Wondering what the Pacific Office Automation Sales Kickoff could possibly look like? So were we, so we took Doug Pitassi up on his invitation and attended. The company is marching toward $400 million in annual revenue and has a whopping 250 sales reps out there hitting the streets – I saw a LOT of Gen Z in the group!
It all started with a reception sponsored by Canon Friday night at a cool rooftop bar that included vendor partners as well as the sales team. Doug Pitassi kicked it off with a casual vibe and a toast.
On Saturday the real business began – opening with both a professional ballet troupe and a hip-hop group with an assist from Konica Minolta as the event’s official entertainment sponsor. Dance was a recurring theme throughout the meeting as you will see below. Doug Pitassi “entered the room” by parachute, pointed toes included!
A poignant tribute to CFO Gerry Romjue, who passed away in November, was delivered by POA CEO Terry Newsom. POA had invited the entire Romjue family to the event; sitting nearby I could see how touched they and the entire room were by Terry’s heartbreaking but meaningful memorial.
The conversation this year was about taking the leap in 2020 and getting out of your comfort zone, and there were definitely a few uncomfortable moments for both the participants on stage as well as the audience. The POA choir managed to roll every department of POA into the fun with a medley of hits extolling pledges by department leaders on how they plan to challenge the status quo. We were blown away by the talent displayed on stage – it’s unbelievable to watch these imaging channel professionals rolling out some world-class entertainment and realizing their day jobs are in accounting or sales or service at POA.
Mixed in with the POA team were professional acrobats performing in little vignettes during stage changes and dancers helping the POA team look like they were born to classical ballet. There were some fun challenges for the top 40 sales staff involving “food mysteries” and then a sort of “Dancing with the Stars” contest was reserved for the top 10. Elaborate costumes and a whole lot of work and creativity were involved!
The banquet and awards dinner concluded the evening and included an incredible performance by 14-year old “violin prodigy” Giovanni Mazza, who regularly plays solo violin for the NBA.
I guess this is what it takes to grow to $400 million in the imaging channel – that’s a crazy high bar for everyone else!