Welcome to the new year, new challenges, and ways forward in 2024!

By April 13, 2024 Showcase

APCOM Retreat: Hello Welcome…!

Our team had a much needed down time after an intense 2024 Planning Meeting, so the Staff Retreat happened during 27-29 March 2024. This year, through a feedback survey from staff we went to Pattaya, Chonburi Province, to enjoy the beach and relax. 

Unlike previous years, we started the team building process from the beginning to the end of the trip. The staff members were separated into 3 groups and each group needed to complete the missions according to the given direction to win the prize of “Strength in Solidarity”, APCOM Communication theme this year. The mission was not impossible, for example, checking in with a group photo at the coffee shop before getting on the minibus to Pattaya.

Highlights of the first day was the sightseeing at Phra Tamnak Mountain Viewpoint where we had a chance to closely see the famous and gigantic ”PATTAYA City” sign along with the spectacular panoramic view of the Pattaya city. We took a bit of effort to go up and down the hill but it was worth enjoying the sunset there and taking memorable photos together.

“This retreat in Pattaya is more than a gathering – it’s a celebration of us. Through team-building, sightseeing, and nights filled with joy, we’re not just making memories, we’re shaping our future, together, one snapshot at a time.”

Siripong Srichau [he/him]
Digital Key Population Engagements Officer

Afterwards, we went to a restaurant by the beach having seafood and getting mermaid vibes before spending a leisure time exploring the vibrant nightlife of Pattaya. Some went to see the Cabaret show, some went to the bars, and some just took some rest at the beach front of the resort.  

On the second day, we started some team building activities. Gathering at the resort’s lawn after breakfast, each group had the same missions to take turns and complete 3 bases. The first base was completing a jigsaw puzzle (the picture was from the staff retreat last year), the second base was hiding and seeking 10 items in the lawn. The last base was a drawing of what you dream for APCOM. With a limited time, each team completed the tasks with laughs, fun, and sweat as it was so hot. In the afternoon everyone got a free ticket for a massage at the resort’s spa center.

“I enjoy the team building activities during the retreat, as it provides opportunities and encourages us to connect with staff that we may not work with closely in the office. We learn how to communicate internally through doing fun activities. It also helps us to see the dream picture of the APCOM team more clearly.”

Naphat Kruthai (Jim) [he/him]
SOGIESC Inclusion and Corporate Engagements Officer

Party night on the second day is the most fun part. The theme of this year’s fancy dress is “Hello Welcome…!”. We had a costume award for the winner who dressed best fit to the theme. Definitely, we all dressed up to slay the others and win. Apart from food, drinks, and music, we had gift-giving and exchanging as well as amazing performances by the 3 groups. And the time has come for the APCOM Staff Award announcement, which acknowledges outstanding staff for their dedications for the organization throughout the year 2023 in different fields, and is voted on the night by their peers. These are our Awards recipients for this year. Congratulations to all the recipients! Let’s find out!

Staff of the Year 2024

“I’m not sure about the definition of ‘Staff of the year’. It may vary depending on who defines and values the term. To me, it is very heartfelt because it comes from everybody’s votes and recognition from my colleagues, thank you!”

Vaness S. Kongsakul [he/him]
Operations and Communications Manager

Most Active Staff 2024

“Thank you very much to APCOM for giving me this honored award of Most Active Staff. I feel very happy and enjoyable to work with you all. And I will do my best every day.”

Praephan Worarakwiroj (she/her)
Accountant & Administrative Officer

Congeniality Staff 2024

“It is really nice to win in this category, knowing that this came out of love from the vote of my lovely colleagues. An absolute thrill to be recognized for something that I’m doing effortlessly, as I am only being the same me everyday in- or outside office settings, which I believe everyone who really knows me would agree with. I hope this will be a constant reminder for myself to always choose kindness.”

Nicky Suwandi (he/him)
HIV Knowledge Management and Innovations Officer

Well-being Staff 2024

“Thank you very much for this award. To me, being healthy is not only physical health but also mental health. If you are healthy, you can also have the energy to do anything, including good work. So, I encourage you to get fit and take care of yourselves every day.”

Anan “Korn” Boonsri (he/him)
Office Assistant

Best “Hello… Welcome” Costume 2024

“This is the second time for me to win in a row! I think about what comes to mind when you go to Pattaya – and for me you have to have Som Tam (raw papaya salad) on the beach. That’s why I came up with a beach Som Tam Seller outfit and brought the props, such as, the wooden pestle and to illustrate how this tasty Som Tam is made at the party night. Thank you friends for voting for me.”

Wattana “A” Keiangpa (he/him)
Senior Programmes and Operations Support Officer

Winning Group of the prize “Strength in Solidarity” 

On our final day we did nothing but walk on the beach and have seafood on the way back to Bangkok. It was really refreshing for the wrap up of the retreat this year – we had fun but it was also about learning, active listening, caring, being present around each other, spending all quality time together outside the office. This was what we called charging batteries and ready to tackle our work, new challenges, and ways forward in 2024!

Thank you to our community partner, HON for their support for making our retreat in Pattaya a memorable one!

If you want to see more pictures of the activities,
please visit our Facebook, or visit us at APCOM.

Last but not least, let’s hear the voices from our newest staffs’ reflections regarding the trip.

“I really like the whole experience. I learned a lot on how to work better in collaboration with my colleagues. At the same time, there were also lots of activities for personal well-being. I think these two things are as important as professional development. It is nice to sometimes close our computers and connect with our team and ourselves.”

Raphael Kevin Tevar (he/him)
Finance Officer

“Joining the retreat as a new staff member is like stepping into a fun adventure packed with learning and laughter. It’s incredibly useful because it helps me connect with my team, learn new things, and grow. Plus, it’s a blast! From team-building games to sharing stories, every moment is filled with joy and excitement. Honestly, my favorite part of the retreat activity is the games that encourage teamwork and creativity. By keeping the atmosphere light and lively, we can ensure that everyone has a fantastic time while also gaining valuable skills and insights. So let’s dive in, have some fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime!”

Yarinda “Kim” Srisutat (she/her)
Finance Officer


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