Engel & Völkers’ Elite Retreat is an annual personal growth summit that dives into specific, thematic subjects—focusing on how our mindset and actions make us invaluable to both personal and professional stakeholders. Over the course of three days, participants have the opportunity to spend time with specialized industry experts, each other, and Engel & Völkers Americas President and CEO, Anthony Hitt.
Each year the event is held in a different location—one whose character enhances the overall content and fellowship experiences. From August 22 to 25, Elite Retreat was co-hosted by Anthony Hitt and author, photographer, speaker, philosopher, and personal friend, Matthew Ferrara at The Landing Tahoe Resort & Spa in South Lake Tahoe, California. Here, the sold-out event’s attendees individually and collectively investigated “Time.”
Monday, August 22, 2022
On the day of arrival, guests checked in to The Landing and were greeted with a welcome bag—complete with a name badge, towel, water bottle, journal, lavender, and a piece of a clock. As they would soon come to see, each of these goodies spoke to a different aspect of the journey they were about to embark upon.
That evening, guests gathered officially for the first time at the welcome reception. Here, they heard from Anthony Hitt, met the “camp counselors” (i.e. the industry experts that would be guiding the event’s sessions) and introduced themselves to one another. Though many shared their shops and where they were located across the Americas, in the days that followed, “business” was never mentioned again.
As the night went on, so too did conversations and connections that would blossom in the coming days.
“Not only did I learn a lot about myself but I was also able to connect with so many others in deeper ways than I ever thought possible. I can’t wait until next year.”Dan Nicoloff, Engel & Völkers Dallas Forth Worth
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Before the first full day of sessions, attendees had a selection of optional morning activities: a photography expedition, a walk for perfecting breathing techniques, and beachside meditation. By the time they gathered for a terrace breakfast, the many journeys of Elite Retreat’s guests had already begun.
Attendees then set up towels on a private section of the beach that had been reserved solely for the day’s activities. The “camp counselors” this year were motivational speaker and philosopher, Matthew Fererra, neuroscience researcher, D.C. McGuire, and founder and director of Vitality Breathing, Lauren Chelec Cafritz. Each shared their thought-provoking perspectives regarding the year’s theme. Before handing over the mic to them, however, Anthony Hitt shared a touching personal story that catapulted the event into full swing.
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
On Wednesday morning, guests were encouraged to work with a different camp counselor and group than the day before. After, the day’s breakfast and sessions set the perfect tone for one of the most anticipated events: clock building.
With two, six-foot tables of glue, scissors, gems, glitter, and stickers* the event’s guests created a collection of clocks; after two and a half hours, each had created a uniquely beautiful artifact that kept “time” according to their own creativity. Then, the opportunity to share what their clocks meant and how they worked revealed glimpses into what made them tick—what made them, them. For this reason alone, the activity is warmly remembered as one of the most influential and emotional moments of the entire retreat.
To cap the day off, braver souls changed into bathing suits and jumped into the lake for one last hoorah.
*All of the leftover supplies were donated and found a new, well-loved home in a local school.
Thursday, August 25, 2022
A final terrace breakfast was a perfect conclusion before everyone went their separate ways. The “counselors” gave their highlights, and then, Anthony Hitt encouraged the guests to do the same—and they did, emotionally, vulnerably, and, ultimately, powerfully.
Attendees learned that time can be used and thought of in different ways, to breathe life back into their passions that, perhaps, they believed had already fizzled out. These three days spent re-learning how to connect had nothing to do with where you came from or how many deals you closed. Rather, it had everything to do with the power we have to create spaces that encourage each other to take the time to express vulnerability, passion, and perseverance.
Whether it was someone’s first time at Elite Retreat or their seventh, the overwhelming sentiment is captured by the words of Wade Marshall of Engel & Völkers Chicago:
“I joined Engel & Völkers Chicago only ten weeks prior to the Elite Retreat 2022, and I was blown away by the event and knew I was in a very special place. This company is so much more than real estate. It’s caring. It’s wanting the best for each other and our clients. What a high I am on after returning home. I have every intention of being there next time.”Wade Marshall, Engel & Völkers Chicago
We are more than a real estate company, we are Engel & Völkers.