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As we near the holidays and another year draws to a close, we have a lot to celebrate at Neapolitan Labs.

It’s been a wonderful year serving our clients and welcoming new ones. We’ve expanded our team and our product offerings. We are so excited to look ahead to 2022 to see where another year takes us.

But before we leave 2021 in the past, we did want to revisit one of our biggest highlights of the year that we never had a chance to share (it was a good year but a busy one): our company summit.

In August, the Neapolitan Labs team gathered at our home base of Des Moines for a company meeting, new website/headshot photos, bonding activities, and, of course, the Iowa State Fair!

Neapolitan Labs team in front of Des Moines mural

Cheese Curds & Rides

Our first stop for the weekend was the fairgrounds. We visited Brian’s (our president) favorite spots, including the Giant Slide, Ye Old Mill, and the Skyride. Some of our more courageous team members even braved the Skyscraper.

No trip to the Iowa State Fair is complete without lots of calories, and we ate our fair share. Buckets of cookies, pickle and bacon mac and cheese, fried mac and cheese, potato ribbons, beef sundaes, and cheese curds were heartily consumed.

Best thing I’ve had in my life.

Stephanie Hernandez (after trying a cheese curd for the first time)Director, Enterprise Sales

T-Shirt Printing at The Side Garage

The next day, we visited our friends at The Side Garage for a live screenprinting event! Our team members each picked a couple of shirts and chose between versions of our Neapolitan Labs logo and Des Moines designs. Then The Side Garage’s Ashleigh and Elena walked us through adding the prints to our tees and tanks! Some of our team members even made adorably small Neapolitan Labs shirts for their little ones at home.

“I made a shirt for my son, Cedric, to match one I already have at home,” Ashley Miles, our content and training specialist shared. “He loves matching with me!”

Our shirts all came out great and it makes them all the more special knowing we participated in the printing! A huge shout out to Ashleigh and Elena for putting on such a great event! We can’t recommend it enough.

Company Meeting

After gearing up with company swag at The Side Garage, we headed over to our office for Fong’s Pizza and a company update. Brian and Caley, our chief business officer, shared news and gave some more insight into the company’s foundations and goals moving forward. In a very The Office-like moment, they closed the meeting with humorous and appreciative staff awards.

Friendly Competition

Our last event was a friendly competition at Smash Park, a restaurant, arcade, and entertainment center in West Des Moines.

We randomly split into two teams to compete in games of pickleball, shuffleboard, and bocce ball. After several intense rounds, it all came down to a tie and games of Heads Up! and cornhole. Our senior developer, director of enterprise sales, project manager, and managing director of client success came out victorious!

“Smash Park was by far my favorite team activity,” Kimber, our project manager said. “It was a perfect way to let loose and just have fun as a team.”

Being pregnant at this year's summit made for some difficulties when it came to playing games, like being more front-heavy and looking like I was diving for a ball during pickleball (made me look like I was serious about pulling a win for our team)!

Kimber BoxProject Manager

A 2021 Highlight

We’re so glad we got to have this experience with our team, especially after having to isolate ourselves so much in 2020. It was a great chance to bond with our fellow teammates and learn how to work better together, whether that’s on a pickleball court or developing a new website or client service.

Caleb Lewis, our senior developer, summed up all of our feelings by saying, “My favorite part of the weekend was getting to know more about my co-workers.”

We already looking forward to next year’s summit and hope it’s even better than the last!

It was a lovely weekend. Very happy that we were able to have it.

Caley LewisChief Business Officer
Ashley English

About Ashley English

Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in political science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. After graduating, her career path in a variety of industries (political campaigns, education, outdoor recreation, and tourism among others) strengthened her skills in writing, graphic design, social media marketing, photography, and proofreading.