Aten's Annual Company Summit 2023

The Aten team group photo

Reuniting at Aten's annual summit

As a fully remote and distributed workforce, we’re able to hire the best talent in the country, have Atenauts in multiple time zones, and provide a flexible work-life balance for our team. While we connect virtually via Zoom and Slack throughout the week, we miss out on the in-person camaraderie gained from an office setting, so we all look forward to our annual company summit.

The goal of the week is to connect on a personal level with our fellow Atenauts to make us better collaborators, communicators, and empathizers so we can be even better consultants for our mission-driven clients.

Four Aten team members drinking coffee and chatting at the annual summit

Collaboration, innovation, and accountability

This September, we took a break from client work to meet together for three days in Denver, Colorado. The agenda included happy hour gatherings, a group hike, department break-out meetings, a ‘State of the Agency’ update from our CEO, Justin Toupin, a strategy workshop with our Senior Strategist, Kelsey Boyd about how we position ourselves to potential clients, and an interactive training on building accountability with David, Knapp, Ph.D with Marathon Leadership.

The Atenauts left with a better understanding of their colleagues, how they fit in with the goals of the agency, improved collaboration skills, and renewed connections.

Justin Toupin, CEO giving Aten's state of the agency presentation at a table with the team

Summit take-aways from the Atenauts


The accountability workshop provided the language for me to communicate my skill and interest levels when discussing upcoming projects with my manager. The tools learned in the seminar have helped me to plan out a trajectory for career growth as well as increase my efficiency on ongoing team projects.
- Eli Frigoli, WordPress Developer


Getting everybody together from all over the country (and parts of the world) to enjoy each other’s company is so valuable. It gives us a chance to look at the bigger picture, appreciate the people we work with, and look to the future together.
- Jake Douma, Senior Project Manager

Being from Illinois with its endless cornfields, it's always fun to experience Colorado when I visit for the summit. A sunrise hike overlooking Golden, Colorado was a great way to enjoy the outdoors together! 
- Jon Bowman, Full-stack Developer

Aten’s state of the agency presentation from our CEO, Justin, is a part of the summit that I look forward to each year. I’m proud to look back on what we accomplished and I'm inspired by our shared vision for the future — how we will continue to grow and serve clients.
- Jenna Van Oort, Director of Marketing

This year, we introduced a DevOps system called Mission Control to support our internal development initiatives. First, we broke into targeted groups and focused on projects such as Drupal’s Mercury Editor and Prototype, a recent Drupal port of the Gin theme for Backdrop CMS, and a new WordPress Full Site Editor theme. Then we facilitated some great development conversations with ideas that we took home and will continue to work on until the next Mission Control!
- Jennifer Dust, Senior Manager of DevOps

While we run fantastic strategy workshops for our clients, it’s always fun to treat ourselves as our own client at the summit. Turning inward to ask the same questions we ask our clients creates eye-opening, provocative conversations, which help us re-focus on what matters to our team, our brand, and our goals.
- Kathryn Sutton, Senior UX/UI Designer

Aten Summit 2023