GG in the News

Today we bid farewell…

An open letter to my Gillespie Group family.

Next week I will embark on a new journey, with a new company, defining new career goals. As the exiting marketing lead here at Gillespie Group, I suppose it’s appropriate that I depart openly across our social media outlets, and make a few people cry on my way out. In true Tara fashion, I opted for a blog in place of a sappy card.  Gillespie is my family.  They have been for over twelve years.  They will remain so.  While I spread my wings and begin a new professional adventure, this has been a somber week.  There are a few thoughts I would like to leave for this team- this incredibly energetic, funny, progressive, positive, mountain moving team.  Since I still have access to our WordPress and Facebook accounts for another 24 hours, I’m able to share with you via photographs ten of my favorite moments here at Gillespie Group, whether they approve or not!  🙂

  • 10. MSU Hockey Clinics. Over the past several years, some of the women at Gillespie Group have spent an evening in the spring with Coach Anastos, his staff and players. While my skills on a pair of skates was far from impressive, and actually quite embarrassing, this is one of my favorite nights of the year. I wouldn’t rather fall down on the ice with any other group of women!   Thank you, Jen and Rachel for being the most incredible mentors.  I’m so lucky it hurts.  GO GREEN!
  • 9. Stadium District building construction. In 2007 GG turned its focus from the Greenfield developments to our capital city’s urban core. This development was not only a catalyst for an evolving city, but for our team as well. This set the tone for the greatness that would become the district it is now. I am stoked to watch the continued growth in downtown Lansing.  The vision for a downtown that’s walkable, dense, unique, and filled with art is a concept I personally stand behind…  and always will.
  • 8. Every Christmas our team would sponsor a family, buy gifts, wrap them and deliver. I can remember one year in particular, the mother of the family we sponsored cried when we hugged. Moments like that remind us all what really matters.
  • 7. PMAMM golf outings. This was an opportunity to bond with our maintenance teams and show them that while my putt game is forever subpar, I can sure drive the ball. Plus, Brad Pitt was always invited.
  • 6. Midland East End Grand Opening. While I have touched very little of this development in Midland, MI, I would never turn down an opportunity to catch a ball game and grab a beer with this group. I know that every bit of passion we put into whichever part of GG we impact directly feeds development opportunities like this.  And this was impressive.
  • 5. Amanda’s 15 year anniversary. This past year we celebrated fifteen years of service for one of my very best friends. I’ve known Amanda since high school.  She was my first roommate in college.  We’ve literally and figuratively grown up together in this company.  Maybe someday we’ll find out from Pat which was of us was his favorite.  (wink wink)  She’s been here longer, but I’m funnier.  J  She’s a rock star… and I love her.
  • 4. These three amigos. I have had the utmost pleasure of sitting in close proximity to these three babes over the last year. Carolynne, Ashley and my dear Casey have made work incredibly fun. I hope they know that their fun spirit brings our corporate culture to new heights.  This photo was taken from one of our first Fat Fridays.
  • 3. Midtown grand opening day. I want to make sure the community understands that when we say dedication, we mean it. The week leading up to Midtown’s opening in August 2015 was one of the best weeks of my life.  We were tired. We were cleaning the building, taking coffee to the amazing painters helping us hit a deadline, helping each other remember details, and we were all there together. The time period brought a new level of trust to our team, leaving a few humorous stories in the wake. By the way, I’ve been to dozens of these events over the past twelve years and just now learned that the large apparatus with our logos in the background is called a “step and repeat”.  You’re welcome.
  • 2. SPORTS! This is the most active group of people I’ve ever met in my entire life. Whether it’s a softball team or pulling together runners for the Komen race, we have participation. Pat hits the gym here daily, Ashley is training for the Chicago marathon, several groups work out together after hours, and they all finally stopped making fun of me for drinking the Crossfit juice!  2
  • 1. Nashville. Before Marketplace began to really come together, a little R&D took place down in Nashville. The team took to The Gulch in Nashville to see the impact colorfully dynamic architecture would have on a city. We fell in love and subsequently Marketplace and Midtown were born. Thank you for letting me be a part of the innovation, and thank you for always letting me have a seat at the table.

After perusing photographs collected over the past twelve years, I’ve realized that summing up such a life defining experience in a few highlighted events might be a disservice. However, what I am trying to say is “thank you, GG.”  Not only for the last twelve years, but for the current support I’m receiving through this decision.  I’ll always bleed orange!

-Tara Smith