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What do Signs, Sewing, and Carving Snow Sculptures have in Common?

Troy McAlpin ON May 27, 2020

Announcing the Winners of xMatters’ Personal Progression Program

At xMatters we believe in growth, not just as it applies to our company and its success, but as it pertains to the very people that make it so special, our employees. Whether it’s personal growth or professional growth, we know how important it is to develop ourselves as individuals outside of work. We want our team members to come to xMatters feeling engaged and supported, the pursuit of their passions fueling them in new ways that benefit us all. That’s why we created 3P, the Personal Progression Program.

3P begins with employees applying for a grant by sharing their idea for personal progress, whether it’s a gym membership, new language, or overhaul of their garden. Once a 3P grant is awarded we ask that team members keep everyone up to date on how it’s going. It is inspirational for me and others to see how projects evolve. Once we get to the end of the year, employees vote for their favorite projects.

As an organization, 3P presents an opportunity for us to learn a little bit more about the skills and interests of our colleagues, while giving us the opportunity to encourage them in their pursuits. 3P winners receive grant money that enables them to continue pursuing their passion, or maybe even jumpstart a new one. Over the years, our grants have helped fulfill the dream of sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver, learn a new skill like woodworking, encouraged a marathoner to cross the finish line, contributed to the rescue of people from North Korea, and helped to adopt a special needs child.

This year, we’re proud to celebrate three more winners all of whom are exploring their personal growth in tangible ways, crafting with their hands and leading with their hearts.

Our third-place winner, Chris Patch, had every intention of using last year’s grant money to finish that novel he was keen to work on. But as often happens, life had other plans. The work of his graphic designer wife, which had been a part of his 3P presentation last year, caught the attention of a sign maker. An introduction and the opportunity to do a few signs turned into an enthusiasm for the art form. A new business was born from the desire to expand beyond hand cut stencils to automation. This year Chris plans to use his grant money to expand their new family business, but in the meantime has turned their skills and tools to making masks during COVID-19.

Personal progression leads to SunnyPatchDesign.com.

You can find wood signs on SunnyPatchDesign.

Our second-place winner, Brianna Thomas, has a hobby that she is looking to revive and develop: sewing. With a love for costumes and dresses, Brianna’s new sewing machine has her itching to get back into fabric stores and start creating. So far, she’s already created an impressive Viking outfit, and with her 3P grant, she’ll be able to buy materials and supplies to bring the rest of her imaginative designs to life. We can’t wait to see what she sews next.

Brianna in her viking outfit.

Nothing says personal progression like a viking swinging an axe.

Finally, our first-place winning grant goes to John Woodard, who is well on his way to achieving his goal of being a master carver. Dedicated to his craft, John has been competing as an amateur carver, finding joy and success in contests where he carves in sand, snow, and even pumpkins. It’s a passion that he takes seriously, traveling and carving alongside peers, in events around the country. This year’s grant will allow him to not only keep creating work but showcase it in an online portfolio. We applaud John’s ingenuity and dedication to his goal of being invited to participate in an event as a master carver.

The precision carving of personal progression.

First place well earned for this snow carving masterpiece.

We’re thrilled to see how everyone at xMatters has embraced personal progression, and to this year’s winners we extend hearty congratulations! Your commitment to growth and personal development is an inspiration to us all. I’m already looking forward to seeing the new projects the team dreams up this year.