Top 7 Firsts in 7 Years of GoTeam in Cebu, Philippines
If you’re weighing a plan to join the GoTeam tribe, we hope these 7 stories about our first 7 years will give you a better idea of who we are and what we stand for. Come join our tribe!
When the GoTeam tribe celebrated our seventh anniversary, public health restrictions were still in place. That didn’t stop us from celebrating how much the tribe has grown, especially since the many events of 2020.
Gratitude forms part of the seven core values that influence everything we do in GoTeam. That’s part of the reason we are taking the time to look back at seven of our milestones.
Yet a bigger part of the reason is the hope that by giving you a good look at who we are, we might encourage you to join us.
Businesses that are determined to grow back stronger after this pandemic need your skills, your talent, and your drive. And there’s nothing we would love more than to see you unleash your potential and surprise yourself.
So let’s get started!
Who was our first Virtual Assistant?
In 2013, GoTeam Founder Matt Kesby was looking for a team member who would help him by providing customer support and answering queries.
This way, he could focus on doing facilitation work as an Execution Practice Leader for FranklinCovey in Australia and New Zealand.
At that point, he had not had a great time working with freelancers before. Some were overbooked, doing multiple projects at the same time. Others would just go missing in action.
And then he met Ian Ramos.
Matt has described Ian as an incredible human being, someone who has reserves of empathy and the ability to guide a customer with love and care through any challenging situation.
Ian now heads a division in SimpleRent, a payments automation platform that recently won the Most Innovative Real Estate Payments Solution Award in the Australian Enterprise Awards for 2021! His growth in the organization is just one of many reminders of the range of skills our team now provides fast-growing SMEs in the United States, Australia, and other countries.
Where was the first GoTeam office in the Philippines?
Gagfa Tower in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City had been open for less than 2 years when the GoTeam tribe moved in.
A second site soon opened in the Centro Fortuna building on A.S. Fortuna in Mandaue City. In the 5 years that GoTeam stayed in the Gagfa Tower, it grew large enough to require not just part of one level but a major part of both the seventh and eighth floors of the building.
When GoTeam moved into its present space in the i1 Building of Cebu I.T. Park in June 2019, it was the first time the entire tribe shared the same vast floor in one building.
We could definitely see and feel the difference when we gathered in the central, non-voice area for our first CEO Presentation in the new space.
Since March 2020, most of the tribe have been based at home, in keeping with public health restrictions needed to beat the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can choose a career opportunity that is either work from home or office-based, on the day shift (for those working with Asia-Pacific clients) or on the night shift (for our fast-growing community of U.S. clients). Either way, you will get the support and encouragement of a kind and caring work culture that makes your safety a priority.
We named our first GoTeam Ambassador in 2018. If you’re into web development, introduce yourself! You’ll learn plenty from this exceptional team player!
Kent joined the tribe as a Web Designer in January 2015.
Just 2 months before his fourth work anniversary, he won the honor of being the first GoTeam Ambassador in November 2018.
The GoTeam Ambassador is the person who best represents leading and living by our values to achieve both exceptional results and personal growth. One is named every year. Every month, the CEO Award is also given to the team or individual contributor who embodies most or all of the core values consistently.
Leading by our values has helped GoTeam (soon to be called the Global Office team) grow despite the challenges this pandemic has created.
And the first client who ever visited GoTeam in Cebu can tell you that leading by our values has helped our leaders make important decisions for the tribe’s safety and growth!
Our First Client Visit – Guess Who?
That’s none other than our CEO and Co-Founder Fiona Kesby!
In May 2014, Fiona visited Cebu for the first time and met with Ian Ramos, who was then a Recruitment Admin Assistant for the GoTeam tribe.
At the time, Fiona was working with a large recruitment company and she had a VA who supported her with executive search tasks.
When she visited Cebu, she was also weighing a plan to help with the Sales and Recruitment functions. The bigger question was whether she would agree to move to Cebu to scale the business. At first, she hesitated.
“On the plane on the way back (to Australia), I started thinking, ‘Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I reinvent my life, do something really different, and show my daughters that anything’s possible if you put your mind to it?” Fiona said. “I knew that there would be challenges because this was different. Or this could be a great adventure!”
Barely a year after that first visit, she moved to Cebu with her two daughters and took the helm as GoTeam’s CEO and Head of Culture.
Our First Work Anniversary Lunch with the CEO
As part of her commitment to building a remarkable culture, Fiona makes it a point to meet with every team member at least once a year. In fact, they meet with her twice in their first six months.
Everyone gets opportunities to speak up about their ideas for making GoTeam better and to share these with Fiona directly.
In most companies, you only get to meet the CEO if you’re in senior management. Not in GoTeam, though.
Every year, team members also get to catch up with Fiona when they celebrate their GoTeam work anniversary
The first GoTeam Work Anniversary Lunch was with the A.S. Fortuna team members who were celebrating their first and second anniversaries. This took place last 29 April 2019 in Golden Cowrie restaurant.
The team members were: Israeli Esnardo, Angelic Pernito, Janna Regencia, Johanna Canas, Darla Loyloy, Vynesse Ceniza, April Rose Cañete, and Elinore Malagar.
First Monthly Celebration
GoTeam’s first ever team-building activity took place in Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Liloan town in June 2014.
Shaw Donayre, who had joined the tribe that same month as a Web Developer, recalls that it was also Matt’s first visit to Cebu.
There were 6 team members then: Ian Ramos, Anna Liza Ramos, Alfredo Uy, Faith Cataluña, Ralph Macabinta, and Shaw Donayre.
Now that there are nearly 450 of us (as of early June 2021), organizing these monthly celebrations has become a more complex process that our Chief Happiness Officer Michelle takes care of.
We’re always looking for ways to say thank you for bringing your best self to work every day and for exceeding expectations!
First Virtual Event – All In Conference, June 2020
For virtually all of 2020, events and conferences worldwide got cancelled or postponed. Businesses adjusted quickly to an international travel ban, quarantine, and other public health restrictions.
By June 2020, GoTeam hosted our first virtual conference, called All In, to encourage clients and friends to get ready for the opportunities that would eventually emerge during the pandemic.
Our CEO Fiona hosted the virtual event. The speakers were author and CEO Coaching International Founder Mark Moses, Andrew Cole of the organization behind Tick Bird Profiles, and our GoTeam and Global Office Founder Matt, who spoke about how to win in outsourcing.
As a tribe, we have held several virtual events since then and we keep on learning how to make these more enjoyable and more meaningful.
We are grateful for everyone’s ideas and commitment to help the tribe achieve more firsts in the years ahead!
To our Bountiful Growth!
If you’ve always wanted to belong to a work tribe where your safety, growth, and happiness are valued, come join our tribe! Our list of current career opportunities keeps growing on https://go.team/ph/jobs/. Find the one that suits your needs and values best!