Our First Annual Rustic Pathways Employee Summit!
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Our First Annual Rustic Pathways Employee Summit!

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Two weeks ago 113 Rustic Pathways team members from around the world gathered in Ohio for our largest company gathering to date.  The mission of the week was to bring everyone together to share in the vision of where Rustic Pathways is heading and to prepare for our busiest and most exciting travel season ever!

Below are just a few of our staff member’s reflections on the 2016 Summit.

“This is my 8th year with Rustic Pathways. When I first started, there were 50 total employees across the USA company. Now we have over 120! It was amazing to see that the one thing we all agree makes Rustic great—the human capital—has not been jeopardized with the company’s growth.

We’re a unique company, with unique career paths. As a manager, it’s my responsibility to facilitate and support career growth for everyone on my team. Reflecting on last week, I feel I can do that even better moving forward.”

– Harry Alvarez, Dominican Republic Country Director

“Each morning we began our sessions with a mindfulness and meditation practice to get everyone ready for the day. It’s refreshing to work for a progressive company that values individual employees and invests in our wellness in unconventional and exciting ways.”

– Dustin Huffman, Thailand Program Manager

“The Summit was an extremely important reminder of why we do the work we do, and how that fits into our common purpose and goal as an organization. There was a lot of of sincerity, openness, and authenticity  in all of our conversations because each person’s individual values really align with our company’s values.

Working remotely, sometimes I forget how much my own work directly affects others. Now I feel significantly invested in the work that I’m doing, that my team is doing…that everyone is doing for us across the globe!”

– Meg Koerber, Groups Program Coordinator

“Rustic feels 100% like a family to me. On Friday evening, we were all standing around watching the fireworks after an amazing week of meetings, social events, and just general shenanigans. I looked around and saw just about everyone with their arms around the person (or people) next to them. My heart felt like it couldn’t get any bigger. Seeing all of these amazing people from around the world, singing, swaying, and just being present in this beautiful moment where we are all together trying to make this world a little bit better. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and I am so proud to call the people of Rustic my family. “

– Michelle Michal, Personal Travel Advisor

We ended the successful week with a celebration, complete with a clambake, hoedown, and fireworks!

The company wide cornhole tournament got a little intense….

and our CEO and V.P. of Human Resources fearlessly took the Executive Polar Plunge in celebration of hitting our staff fundraising goal for the Rustic Pathways Foundation this year.  

Overall it was a fantastic week and we’re already excited for next year’s summit!

About the Author

Elizabeth Cortese

Social Media and Influencer Marketing Manager

Liz first developed a passion for travel while summiting Mount Kilimanjaro as a Rustic student. This taught her at an early age the importance of experiential education for students around the world. She has since graduated with a bachelor’s in marketing communications from Emerson College in Boston. When Liz is not hopping from restaurant to restaurant in San Francisco or buried in a New York Times bestseller, she can be found packing her bags to spend time with family and friends.