Our top producers for 2013 spent a weekend in New York City the first week of June as part of our 2014 President’s Club. While following many of them on social media during the trip, I thought their wonderful experiences should be shared with the rest of our fans as they were with us personally upon their return. They were each asked to share a highlight of their version of the trip, so below you will find personal stories and pictures from those who were able to make the trip. Enjoy!
I had a great time in NYC. We were able to see the WTC Memorial, Freedom Tower, SOHO, Little Italy, China Town, Canal Street, Hell’s Kitchen, The statue of Liberty, Wall Street and Central Park. In addition to all of the sight seeing, we were able to watch one of our own Fidelis employees get married in Central Park!
The best part of the trip for me, outside of seeing the wedding, was going to see “The Book of Mormon” and getting a private boat tour around the Hudson and Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty timing was perfect since it was the D-Day anniversary. We were in the water while they were dropping the 1 million rose petals, which was such an experience to see. After the tour we ate lunch at The Liberty House and met both Ron and Kim, from Liberty Landings. They are both amazing people and were so much fun to spend time with. The view of NYC from the Liberty house was incredible. Overall, this was probably my FAVORITE president’s trip to date. Looking forward to next year!
My personal favorite experience was probably everyone else’s – the VIP treatment that became almost our entire day out to see the Statue of Liberty.
We happened to be in NYC on the 70th memorial of D-Day, along with the Puerto Rican Pride parade planned for Sunday, so the city seemed to be extra busy with tourists from all over. Battery Park itself was jam-packed with people trying to board the ferries, so I think most of us were expecting to join the other tourists and stand in line like anyone else, buy our tickets, shuffle our way through the crowds and hopefully grab a seat or even standing room on the top deck so we could have a view.
Alan, our co-owner, had made arrangements with a personal friend that owns some of the marina property in the New York and New Jersey area, which we all understood to mean someone from their office would join us and escort us on the ferry, out to the island and give us a personal tour and then we would have lunch and be on our way. That turned out to be a bit of an understatement. We hopped on the subway down into the park and wandered around until we found Kim from Liberty Landings, which is when the surprises started happening. Within minutes we all had tickets in hand for the ferry, and next thing we know we’ve bypassed all of the lines – and we’re talking hundreds of people and who knows how long of a wait – and are now getting the backstage access treatment. We’re among the first in line now, and have easy access to the top deck. We take off from Battery Park, and Kim starts in with the personal guided tour, filling us in on all of the history and interesting facts about our surroundings, which was really great. We docked at Liberty Island and walked around the park; some of us went up to the pedestal of the statue while others just explored the park. There was a commemoration ceremony on the lawn setting up about the time our ferry was scheduled to depart, so we all met back at the ferry and again made our way to the front of the lines and top deck. As we’re pulling away, a huge French military ship had stopped a few hundred yards off the shore, and another ship with several water cannons was blasting colored water in red, white, and blue. We’re all trying to get pictures of the water cannon ship, and then three helicopters fly in and hover overhead and proceed to drop a million (literally a million) rose pedals which blew down over the statue and into the crowd observing the ceremony. Pretty cool sights to see on their own.
Then, we arrive and dock on the Jersey side where we’re still following Kim to wherever she had planned for lunch. We wound up at a restaurant with probably the best shot you can get of the entire New York City skyline. We had a full panoramic view overlooking the Hudson River from Jersey City on our left, spanning from the upper west side and down to Battery Park. We could tell this was somewhat of a hot-spot because as we’re sitting there, a state senator and a notable surgeon are greeted by Ron, who is the VP of the Marinas, and has now sat down with us for lunch. Ron is the kind of guy who makes things happen. In fact, he told us that’s their motto. He had asked us about our plans for dinner, and when I mentioned that we had missed out on reservations for the most famous steak house in town, he says “you wanna eat there? One of my closest personal friends owns the place,” which turned out to be the story with several other restaurants or bars when we asked for recommendations about the best places to eat or hang out.
I suppose when all of your customers are the type of people with 100ft yachts in New York City, you’re likely to have some pretty good connections, which leads us to maybe the coolest part of the day. Ron discreetly took a call or two during lunch, grabbed a few of our phones and took several pictures of us and then had one of the waitresses take a few more. We follow him down the marina to an empty dock where we’re expecting to find some way back to the city, but instead Ron says “there’s your ride.” Up pulls a federal park police boat that proceeds to load all of us up and provide a personal (and extremely fast) escort up the Hudson into the Ground Zero area. The boat itself, we were told, is the fastest on the water and can stop from full speed in less than 10 feet! We rode through the area that “Sully” landed the commercial airliner in the river, stopped up-close by the Intrepid, which is a warship converted into a Sea, Air & Space museum on the water, and then cruised a bit further up to ground zero. The 911 memorial was our final stop with Kim, where she shared some personal perspective of how that day unfolded, which when you’re there on the site, was also a pretty incredible thing to imagine.
All told, we were just blown away with how the day went; the VIP treatment was completely unexpected and absolutely amazing.
We had a fantastic time in New York City for our annual President’s Club trip. It was fun to see all of the places we have become familiar with such as Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, Macy’s and the Statue of Liberty. Central Park is amazing and I can only imagine the beautiful scenery as the seasons change throughout the year.
I love the energy NYC has; it is almost sensory overload. Times Square is filled with people 24 hours a day and the billboards flash at you from all directions. The sounds of traffic, the architecture of the office buildings in Manhattan, the smell of delicious food and the mix of different languages spoken all combine to embrace you in the feeling that is the New York Sate of Mind.
I cannot imagine a more appropriate place for our top producers to celebrate their success! At the end of each day we would gather together and discuss our day trips and rave about the sites we had seen and the camaraderie was amazing. It was truly a pleasure to be included in this once in a lifetime experience.
The Fidelis President’s Trip always drives home what a remarkable group of people that I work with. Regardless of where we go, whether we are eating together, people watching or on a more traditional adventure, every trip has several “perfect moments” that remind me that I am surrounded by a smart, interesting, and unique collection of characters.
The 2014 President’s Trip was awesome. NYC was a very busy place with tons of things to do. Some of the highlights of our trip included: The Book of Mormon, Statue of Liberty, 70th Memorial of D-Day, a guided tour Central Park, drinks in the Upper West side, Top of the Rock and the very profound 9/11 Memorial. I look forward to these President’s trips every year. Regardless of the destination, the people we work for and with are incredible, they make going on the trip something to look forward to each and every year.