Celebrating the New Year in ME&A’s Newly Remodeled Headquarters Office – ME&A
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Celebrating the New Year in ME&A’s Newly Remodeled Headquarters Office

Celebrating the New Year in ME&A’s Newly Remodeled Headquarters Office

ME&A headquarters staff recently got together in ME&A’s new re-imagined headquarters office in Bethesda, Maryland. The office was redesigned to create a flexible and dynamic work environment making it easy for team members to work together whether in the office or not.

“The past four years have taught us valuable lessons about flexibility, resilience, and the importance of adapting to change. Recognizing our headquarters staff’s preference for hybrid work and their proven productivity in that setup, we have opted not to mandate a full-time return to the office,” said ME&A President and CEO Teresita Perez. “Instead, we have redesigned our headquarters into a more compact space to create a work environment that seamlessly integrates the best aspects of remote and in-person collaboration.”

She emphasized that she is the first to enjoy hybrid work but thinks human connections are lost when people don’t meet in person, especially when new employees join a team. For that reason, ME&A hosted a headquarters luncheon Jan. 18, 2024, after the remodel where staff based in the Washington, D.C., area were introduced to the newly reconfigured space and its new collaboration rooms.

“During the luncheon, I could see how pleased everyone was to reunite face-to-face again. At the luncheon I suggested staff based in D.C. schedule weekly in-person meetings with their teams to reconnect,” she said. “It’s amazing how positively people have reacted to this idea. Our teams are now gathering in person at least weekly, making use of our re-imagined space.”

During the pandemic ME&A hired several staff from outside the Washington, D.C., area as telecommuters while two key headquarters staff moved to Texas and started telecommuting from there. Team members living outside of the Washington, D.C., area will continue to telecommute as will any team member who remains high risk for COVID-19.

Monica Jerbi, ME&A communications manager, is one of the headquarters team members who is high risk for COVID-19. She has not been to the headquarters office since the pandemic started. Reflecting on her pandemic journey with ME&A, she said, “I had just completed chemotherapy for Stage IIIc colon cancer when the pandemic unfolded, categorizing me as exceptionally high risk. Without ME&A’s supportive work environment, it is not an exaggeration to suggest I might not have survived the challenges posed by COVID-19.”

Ms. Perez said she is pleased not only how ME&A headquarters staff handled the pandemic but also how staff in the field handled it.

“Thank you to all ME&A employees and consultants, both at headquarters and in the field, for your unwavering dedication, resilience, and the genuine caring and compassion you’ve shown for each other during the challenges of the pandemic,” she said. “I am eager to see the benefits of our renovated office as we embrace hybrid work together while continuing to help address the development challenges of our time.”