This article is usually about what we do in the community, connecting with like-minded individuals and groups who are doing things to improve life in our Tampa Bay area. But this month I wanted to talk about our own company—CES’s community. As a company that has won the Tampa Bay Times Top Work Place for 8 years, I thought it would be good to get a bit of insight into why that is.

It was an astounding year with unbelievable performances from our crew—successes that should be shared and made known.

The company culture here at Consumer Energy Solutions is like no other—I promise! In this time of craziness in the world, our group has banded together to help more people with their energy needs than ever before. We had a highest-ever November! Higher than any other month in the 22-year history of the company!

This was rewarded with a lunch for everyone from Olive Garden. Fabulous!

We had Admin Appreciation Day, Customer Service Appreciation Day and a Pizza lunch paid for by one of our top Energy Supply Companies—Direct Energy.

We started playing a fun game called Queen of Hearts. Every week the employees buy raffle tickets. The money goes in a pot. Whenever production goes above a certain level our CEO, Pat Clouden, throws more money in the pot. This happened frequently. The raffle ticket is drawn, the winner gets to choose a card from the board where a deck of cards are face down. If the Queen of Hearts is chosen that person gets the whole pot of money! If another card is chosen, it all rolls over to the next drawing. This game has been wildly popular and here now, just before Christmas we’ve had over 18 drawings (sometimes two or three in one week) without the Queen of Hearts being chosen. The pot has grown to nearly $4,000! This wouldn’t happen if this group weren’t making connections with our customers—it all depends upon that production and the service we provide commercial customers. Here are a few previous winners:

We are still waiting for the giant pot to go to a Queen of Hearts winner. Stay tuned!

Halloween brought our annual Costume Contest. The participants go all out, and winners walk away with cash prizes!

Also in October one of our Energy Supply Companies—Direct Energy—awarded us a pizza lunch. Our reach to help our customers helps them too and they bought us lunch. These lunches are fun and enjoyed by everyone. We even got a visit from Execs at Direct Energy.

And because we did so well in October CES treated us to a Barbeque—in Florida that’s a great time to do an outside barbeque and nothing BBQ was overlooked!

Another big celebration we had was acknowledging one of our most stellar Energy Consultants, Justin Ratynski. Every week we acknowledge a “Big Dog” and they get a cash prize and accolades from the group. But one guy has done it 100 times! We planned a big surprise, balloons, streamers, trophy and a huge presentation when he hit his 100th Big Dog Award—first in CES history! But the good news is there are more coming up behind him!

December brought us our famous “Elf on a Shelf” game. Mornings start with a search for that sneaky elf and cash prizes to the winners!

And to get into the Christmas Spirit, we had a Desk-Decorating Contest. This was amazing! Very hard to pick the top three—so EVERYONE was a winner!

We decided to do a Christmas toy drive for the Police Athletic League (PAL) in Lealman—a rough neighborhood in Pinellas County—our home. Working with Neil Brickfield who runs PAL we found that a huge group of teens benefit from his participation in PAL and we wanted to make sure they get some Christmas presents this year. So we filled up a huge box with teenage-appropriate toys and presented them to Neil at our staff meeting a couple weeks before Christmas.

There were many more lunches, many more prizes and many more activities we participated in. You might notice a pattern—we love to eat good lunches and we love to play games and win cash prizes! I wanted to have this article give a well-earned shout out to our very own staff. And I wanted to tell the world that this is an awesome place to work any time of the year. Just ask anyone who works here!

Please enjoy our Christmas slide show—just click below—you’ll definitely feel the Christmas Spirit and know that we all wish you the Merriest of Christmases and a truly stellar New Year!