This year Extensis is turning 26 years old. To celebrate the unique spirit of Extensis, I gathered 26 special memories and thoughts from my fellow coworkers. When Extensis was founded in 1993 in Portland, Oregon, the World Wide Web and the first web browser were also born at CERN. It's an understatement to say how much the world has changed since then!
But despite and throughout the past two decades of rapid technological change, Extensis remains focused on removing barriers that get in the way of creativity. At the heart of the company’s growth and commitment to progress are the employees who have spent countless hours and years building a culture that values curiosity, creativity, and collaboration.
Here are 26 of our favorite Extensis moments that show how time truly flies when you’re having fun!
1. Gabrielle, Revenue Accountant
"Halloween 2007. Every department had their own theme, dressed up in costumes, and decorated their departments. In the afternoon, we all brought our small children to trick-or-treat through the office. There were prizes for best costume, best department, etc. It was a very fun tradition here at Extensis!"
2. Bernardine, Accountant
“The first Halloween decorating contest between departments and the kid’s Halloween parties that we hosted in our office. I got to meet the children of coworkers; interacting with them was the most memorable event for me when I joined Extensis. Those were the days where everyone in the office participated in decorating the offices and helped make the kid’s Halloween trick-or-treat fantastic!”
3. James, Sr. Systems Engineer
"The NYC Extensis offices were originally located downtown in SoHo and Pete, the Manager of the Sales team at the time would schedule periodic outings to Yankees games with the entire East Coast team. Pete didn't realize it at the time but I had never actually been to a professional baseball game in my life and these outings gave me the opportunity to experience both the original stadium as well as the current Yankee stadium during their inaugural season in 2009. I was fairly new to Extensis and these events facilitated socializing with various coworkers in a more relaxed environment as well as an enjoyable shared after-work experience."
4. Jean-Michel, Regional Business Manager, France
"My first event wearing an Extensis tee shirt. It was 11 years ago and it was to introduce the Universal Type Server (UTS 1) beta in Paris. So excited and so proud."
5. Amy, Sr. Product Marketing Manager
“The annual Chili Cook-off is always fun. On the morning of, the lobby starts to fill up with crock pots, and now Instant Pots too, each bubbling with chili dishes of all kinds. Beans only, meat only, beans and meat. Different kinds of meat: spicy pork, chicken, ground beef, brisket, bison, and elk. Roasted poblanos, chipotle, chocolate, secret spice mixes from regarded family recipes. You name it, it’s probably in one of the pots.
Then it’s Chili Time! Everyone whose stomach can handle it meets in the lobby to taste each of the entries and mingles with folks from every department, sharing opinions and favorites, leading up to each person’s individual vote which is tallied and then announced.
In my first year of competing, I was the only one to use an Instant Pot as it was still a pretty novel kitchen gadget. To my surprise and to the joy of the Instant Pot Facebook Community, I won! It was a great honor as I did think there were a lot of great chili dishes I was going up against. In my second year of competing, I had to leave early because I had an appointment so my phone was turned off when all of the voting was happening. I felt a bit more pressure as there were more Instant Pots in the mix and people were jokingly “gunning for me.” When I was finished with my appointment, I hesitantly turned my phone back on and it immediately blew up with texts and emails congratulating me on my win for the 2nd year in a row, allowing me to keep the Marketing Team’s 3-for-3 winning streak alive.
I’m already thinking about what to do for next year’s cook-off. Dare I say “dynasty?”
6. Mark, Business Systems Manager
“The first ‘Bonfire at the Beach’ team event at Seaside, Oregon in 2015. It was an evening to appreciate our accomplishments, enjoy each other’s company, and sit around a raging bonfire while we took turns burning deprecated code and old system manuals.”
7. Greg, Business Intelligence Developer
“The trip to Seaside was my first ever with the people from work, including my boss. It was very memorable to sit around a bonfire and burn some old company properties.”
8. Mike, IT Systems Support Specialist
“Having breakfast at Camp 18 and eating a gigantic Cinnamon Roll after our team’s trip back from Seaside! Felt like a true Griswold experience.”
9. April, Software Engineer
"Going onsite to visit a customer with our Director of Product Management and seeing the customer's workflow in action was a standout experience for me. As an engineer, customer visits give me important details that I take back to my desk and use to make the products better."
10. Jeff, Technical Support Manager
“Our annual company retreats are always the best. I distinctly recall golfing with a great group of Extensis folks a few years back. As we made our round, we caught up to the group in front of us. They were all on the green putting as our group approached the tee box. They started yelling for us to hit our golf balls as they all thought no one would be able to hit them from the distance we were standing. In agreement, we all set off to try our best. With a few team members coming close, I cracked a good hit and landed the ball just a few feet from someone. They jumped, danced, and yelled back in fearful joy almost spilling their precious drink being held. Many great relationships were formed that day!”
11. Brad, Regional Sales Manager
“My favorite memory at Extensis was on my third week of employment. We went to McMenamins Edgefield for the annual company kickoff party. It was a great opportunity to meet the entire organization, especially remote employees throughout the county and the UK team. Great day of golf, lawn games, and beer!”
12. Brandon, Account Manager
“My favorite memory was my first beerfest in Portland with coworkers after just recently starting at Extensis and relocating to the Portland area from the Bay area. Lots of sun and making new friends.”
13. Catarina, Channel Marketing Specialist (Based in our UK office)
“A day out in the countryside…literally! Every year the EMEA team celebrates Christmas in a particular way and 2017 was definitely particular. The entire team, plus a few colleagues from the US office got to go Llama trekking in the Northamptonshire countryside. A day not for the faint-hearted as we walked for a few miles and even saved a sheep caught in some shrubs. And all that with our own llama to walk beside us. Mine even tried to kiss me! A day to remember, no doubt.”
14. Martin, Regional Business Manager, Australia & New Zealand
“I work remotely in Australia, but back in 2016 I got the chance to spend some time with the European team in Northampton. After 30+ hours of travel it was very refreshing (both figuratively and literally) to be walking llamas across the UK countryside in mid-winter. Whilst it’s amazingly convenient to be able to reach out to anyone with the video and chat applications at our fingertips, it was extra special to be able to spend time with the team (and llamas) away from a computer.”
15. Chris, Sr. Product Manager
“Back in November 2005, I purchased a one-way plane ticket from New York to continue my next Extensis chapter working from Portland, Oregon. Portland was to be my new home for a year or two and I was really excited as a native New Yorker to see what life could offer in the Pacific Northwest.
For the past 14 years I’ve fallen in love with Oregon’s beautiful cities and majestic landscapes and have never looked back. Along my Extensis journey, I have been rewarded with the ability to travel globally, formed many long-lasting friendships, and have experienced countless memories all while enjoying a rewarding career in the high-tech industry. Extensis has helped nurture my creativity while contributing to the solutions our customers have relied on for so many years. Given the chance, I’d do it all over again.”
16. Clint, Product Owner
"I have worked at Extensis for 20 years so we have to use the way back machine. Really, my best moment was when I first started working here. It was 1998 and I was so excited to start working at a company making software that people actually used. It was really exciting and I am constantly amazed when I think back on my years working at Extensis."
17. Darrin, Sr. Customer Insights Manager
“My first experience with Extensis was during their annual picnic—the week prior to my first day. I was invited to sit in for their annual performance review and strategic goal-setting for the upcoming fiscal year. This was then followed by pitch-n-putt golf at a local brewpub/9-hole golf course, where I was assigned to the same team as the CEO. Golfing with the CEO! And I don’t even golf! But it yielded me an enormous opportunity to get to know Extensis, their products, and their customers in a fun and dynamic way.”
18. Chris, EMEA Sales Engineer (Based in our UK office)
“For me, “Extensis is the spice of life.” It’s always providing variety and it’s never a dull day. That’s all down to the people I work with, the places I get to go, and the customers and prospects I get to meet and see how they work—things I otherwise may never experience. For example, getting free ‘behind the scenes’ looks at institutions that tourists have to queue for, being on fire (literally!) whilst go-karting, seeing ancient Paleontology in a Swiss Castle, and getting plaudits for doing a live software demo on a stage to over 500 people. It’s a great place to work and experience new things.”19. Daryl, Operations Manager
“The happy hours after work that some of us used to attend will always be my favorite memories. Getting the chance to see people I worked with daily let their hair down and share some laughs was always something I looked forward to.”
20. Torsten, Regional Business Manager, Germany
“I had been invited to England for a first conversation with Extensis. Richard, European Business Director, wanted to show me Universal Type Server 1. While searching for a suitable instance of Universal Type Server in the net, we also saw one called, "Chris Smells." Richard said laughingly that a person could obviously name their Universal Type Server in the net in such a way, as they considered it suitable. I thought, "This is absolutely the right company I would like to work for."
21. David, Controller
“The first thing that comes to mind is the 2012 Hood to Coast. We ran our Extensis Team, named Sweet Assets, with almost exclusively Extensis employees. Being stuck (I mean, "choosing to be") in a van with your coworkers for 30+ hours is a great way to get to know them outside of the office! We definitely didn’t win any awards but it was a great time.”
22. Erica, Software Engineer
“It was while riding the bus back to the office from last year’s company meeting. I pulled out a deck of cards and played one hand of Texas Hold’em with a coworker. I was dealt tiny suited-connectors (like 5clubs, 3clubs) and called a preflop raise. The flop gave me a 4-card flush draw, and the preflop aggressor went all in on the flop. I thought, “Dang, we’re playing for all the marbles on the first hand?” Oh well, it happens and I believed in my hand, so I called. Apparently, my opponent flopped a set of aces and had about 75% equity to win the hand. I was way behind and needed to catch up! The next turn gave me an inside straight draw, and I hit that dirty gut shot on the river. It was a bad beat for sure, but it was fun to crack aces with five-high, and as they say, “Ain’t nothin’ funner than runner-runner.”
23. Ryan, Software Engineer
“My favorite Extensis memory was my first summer company picnic at the Wilsonville Family Fun center. It was great to take a day to simply meet coworkers, play mini golf, and drive go-karts.”
24. Carli, HR Manager
“At our 15-year anniversary party, we brought in a water balloon drop. The Leadership Team took turns in the water seat. It was awesome to see them expose themselves to a little embarrassment and fun to watch everyone unleash on their bosses. It was a great way to get everyone on the same level and encourage some competitive camaraderie."
25. David, Priority Support Specialist
“Being asked to show my colleagues from other departments what I know about Portfolio Server. Having the opportunity to share what I know to help others grow provides a feeling of satisfaction from teaching others, while also opening the door for others to share with me what they know. When we share what we know together, we grow together!”
26. Chris, Sr. Marketing Website Manager
"There isn’t a single moment – it’s a continuing series of moments that keep highlighting how wonderful it is to work for a company that truly values its employees. And to work with people across every team that make collaborating and laughing very easy."
Laura Xu – Email and Event Marketing Manager
Laura Xu is a seasoned content marketer and event manager at Extensis with a passion for crafting digital communications. Laura’s marketing career spans over a decade working in financial and professional services in San Francisco, Hong Kong and London. Whether it’s through a product launch email, event email invitation, or an engaging webinar, Laura knows the power of connecting through technology. After living in sprawling cities with more skyscrapers than trees, Laura is now relishing being back home in Portland, Oregon surrounded by lush green trees and accessible parks. She loves hiking, yoga, meditation, photography, and reading.