The Flight Deck at UD Arena erupted with applause Thursday as CEO Bob Lloyd announced Aaron Helfferich as our 2023 Partner of the Year, an award reserved for the elite of the elite of the firm’s partners. As Aaron walked up to accept his award, he admitted the moment came as a complete surprise, leaving him speechless.
“I liken it to when Larry called my name after being promoted to partner. It’s a surreal moment I never imagined I’d experience a second time,” Aaron said. “I’m thankful to the team for keeping it a surprise throughout the entire planning process because it makes the moment extra special. It gives me a greater appreciation for the journey.”
Aaron’s journey with The Connor Group started in 2012 in the IT Department, now known as Technology Operations. His primary focus back then was managing our property websites, creating new content and pages as we purchased properties. It didn’t take long before key leaders realized Aaron’s unique talents and expertise reached far beyond web design. Around 2014, he transitioned to Marketing and Communications.
“We hired Aaron to come in and spruce up our property websites. He was a kid essentially,” partner Ryan Ernst said. “To see how he’s grown in his role and the impact he’s had – I think that says a lot about his commitment and talent. He’s recognized as the elite of the elite of the elite. But it also says a lot about our organization.
“No matter what role you step into, you have the opportunity to become partner and the opportunity to have a huge impact on the organization.”
Whether it’s redesigning our entire website, creating videos for our associates, or developing our internal communications app (The Loop), Aaron’s proven repeatedly he’s a game-changer.
“The keyword here has always been ‘support,’” Aaron said. “Regardless of my role, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and work directly alongside our various departments and properties.
“I believe we perform at our best as a company when we play supportive roles. There’s a reason we call it the Central Support Office. This collaborative mindset is something I’ve always appreciated and attributed to our success.”
In 2022, Aaron delivered more than 100 videos for our associates. As a result, our associates watched 13,837 hours of video. But of his 2022 achievements, Aaron recalls August 24th as the day he’s most proud of.
“Seeing (SEO specialist) Ross Johnson promoted to partner was a great day in 2022. Truly, it was Ross who put forth the effort, but I was proud to see all his hard work pay off, even if I only played a very small part in his development. I’m excited to see where his success in the marketing department will take us for years to come,” Aaron added.
Aaron was one of five partners who went home with hardware last week. New this year were three awards:
- Gold Standard Award – Given to a partner who is a role model for the way they do their job. They elevate their role by doing it at a truly elite level and serve as an example to others in their same or similar job description.
- Helping Hand Award – Given to a partner who makes a difference in the organization outside of their job title/responsibilities. This person goes out of their way to help people in other departments and other markets for the organization’s benefit.
- Solutions Award – Given to a partner who doesn’t complain or finger-point, but initiates and provides solutions. This partner shows their ownership mentality by proactively looking for ways to improve the business.
Our 2023 award winners are…
- Keri Stafford, Gold Standard Award
- Carl Williams and Rob Murray, Helping Hand Award
- Kevin Hyland, Solutions Award
Congratulations to all of our 2023 Partner Day award winners!