Ladies Night At Cooper’s Hawk

The Astyra Ladies
The women of Astyra love to wine and dine, especially together! 
We all met at Cooper’s Hawk last week for an evening to unwind with the same people we work alongside daily. The night began with indulging in a wine tasting before being sat down by the waitress for a savory meal.
“This just reiterated that Astyra is like a family and I love that,” Ashley, our newest Astyra lady, said.
This was Shaila’s first ladies night also and she said getting to know who she works with outside of the office is a nice feeling.
Although we aren’t quite sure when this tradition started, we plan to continue having ladies nights!

Galentine’s Day

Astyra ladies enjoying lunch at TASTE
Astyra ladies love to spend time together and we all know Valentine’s Day is not complete without a quality meal with the girls. Eight of us decided to bond over a new-to-us lunch spot called TASTE.
TASTE first opened in Virginia Beach as a wine & cheese shop in 1973. Since then, it has grown to offer a variety of foods and desserts at its nine Virginia locations!
At lunch, we munched on various salads, sandwiches and chips while talking about our plans for the future.

Email Etiquette With Brittany

Brittany with VSU students

Our Human Resources Manager, Brittany, was invited to run a workshop at her alma mater by one of her former professors! 

Although Brittany had many topics she wanted to go over, she focused on discussing email etiquette. She brought in print outs of her responses to real emails to give students an example of the professionalism used in corporate emails.

The workshop attendees listened carefully to her words and mentioned how much more prepared they feel to enter an office environment.

Brittany hopes for an invitation in the near future from Virginia State University to help with another workshop or event!

Paint Night With Magellan Health

Jamaal Anderson, Brittany Brown, Cornel Hubbard and Theo Fletcher
Astyra’s Human Resources Manager, Brittany Brown hosted a paint night with employees from our client, Magellan Health, this month.
This activity helped to boost team morale and allow the group to bond in a more intimate way than conversing at work. Plus, they all were able to go home with a beautiful painting of a peacock that they created!
After great conversations and lots of fun, they are all looking forward to attending another paint night.

Developing Astyra Leaders

Our Human Resources Manager, Brittany, attended a Leadership Transitioning Seminar by Fred Pryor Seminars.
The seminar focused on giving tips to those moving into higher leadership roles within their company. Brittany was able to expand her knowledge on how to effectively communicate and delegate tasks.

She also brought back some of the exercises from the seminar which have already positively impacted our office environment!

These exercises have allowed us to become more conscious of the type of communicators we are. We are able to better communicate to each other through this understanding. We learned that while some people in the office prefer specific information and rules, others work better when given fewer details.
We hope to continue learning more about how to effectively work together and communicate to one another.

Brittany Behind Bars

Brittany Brown

HR Specialist, Brittany Brown, recently went behind bars, but it was for a good cause! She raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to put towards funding research to find treatments and cures.

Brittany had this to say about her experience:

“When I was initially asked to participate in the MDA Lock-Up event I was a little hesitant, as I was not sure that I would be able to raise the funds needed. However, I quickly realized that it was not about the dollar amount raised, but more about raising awareness about the organization, so that more people can help. Looking back on my experience I am so glad that I didn’t let fear stop me from participating in such an awesome event. I would recommend the MDA organization to anyone looking for a way to give back.”

Girls For A Change Workshop

Brittany and former professor Jonathan Young
Brittany Brown, HR Specialist, hosted a workshop for middle school and high school girls for the “Girls for a Change” program held at Virginia State University. Girls For A Change is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help girls develop key skills needed for their success.
The title of Brittany’s workshop was, “Girls Chat”. The 411 on Make Up/Professional Attire, Career Goals, Life Balance, and Maintaining Relationships.
Brittany her aim was to have an intimate conversation with the young ladies, discussing certain topics of she could provide feedback and advice on, based on her personal experiences.
“Each topic that was discussed talked about things that women encounter on a day-to-day basis in both our professional and personal lives” says Brittany.
She appreciated the opportunity to speak with the girls and would be honored to participate in the event again next year, if asked.

Women Who Mean Business 2016

Melissa, Brittany, Carmen and Brenna at the event
Women from large and small organizations had the opportunity to network for a day, at the 6th Annual Women Who Mean Business Summit, hosted by the Metropolitan Business League on September 30, 2016. 
It was an inspiring and interesting day for the Astyra ladies!
Brittany Brown said: “This year’s summit was another successful MBL event! It is always good to see women coming together, whether it is to network or celebrate each other’s accomplishments. This event allows us to do both, and I love that!”
Click here to learn more about the MBL. 

Committed To Giving Back

Mark Thompson.
Denise and Melanie pictured with Keynote Speaker, Vernice "Flygirl" Armour.
Brittany Brown.

Astyra is proud of our staff who engage in community service initiatives. Below are some highlights of employees who were active in the community in 2015. 

Mark Thompson, Astyra’s CFO, is a member of the Sports Backers Presidents Council Executive Committee and served as the Chair for the Scholar Athlete dinner, held on June 2, 2015. He has been with the group for 5 years.
Melanie Parrish, Director of Client Accounts and Denise White, Recruiting Team Lead attended the First Annual Diversity and Inclusion Symposium, co-hosted by VCU and the Greater Richmond Society of Human Resource Management on June 26, 2015. 
The symposium brought together business, academic and community leaders as well as human resource, diversity and inclusion professionals to promote the widespread value of diversity and inclusion. 
Keynote speakers included Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Vernice “Flygirl” Armour, America’s First African American Combat Pilot, Former Captain in the United States Marines.

In August, 2015 Technical Recruiter, Victor Rogers was selected to be part of Mentor Richmond, hosted by the Greater Chamber Richmond Chamber. Click here to learn more. 
Brittany Brown came from a cheerleading background, and just couldn’t refuse Astyra’s President, Sam Young when he requested that she help coach a cheerleading squad with the Wells Athletic Association.
Brittany truly enjoyed the experience and she commented, “Not only did I have the opportunity to work with talented girls who were doing something I love, the exercise didn’t hurt either!” 

Admin Appreciation 2015

Brittany Brown, Executive Assistant to CEO, Ken Ampy, attended an Annual Administration Appreciation Breakfast hosted by an organization Ken is affiliated with.

This year’s event was held at the Jefferson Hotel, where Executive Assistants who attended the breakfast were honored with a box of assorted chocolates accompanied with a single yellow rose.

Brittany was thrilled to attend the event this year, and commented “It’s really nice to feel appreciated and that people other than those whom you work with value what you do.”