Rattlesnakes, Javelinas, and Tarantulas, Oh My!: My First Lantana Retreat

After working at Lantana Consulting Group for 11 months as a Project Coordinator, I was excited to experience my first Lantana retreat and meet my teammates. Since Lantana is a distributed company, I primarily communicate with coworkers via email, instant messaging, web meetings, and telephone. At the retreat, I connected face-to-face and put faces with their voices.

Lantana’s annual retreat was held at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. It is an authentic dude ranch in the beautiful Sonoran Desert near Saguaro National Park with the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north and the Rincon Mountains to the east.

Our view from the meeting rooms–Rincon Mountains.

We spent most of the day in meetings and trainings. Liora, CEO, shared her mission, values, and expectations for Lantana Consulting Group–we all share in the healthcare interoperability strategy and standards development effort. Lantana’s leadership presented updates on the company’s financial position, business development, and human resources. Employees led learning sessions that related to daily project work, breakout sessions to enhance interests as well as cross-training opportunities and tutorials to expand our knowledge of proposal budgets, measure development, analytics, and implementation guide development.

Me and a prickly pear cactus.

I attended the proposal budget development session. In this session, I learned the effort it takes to submit a winning proposal versus my role in coordinating and planning the implementation of an established project. We discussed how to build the best team: considering lead roles, analytics, and support staff. We reviewed techniques for estimating time, materials, and costs. Assembling the required resources is an important process that leads to a successful project. This session sparked a new level of interest in project work for me. I hope to be more involved in this process in the future.  

Yoga on the front lawn.

Each day between internal corporate planning meetings and team building exercises, I participated in activities such as painting and yoga. The outdoor yoga class was a nice break to calm my mind and connect with nature. I learned about our beautiful desert surroundings by taking a hike in the nearby mountains. While the Nature Center afforded the opportunity to learn about nature critters from a safe distance, some had close, unexpected encounters with javelinas (similar to a wild boar) and tarantulas.

Lantana has a genuine interest in climate change and established greenLantana in 2015. Employees and greenLantana members participated in activities to foster discussion on reducing the carbon footprint in health information technology (HIT). They examined the effects of fax machine usage in healthcare settings in terms of resources such as energy, materials, and labor.

Saguaro cactus, found only in the Sonoran Desert. Arizona has strict regulations protecting these cacti.

It was a pleasure to come to a beautiful setting and learn more about my colleagues and Lantana’s future endeavors.