Three to four times a year, the core team at RTC gets together in Jacksonville, FL to discuss the company, dream out new possibilities, and share laughter and love. It’s a chance to reconnect and hug each other close.
We call these get-togethers the DECKK Retreats (David, Erin, Corey, Katie, and Kristin), and they usually revolve around food.
“What should I have on hand for breakfasts?”
“Who wants to try an authentic Mexican joint for lunch? Katie can order in Spanish!”
“Bring a nice outfit to wear. We have reservations at the latest hot spot in Jax.”
We gather around a table and relish new food and drink experiences together, the way any family would. We try new dishes and laugh hysterically when one member of the group doesn’t like something, or has to spit it out into a napkin because of the texture or spicy sauce.
Sometimes a home-cooked meal calls everyone to the kitchen to chop and mix and bump into each other as we navigate our way through a recipe. We nourish our bodies while we nourish our souls with the twinkles in our eyes shooting across the dinner table at each other as another glass of wine is poured or a spoonful of the always-shared sides and appetizers are heaped onto our plates. Food has become a way of sharing our love.
Last week our DECKK Retreat included a potential RTC Author, someone who was considering writing a book about his own story. We invited him out for a beautiful dinner and the joy flowed. Stories and secrets were shared, honest conversation floated above the dark, appropriately round table holding up our forks and water glasses. But beneath the conversation that hovered above, I watched our client begin to understand why we call RTC a family.
Corey’s soup, a pumpkin and squash puree with pesto and pepita seeds was carefully passed to each person. “You have got to try this. It’s amazing.”
David’s appetizer selection called for the intentional use of a single, shared cheese knife and serving spoon, yet no one used either. We dipped our forks and fingers into the appetizer, almost wooing the little bites into our mouths with “mmmm’s” and “try this one.”
When the main courses arrived, I watched each member of my team cut small bites of their entrees and pass them side to side, across the table, any way they could get the other members of our family to enjoy in their own delicious experience. A small bite of Corey’s short ribs on my plate of scallops called for me to share with Kristin in exchange for a bite of her gourmet chicken and waffles. We passed forks, glasses, and smiles around the table as the conversation continued to hover above us.
After a while, I looked up to see that our potential new client was smiling, watching this dinner dance that is, by now, so well choreographed no one even thinks twice about dipping their own spoon into someone else’s mashed potatoes. The conversations were deep and intense, but they aren’t what sold this potential RTC Author on a book contract. The idea that he, too, could join a family full of so much love spoke volumes more than any sales pitch or client reference ever could.
I watched him set his fork down and lean his broad shoulder back. He smiled, seeing the roots of our company here on the table. And after a few minutes, he held up his freshly grilled salmon and asked, “Would anyone like a bite of mine?”