In the serene natural beauty just outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the team at ZestyAI found the perfect setting for a unique and engaging offsite. Over the course of a week, the tranquil surroundings morphed into a hive of energetic connection, innovative collaboration, and spirited fun, all encapsulated by our theme: "Rev It Up!"
The offsite kicked off with an energizing welcome from ZestyAI's co-founders, Attila Toth & Kumar Dhuvur, as well as a stirring keynote from Roy Wright, the President and CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Wright's insights set an inspirational tone for the week and a perfect introduction to our hackathon, which was launched with in-depth discussions from Francis Bouchard, Managing Director, Climate, Marsh McLennan and board member of SBP, and Liz McCartney, COO and Co-Founder at SBP.
Cross-functional teams had a clear goal for our hackathon: to drive real impact for disadvantaged communities using ZestyAI's wildfire risk and property insights. The hackathon was produced in partnership with SBP, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to shrink the time between disaster and recovery.
The following day, ZestyAI hackathon teams alternated between high-octane adventures in the lush Mexican countryside, driving RZR's, and deeply focused work on their hackathon projects. In between the thrills and challenges, an exciting talk on the power and potential of generative artificial intelligence provided an interesting twist - a live demo that produced the first draft of this very blog post!
Thursday, in a display of creativity and shared vision, teams from across the organization presented their goals and plans. The spirit of ZestyAI came to life in everything from professional talks to an engaging puppet show from our Engineering team. An intensive workshop on our values gave everyone the opportunity to reconnect with our core beliefs, setting the tone for the intense, productive work that led up to the hackathon deadline.
On the final day, individual business units came together for brainstorming and team building, while the hackathon judges deliberated. By afternoon, four finalists had been selected and the teams prepared to present their innovative solutions to the entire company. The winning team, comprising Shanel Gauthier, Rutul Patel, Timothy Tse, Melissa Anthony, Wasiq Haris, Hal Northrop, Sam Fetchero, Boston Walker, and Nicholas Osborne, was hailed for presenting exceptional work.
As the offsite came to a close, the Zesty Fiesta, our closing party, became the perfect platform to celebrate our achievements, recognize our growth, and toast to our shared future. Here at ZestyAI, we're always looking forward, ready to build, innovate, and most importantly, "Rev It Up!"