Clopay’s Leadership Conference was a blast this year. Clopay really went over the top for the 30th Anniversary of the conference. This year also had more people in attendance than ever before. When we arrived at The Omni Grove Park Inn Eric and I (Nakai) were greeted by multiple familiar faces. Being our third year at a CLC, we finally know most of the returning people’s names without our name tags! We walked into the reception room and were immediately mesmerized by the huge fireplaces on both sides of us, I’m talking 10 feet wide, 7 feet tall and deep. All it needed was some floo powder, but I wouldn’t have wanted to leave. You could just feel the history in the walls. After getting settled in our room we navigated our way down to the Clopay welcoming room to get our name tags and checked out all of the new products and colors being presented. The three main things that Clopay was presenting were new quiet hinges with the Gold Bar Warranty Hardware, a new color coming to both commercial and residential (CHARCOAL, but I didn’t tell you that!) this fall, and a brand new Canyon Ridge Collection Design (LOUVERS!) in limited edition and ultra-grain series. I am seriously obsessed with the louvers. After exploring the resort grounds we had a delicious dinner and reception to truly settle us in for the next few days. The Omni Grove Park Inn truly prides itself on tradition and Southern hospitality. Set on top of Sunset Mountain, you are surrounded by unmatched beauty.
Our second day started with the BEST breakfast potatoes and sausage gravy I have ever had. I think I might be having withdrawals from just the breakfasts we had in Ashville. After breakfast, we listened to the experts explain this year’s theme, The Winning Formula. Clopay and its speakers discussed how to beat the competition, strategically plan for the future, and take your business to the next level. My favorite of the speakers was Walter Bond, former NBA player and business coach. We took a break for lunch and attended all of the separate breakout sessions. The cocktail reception, award ceremony, and dinner closed out a perfect day. After dinner there were multiple ways to hang out with everyone we hadn’t seen in a year. We first went to the dueling piano bar, it was hilarious! Then we followed some old friends to the cigar lounge that Clopay set up, and then ended our night dancing to the live band.
Our third day in the beautiful smoky mountains, we went on a brewery tour! The tour was definitely the highlight of the trip! Other options we could have chosen from were a bus tour around Asheville, Blue Ridge Parkway tour, urban zip line, waterfall hike, golf, spa, Biltmore garden tour with a Biltmore winery tour/tasting, or just a day of relaxing and personal leisure with no special activity. We went to four different breweries, but our absolute favorite was the Green Man Brewery. After getting back to the hotel, changing into nicer clothes, and getting on a huge charter bus, the entire group went to the Biltmore. This house was stunning. The history and stories behind everything in it were so interesting. Everything from the ceilings to the baseboards were delicately detailed. Outside in the garden was even more impressive with the massive Chihuly blown glass sculptures in all of the surrounding landscapes. After dinner at an on-site restaurant, we danced to the live band, hung out with our favorite Canadians, and gave everyone a final farewell because everyone would be leaving at different times the next morning.
Our final day in Ashville started off with my favorite breakfast, and we chatted with dozens of friends. We picked up some small gifts for our boys, grabbed lunch to go, and went to the airport. Our flight was delayed, and we literally turned into the people in the movies who run frantically through an airport to catch our connecting flight in Atlanta. We made it, but just barely. We got home and feel so grateful to have made this amazing trip. Thank you Gary for letting us have this vacation, and thank you Clopay for always knowing how to throw a great party!