Business Monday

Holiday parties celebrate employees and the year’s successes

Ornaments hang on a Christmas tree on display in New York.
Ornaments hang on a Christmas tree on display in New York. AP

This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: Does your company have a holiday party? Why or why not?

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We do. It’s become a wonderful opportunity to simply enjoy the company of those with whom we work — and to celebrate the successes (and discuss the challenges) of the past year.

Vance Aloupis, CEO, The Children’s Movement of Florida

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Good Hope annually hosts a holiday party in conjunction with its participant/rider gathering where staff and riders join together for an afternoon of holiday fun. Initially, we hosted two separate holiday parties — one for employees and participants — but the team agreed that they would rather celebrate the holidays with our clients and their families, as our participants/riders are considered a part of our extended family. Our holiday celebration is open to family members of our employees and clients. For the safety of everyone, the celebration does not include alcohol.

Margaret “Peggy” Bass, executive director, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center

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We ask our team members to go above and beyond for the families we serve and the communities we build throughout Miami-Dade County each and every day. Once a year we pause for several hours at our annual holiday lunch to celebrate our staff for the contributions they make individually and collectively to bring our mission to life.

Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, president, CEO, Carrfour Supportive Housing

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Every year we celebrate our hard work and success at a holiday party. It’s a prime opportunity to enjoy and create good times and memories outside the office, while expressing appreciation. I feel it’s a priority to let everyone know how important their contributions are to the company’s accomplishments.

Michael A. Comras, president, The Comras Company of Florida

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Yes, we do. It’s an important time of the year to gather, share a good meal and have a good time as a team. Holiday office parties offer a good opportunity to strengthen company morale. After all, they are about celebrating the successes of the year, showing gratitude and encouraging bonding among team members and across departments.

Jose R. Costa, CEO, For Eyes

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Yes, annual holiday party. Brings the staff together to celebrate as one company and meet other employees from the company. We feel it’s important for employee morale and camaraderie.

Alejandro Fernandez, CEO, Gastro Health

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Suffolk believes holiday parties are a great opportunity to pause and recognize our accomplishments, not just celebrate the season. Also, while professional colleagues certainly form a work family, we encourage employees to bring their significant other. After all, that support system is a major contributor to our success as a company.

Jeff Gouveia, president, general manager, SE region, Suffolk

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Yes we do.

Jerome Hutchinson, Jr., managing partner, JHJ Marketing Group

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Yes, we host a holiday party for our staff each year because it’s a simple way to say thank you and show our employees how much we appreciate them. As a nonprofit, we don’t have access to many of the benefits available in corporate America and we consistently operate with lean budgets. But that doesn’t mean our staff doesn’t work any less hard. Events like holiday parties and birthday celebrations give us the opportunity to build stronger teams and support each other.

Willie Logan, founder, CEO and president, Opa-locka Community Development Corp.

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Yes. Over the years, the stories and photos from our holiday party tradition have become a fun part of our company culture. Our holiday party offers everyone the opportunity to celebrate together while recognizing key people, teams and events, which strengthens our connections with each other. It also provides a glimpse into plans for the future of the organization, which builds pride in our company, generates excitement and deepens our commitment to one another.

Raymond Mobayed, owner, 4IT Inc.

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Each year we host a holiday dinner party to celebrate the year’s accomplishments, enjoy one another’s company (no spouses or other invited), and provide a special “thank you” to each of our employees. Given the demanding nature of our work, this enables our team to “let their hair down” and have a fun evening together in a festive environment where we don’t “talk shop!”

Julie Neitzel, partner, WE Family Offices

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The Biltmore Hotel hosts an annual holiday party for all employees and their guest as a goodwill gesture to show our employees how much they are valued and appreciated. Our holiday parties are located in our grand CCA Ballroom and include a buffet dinner, dessert display, entertainment, recognition and fun. We also have a Breakfast with Santa party where our employees bring their children and grandchildren to meet Santa and enjoy a morning full of fun activities.

Gene Prescott, president and CEO, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables

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Yes, and it is my favorite day of the year. Instead of doing a traditional party, we take a half-day off and have a company picnic at a local sports park. True to our sports roots, we play soccer, basketball, tennis and other sports. Afterward, we have a big asado (barbecue), for which we all come together to eat and celebrate. We started doing it five years ago and it is now a tradition for our team.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president, Univision Deportes

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We actually host two holiday parties every year: one for our employees and another for our subcontractors, legal teams and other members of the extended Related family. We work hard, but also make it a priority to provide our team with events where they can celebrate the year’s accomplishments and bond with peers they don’t typically interact with.

Carlos Rosso, president, The Related Group’s Condominium division

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We have been celebrating holiday parties for more than 54 years. Back in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, we would rent out restaurants and/or ballrooms and make it a huge event. Over the years, we scaled it down and began to have lunches in our facility the day prior to Christmas, where our employee family would enjoy a great meal, a live raffle with amazing prizes and look forward to a nice long vacation through the new year.

Stan Rudman, CMO and owner, Sportailor Inc.

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Many years ago, our staff was given the choice of whether to continue having an annual holiday party or to instead receive a holiday bonus. The decision was overwhelmingly in support of receiving an annual bonus. No one has complained about that decision!

Kim Stone, general manager and EVP, AmericanAirlines Arena

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Yes, we have an annual holiday party to thank our employees for their hard work and commitment to our mission. Our employees are encouraged to participate in the planning.

Teri Williams, president, CEO and a director, OneUnited Bank

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We have a party every year as a way of celebrating our shared accomplishments. We also believe that having fun together enhances morale and enthusiasm.

Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects

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