Bridget Bateman

December 11, 2023

Another Trip Around the Sun

Another Trip Around the Sun Long Banner

2023 was a memorable year for the Small Giants Team and the Community as a whole. The last twelve months offered a lot for us to reflect on both personally and professionally. As a Community, we walked with and supported one another through some lows, and we celebrated many highs together that we’ll cherish as we journey into the new year.

While the Small Giants team loves supporting leaders through content & programming, our favorite thing is the connections and relationships we build together.


Developing Leaders, Building Bondings

With five years under our belt, we knew that the Leadership Academy Class of 2023 would bring our best and brightest learnings yet.

For the first time, we ran three cohorts, and we were able to bring the Small Giants' way of leadership and business to even more people and organizations. We saw beautiful relationships formed between cohort mates, and our in-person gatherings allowed for all three cohorts to mingle and bond with one another. Sparks were flying with buddy pairings and lifelong friendships were made. 

SGLA 2024 By the Numbers Graphic

Those are exciting numbers for our team to see, but our personal favorite has to be the countless songs the Class of 2023 just can’t help but get up and groove to. If you ever need to get a Small Giants crowd up and movin’, our best advice is to put on My Humps or Hips’ Don’t Lie

SGLA 2024 Photo Banner

Great Leaders Got Together

After a long midwest winter, the Summit is quick to bring the Small Giants team out of our winter blues. Spending three days in a room filled with compassionate, energetic, and thoughtful leaders makes all of the hard work worth it. If you’ve experienced the Small Giants Summit yourself, you know the feeling it creates and the passion stirring about. The 2023 Summit brought many new friendships where strangers transitioned into friends, and moments into memories.

Summit 2023 Photo Banner

After a few long years of leaning back into in-person gatherings, it was extra special to be in one room together at the 13th Small Giants Community Summit. No matter the time or place, the people are what make the experience all that it is. And there were many faces new and familiar in attendance.

Summit 2023 By the Numbers

There’s nothing quite like spending quality time with Small Giants leaders, but we always enjoy connecting in our Zoom room, too. So to no surprise, the Small Giants Team had nearly 500 virtual coffee chats this year. With the energy and passion in each of those calls, coffee wasn’t always necessary!

While face-to-face is our favorite form of communication, you can always catch us on socials, too, for Community announcements and happenings. To make it even easier, we launched the Small Giants Community Purpose Driven LinkedIn newsletter where we’ll share some extra content, take deep dives into topics at hand, and keep the Community up to date on all of the Small Giants happenings.  


Loving Farewells and Exciting Hellos

In a small team of three, we get to know one another well and we rely on each other often. We said a loving farewell to our team member and Chief Storyteller, Annie Gough, as she ventured into her writing career. You have Annie to thank for years of insightful and thought provoking blog content. We’re grateful for Annie’s hard work, friendship, and her continued support.

Annie Hamsa Bridget Photo

As ⅓ of the trio left the team, we soon said hello and welcomed a new team member to complete the triangle. Our Program Director, Katie Sowa, jumped right in and has already been a great addition to the team and Community. We’re already beginning to see the sprouts of what will blossom with Katie on board, and we’re excited for the work and laughter to be shared as she helps our programming thrive.

Katie Hamsa Bridget Photo

We Couldn’t Do it Without Your Help!

The relationships found within the Community are one-of-a-kind, and so many great ideas come as a result of them. All of our content comes to life through collaboration with our members and there was a lot of great content shared. To name a few fan favorites of the year…

💻  Virtual Events

  • We hung out with Heidi Baumgart and Lisa Whealon on Zoom to learn some of their favorite and freshest tools for team building and bonding. Ever considered having team members create their very own user manual? Or hosting a celebratory “signing day” for new hires? If not, you should! 
  • Amber Johnson introduced us to the art of asking better questions and how the questions we ask impact relationships and results. Consider ditching your next “How are you?” with “What are you celebrating today?” and watch the magic happen!

🎧 The Growing with Purpose Podcast

📝 Blogs

Thank you to our contributors for sharing your stories, tools, and expertise to help other leaders in the Small Giants Community learn and grow! 


The Best is Yet to Come! 

While 2023 may have been one of the most memorable years for the Small Giants Community, we know there’s still a lot in store. There’s just as much to look forward to in 2024!

We’re already counting down the days until we’re back together at the 2024 Small Giants Community Summit where we'll dive into the year’s theme, Enduring, and build more relationships with like-hearted leaders. While in Detroit, we’re also thrilled to introduce the Small Giants Hall of Fame, where we’ll honor and recognize Community leaders for their extraordinary leadership. 

The Leadership Academy Class of 2024 is filled with faces of friends new and old, and we’re ready to see the growth of participants and all that they take back to their teams. 

Our next Sounding Board mentorship program enrollment period will open up in Q1 of 2024. We're ready to pair leaders with aligned mentors to work through challenges and new adventures.

But most of all, we’re excited to spend more time with you, our wonderful Community members. We can’t wait to continue learning from each of you and to keep our passion for purpose at the forefront of all we do together.


We’re wishing you a very happy holiday season and a purpose-filled new year,
The Small Giants Team

2024 Team Holiday Photo Edit


2023 was a great year, and 2024 has lots in store. Join us at the Summit in May!

Learn more

About Bridget Bateman

Bridget is a relationship builder at heart and is eager to create and maintain meaningful relationships with those she works with. As the Small Giants Community's Community Coordinator, Bridget focuses on marketing, event planning, and outreach/communication efforts. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Communication from Hope College and enjoys using her skills to help develop and connect leaders and organizations that prioritize values, people, and culture. In her spare time, you can often find Bridget hosting a game night with friends or curled up on the couch with her defiant cat, Winston, watching a Netflix series.