Happy New yearsOnce all the eggnog is gone, it is time to reflect on the past year, recall happy memories, and celebrate the good times.   2013 flew by at Chicago’s Catalyst Ranch with so many exciting meetings and events, from guest speakers to benefit concerts to the head-to-toe makeover for the Ranch’s website. Out of all the cool stuff that went down it’s hard to pick favorites, but we’re going to give it a try anyway! Let’s take a moment to recall some of the best moments of 2013 at Catalyst Ranch (in no particular order).

1. Website Redesign

Have you been to www.CatalystRanchMeetings.com lately? If not, you should. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Back now? Awesome, right? This September we finally got to unveil our months of hard work on our huge website redesign and overhaul. Kristin Neperud Merz of Unscribbled really knocked it out of the park, nailing the Catalyst Ranch aesthetic. With that redesign we introduced the concept of “The Well Rounded Meeting,” and even got featured in Midwest Meetings as a result. CatalystRanchMeetings.com is THE comprehensive meeting and events site on the web and makes it easier than ever for our clients to book the perfect meeting!

2. 11 Years Old and Going Strong!Cake

Catalyst Ranch celebrated its 11th anniversary on November 7th!   Our creative staff decked out the Ranch – even Pogo, our magnanimous mascot, wore a party hat!  We enjoyed some delicious cake, from Swedish Bakery, with our clients and our neighbors in the Haymarket Building.  Cheers to another amazing year of inspiring innovation and bringing out the child in all of us!

3. Project Music

This favorite seems to show up on this list annually! Every year Catalyst Ranch hosts Project Music, an evening of music, food, and fun to benefit Lydia Home, an organization that serves children and families dealing with poverty,  abuse, and homelessness.  This year music was provided by Spirit Family Reunion, and the Lydia home children even got to meet and play basketball with the band.   The benefit was sold out and raised enough money to send the forty children from Lydia Home to summer camp!

Mikki's Balloon Dress4. Oh Mikki, You’re So Fine…

2013 marked the start of a beautiful friendship. Catalyst Ranch partnered with award winning and internationally renowned speaker Mikki Williams for her workshop “We Interrupt This Life to Bring You…” That went so well that we brought her back in September for  “Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Shtick!” Mikki has an incredibly unique style that’s all her own and connects with participants in a way that no one else can. She even wore a dress made entirely out of balloons to her last event with us! We’re pleased to announce that we will be continuing our relationship with Mikki into the new year when she returns to the Ranch on February 2nd!

Obligatory Celebrity Sighting Mentions: Lady Gaga! The Cast of Chicago Fire! Michael Shannon! You!

As you can probably tell 2013 was an incredible year at Catalyst Ranch! We hope you will join us in 2014, we can’t wait to see what amazingness 2014 has in store. Happy New Year!

What was your favorite moment of 2013? Let us know in the comments below!