and stuffed into a brightly colored backpack. They were distributed to the new owners by a local charity, the Foundations Preschool of Washtenaw County.

The Foundations Preschool serves low-income families by preparing their children for academic success.  They provide free meals, subsidized tuition, and free health screenings.  This dedicated staff supports the parents as well. They offer monthly workshops for personal and professional growth.

The preschool eagerly and gratefully received each donation. And Magnovo struck another home run with our client.  


Charitable Teambuilding with Dechert LLP

Repeat business is the fruit of repeated success. We had the pleasure of working with Dechert LLP again recently during one of our most popular charitable teambuilding events. The Dechert staff was dynamic and invigorating as usual and our facilitators loved working with them.

Dechert LLP is a major player in international litigation. The scope of their legal expertise includes tax, real estate, intellectual property, life science, financial restructuring, international arbitration, and more. Dechert’s influence is as vast as their reach. Yet they find time to donate more than 80,000 hours of pro bono work each year.

Charitable teambuilding on a mission

They asked us to join them in launching their diversity and inclusion training initiative. This is a heavy topic and a major issue in the legal industry. Diversity and inclusion are built into the Magnovo business model, so this collaboration was a very organic process for us.

We are experts at finding ways to eliminate conflicts caused by differences that alienate people. Our customized events are social platforms that make the things people have in common both obvious and easy to work with.

We tailored our Wheelcharity Teambuilding Workshop to exactly mirror Dechert’s diversity and inclusion strategy point-for-point, strategy-for-strategy. As a result, our charitable teambuilding approach added tremendous scope and value to their symposium.

Charitable teambuilding on wheels

The Wheelcharity concept puts “inclusion” into action. We got things rolling at the historic Soho Grand Hotel in Manhattan. Our team of facilitators helped Dechert’s 80 staffers build 13 wheelchairs for some people who often feel excluded every day. Many disabled military veterans feel cut off from society because they can’t get around on their own.

There are 20 million military veterans in the USA, and nearly 4 million suffered service-connected disabilities. The average cost of a standard wheelchair is $500, which is financially out of reach for many of these heroes.

Most of us take our ability to move around for granted. But for millions of Americans, mobility is a daily challenge. Wheelchairs remove barriers to personal freedom and help them win the battle to resume normal, productive lives with their families.

The 13 wheelchairs donated to the Manhattan Campus of VA New York Harbor Healthcare System helped to change 13 lives. They made day-to-day responsibilities less of a struggle. They restored the new owners’ freedom and sense of well being. The wheelchairs allowed each recipient to move physically and this can improve their mental and emotional health.

Both Magnovo and Dechert LLP were honored to be a part of this charitable teambuilding event. It’s gratifying to make such a  difference in the lives of men and women who sacrificed for us all.


Corporate Teambuilding with Medtronic


Our latest Bike-a-thon™ turned into a marathon and a model of corporate teambuilding!  This workshop with Medtronic was like nothing we’ve ever done before! Of course, considering how unique the company is, our experience with them was bound to be a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Based in 160 countries, Medtronic Energy and Component Center is the world’s largest medical technology company. They provide innovative services and solutions to patients suffering from hundreds of maladies including diabetes, heart problems, and chronic pain. From renal failure to spinal trauma, their workforce of 84,000 employees save thousands of lives every year.

Charity on an epic scale

At their facility in Brooklyn Center Minnesota, they took corporate teambuilding through charitable giving to a whole other level. Being a good corporate neighbor is part of Medtronic’s cultures. So our charitable workshop continued their tradition of staging a huge philanthropic event every year.

Over 2 days, Medtronic 1000 workers rotated shifts and constructed 200 bikes! The first day began at 5 am and ended 12 hours later. Day 2 started at 7 am and ended at 5 pm.

And as if that wasn’t enough of a wild ride for our facilitators, on the first day Medtronic kicked things up another notch! In the middle of day 1, our team raced to another Medtronic venue and conducted another Bike-a-thon™ with 58 doctors and scientists who built 10 bikes!

Not only did the Medtronic staffers put the bikes together, they also volunteered to help our team set up for the workshops and oversee safety checks. It was a blistering hot day, but they didn’t shirk the heavy work of loading the bikes for distribution to the various charities.

A marathon of kindness

Speaking of which, this was yet another “first” for Magnovo. Instead of donating the bikes to a single charity for distribution, a number of charities were involved.

They included the YMCA and a number of its partners.

Community Emergency Assistance Programs or CEAP supports and educates low-income people with disabilities.

Simon Says Give runs a phenomenal program that teaches kids about volunteerism as a form of good citizenship!

Bike Cops for Kids is building goodwill throughout underserved communities one bike ride at a time. The primary target of these police officers is not criminals. It’s kids in their community who need to know that cops are their friends.

And Bikes 4 Kids refurbishes bikes for kids and people in need. They were ecstatic to receive new ones!

This corporate teambuilding extravaganza was one wild bike ride that Magnovo will always treasure!

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Team Building Thursdays: Successful Entrepreneurs

Successful entrepreneurs are givers and not takers of positive energy.


Leadership Training at Crestron Electronics

Since 1971 Crestron Electronics has been a pioneer in electronic ingenuity and in leadership training. Magnovo was invited to work with a group of interns and their mentors to achieve some of their teambuilding goals.   

Collaborative technologies. Wireless presentation systems. Home security systems. Audio and video distribution. Building management systems. Dynamic control surfaces. In every area of design and production, Crestron has raised the bar of quality and innovation.

Crestron is equally passionate about corporate social responsibility. The company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of veterans. Their generous gifts of technology and services have helped thousands of people with critical eye conditions.

Their interest in our Bike-a-thon Charitable Teambuilding Workshop made perfect sense. It reflected their ongoing commitment to making the lives of their customers and their community better. Crestron understands that leadership training is the only way to fulfill this mission.

Generosity improves leadership training

The foundation of Magnovo’s leadership training is corporate social responsibility. We know that charity builds stronger teams. And generosity and makes better leaders. In this spirit, we traveled to the Legacy Tower in Plano Texas to work with 20 interns and their mentors.

They were from different Crestron plants around North America. They knew each other but had never worked together. Our workshop was customized for them to develop relationships and build trust while building the bikes.

Collaboration facilitates leadership training

Apart from the frame, pedal, saddle, handlebars, brakes, and wheels, a bike has dozens of other working parts. Do you know what a wingnut does? How about steering tubes or cable guides? No clue? Then you’re like most of us. We just mount up and ride out. But without all of those unknown parts, our bikes wouldn’t work.

Our Bike-a-thons are great exercises in identifying “working parts” and valuing how they fit in the wider scheme of things. The Crestron staffers had to pull together in order to put together each bike. During the process, they learned how to put their different talents to good use for a common cause.

Leadership training is successful when everyone values the part they play and they feel valued for their contribution.  

Generosity that aids healing

The Crestron crew assembled 4 bikes that were donated to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Pediatric orthopedics. Sports industries. Juvenile arthritis. Neurological disorders. This network of pediatric hospitals is world renowned. Every day these medical heroes battle disease and suffering to restore happiness and health to their patients.

The hospital representatives were tremendously grateful for the bikes and for the hard work of the Crestron team. They actually brought everyone hats to celebrate!

In addition to this souvenir, the interns took away a lot of life lessons. And the Crestron managers invited us back for more leadership training.