Like many professionals in the workplace, I struggle to find the extra hour in the day just to “get it all done.” The thought of service to my community does cross my mind, especially when there are so many areas that need attention. But when, how? Basically, I need to roll up my sleeves and dig in, just like the Serena St. Albans, UK office did. My heart warmed when I heard about the team volunteering to help out at the Watling View School recently.
Watling View School is a school for children and young people with severe learning difficulties. They have 85 students between the ages of 3 and 19 and have plans to increase enrollment. The school grounds were in need of some tender, love and care after the summer break. This became a great opportunity for the Serena St. Albans team to give back, learn about the school, and most important, interact with the students, who absolutely love to meet and work with visitors.
After a quick briefing, the team of Serena employees and students worked to tidy up the vegetable and sensory gardens, and helped continue construction of a greenhouse made out of bamboo sticks and recycled plastic bottles (pictured). How cool is that? I’m a huge supporter of environmental sustainability and this part of the project was so interesting to me. If you’re thinking of trying this one at home, be prepared to cut and wash a lot of plastic bottles!
I know all of the Serena employees that pitched in at Watling View School really enjoyed helping a wonderful organization, having fun, and coming together as a team to accomplish something positive for those who really need our help. They’re committed to go back to the school each quarter to continue sprucing up the gardens, planting and painting – not to mention completing the greenhouse! See more photos from the event.
I confess that I had no idea what a Fitbit was until my coworkers raved about this tiny device that measures your fitness level at all hours of the day. I’d see them peering at their stats to check how many steps they’d taken and total calories burned. I love how Serena employees take their health and wellness seriously!
This summer the Serena St. Albans, UK office participated in the Big Herts Cycle Challenge, a contest for those working and living in Watford, St. Albans and Hemel Hempstead. The goal was to get as many people as possible riding a bike for at least 10 minutes. The company that enlisted the most participation would be rewarded with a variety of awesome prizes, including a Kindle Fire, dinner voucher for Jamie’s Kitchen and a brownie cake (pictured).
Guess what? Serena won last year. So, they were looking for a repeat. And no surprise that they took top honors again in their organization size category (50-199 people) with 38.5% participation. Collectively, the St Albans office logged 160 trips, which totaled 1,592 miles and 49,350 calories! With those stats, they deserved to eat the cake!
How did they do it, you ask? Training and dedication, even when the weather wasn’t cooperating. The group organized three lunch-time bike trips at varying miles. Plus, a local bike shop created an obstacle course and conducted a watt bike test on site. The participants were definitely motivated and inspired. One employee alone logged in 302 miles.
Way to go, St. Albans Office. Cycle on! See more photos from the event.
It’s back-to-school season! Although I’m way past my college days, I wouldn’t mind enrolling at Iowa State University (ISU) just to see what it’s like attending class in Troxel Hall (pictured, courtesy of Iowa State University), a new state-of-the-art teaching auditorium that will be dedicated this week. The building will be used for entry-level chemistry classes and is one of the most sustainable on campus (the roof of the building has growing vegetation). With swivel chairs, the latest education technology, and wireless portals, Troxel Hall is equipped to be a collaborative learning environment.
The new auditorium is named after Serena Software Founder and ISU Alumnus Doug Troxel. He heads up a family, non-profit organization, the Change Happens Foundation, which donated $5 million to ISU for the construction of Troxel Hall. This is so amazing and such a wonderful gift back to the community. I read these comments by Mr. Troxel on a LinkedIn user group:
“It is my way of giving back to those who helped me find my career. As a senior at ISU in 1966, I thought I was going to be a math or physics teacher. Then, my advisor suggested I might like this new-fangled technology called Fortran. He assisted me in crossing college boundaries to the Engineering Department where I took this very first class offered. We had to punch our own cards and stack them in trays for one submittal per day and live with whatever the compiler determined.
The industry has come a long way since then but I never forgot how much that one little decision to go outside my comfort zone counted.”
Wow, that’s inspiring, as will Troxel Hall be to all students who learn there. For more and photos of the building, read “Troxel Hall is moving toward opening day.”
Exciting times at Serena! A hearty welcome back to Bob Pender as he returns to Serena Software as CFO! Bob was CFO at Serena for nearly 14 years until leaving about 2 years ago. He was heavily involved in taking Serena public in 1999, acquiring Merant in 2004 and the going private transaction with Silver Lake in 2006. Currently, Bob is working on the transformational process of a new Serena and is excited about the future direction. (More about this at xChange13, our global user conference from September 16-18 in Miami.) Everyone here is thrilled to continue to benefit from his finance and software business acumen. Read more about Bob Pender on our Management page.