This is a big year for MTI as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. The French celebrations, from which I have just returned, were memorable thanks to a combination of great company, great French hospitality and wonderful planning – largely by Nathalie Mendes, who is now taking a well deserved three week vacation.
The evening kicked off with 90 MTI customers, 40 MTI staff and representatives from EMC, Cisco and VMware all tackling the Parisian traffic in order to make the 8:15pm launch of our vessel, VIP Paris Yacht Hôtel Navigant. With all but a few making the launch time, we set sail on the River Seine. Over canapés and champagne, Damian Saura welcomed everyone on board and we got into a Q&A which gave us all chance to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.
A highlight for me was the opportunity to acknowledge our longest serving French MTI colleagues, the aforementioned Damian and Hamid Sadrai. It was also wonderful to celebrate new and old relationships with the likes of Publicis, L’Oréal, Swiss Life and Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances. It was a privilege to have them with us as we remember our history and look to the future together.
As the swollen River Seine carried us through Paris, surely one of the world’s most beautiful cities, we were delighted to spot salsa dancers on the banks. The spectacle could not have been more dramatic as the height of the boat was such that we had to be continually reminded to duck as we went under the bridges, with the taller members of our party literally at risk of having a knockout evening.
Given the hazards of the bridges and the fact that our ducking skills were being affected by the champagne, we went below deck, where the festivities continued with music and a raffle. This saw an iPad and a night on the yacht as star prizes. With our journey nearly over, we bid adieu to the passengers at our party, which gave me an opportunity to hand out goodie bags with Damian and thank everyone for their attendance. It was a really wonderful night and I am grateful to everyone who made it so memorable. I’m looking forward to the next one already.
P.S. There is a selection of images from the event below and among them a very rare sight: Nicolas Naulot smiling – caught on camera.
From left to right: Thomas Butzer, KC, Olivier Kovacevic and Damian Saura. Thanks to Thomas and Olivier for making the trip over to represent Germany.
Clarence Do Rego
The cake before being expertly cut by Damian and I