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Firm's employees trek out

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  • | 7:11 a.m. May 24, 2013
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Paul Hoffman, president of SouthTech Solutions, a Sarasota-based IT firm, says he likes to do something “simple” for employees once a quarter, to celebrate their dedication and build morale.

Hoffman took his definition of simple to a new galaxy May 17. That's when his company rented a 111-seat movie theater in downtown Sarasota to treat the firm's 27 employees, and their families, to opening night of Star Trek Into Darkness. Hoffman also gave every employee a $10 coupon to the concession stand.

The idea for the movie outing came to Hoffman a few weeks ago, he says, when he saw a TV commercial for the film. “It hit me,” Hoffman tells Coffee Talk. “For a company with a lot of techies and engineers, that's it.”

The total cost for the event, held at the Regal Hollywood Stadium 20 on Main Street, was around $2,500.

That's certainly more than past SouthTech events, like a bowling day or a spring training game. But Hoffman says the cost is well worth it, past giving employees and their families a night out. For one, with all the seats, the firm invited some clients to the movie, so it was a chance to show the company's lighter side. (The Observer Media Group, publisher of the Business Observer, is a SouthTech client.)

Also, the timing is spot-on because the event was a celebration of sorts for the company recently winning the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award.

Another benefit: Hoffman says when he announced the outing at a company meeting, “people actually listened to what I had to say.”


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