Last week the Payabli team swarmed the shores of Miami Beach for our bi-annual team offsite. It had been 9 months since the entire team got together for our last event in September of 2023. The team was thrilled to regroup over a jam packed 48 hours of learning, planning and bonding.

During each offsite we rally around a singular theme that’s intended to capture the team’s engagement and focus while representing what’s most prescient at the company during that time. Our first offsite in October 2022 was “Creating Magical Customer Experiences” and revolved around going above and beyond to delight our customers. Our second offsite in March of 2023 was “Finding our Why” and encouraged the team to tap into their personal motivations for being at Payabli and finding a deeper purpose in their roles and responsibilities. Our third offsite’s theme was the “Time is Now” and prepared our team for the anticipated growth we would be experiencing in Q4 23 and Q1 24 – ensuring we were prepared to rise to the occasion.

This offsite’s theme was “Leveling Up: this is HOW we do it”. Whereas previous offsites revolved around the “What?” and the “Why?” about Payabli, this offsite specifically focused on execution and “How?” we will transition from a high potential startup to a category leading Scale Up over the next few quarters. We aimed to inspire our team members to work harder, dream bigger, and achieve more throughout the year and beyond.

Day 0: The Storm 

Events can be nerve wrecking because there are discrete moments in time that require balancing so many potential externalities; so much precision is needed in order for an event to be a success. Luck would have it that the entire team would be traveling to Miami during a “Tropical Depression.” Wednesday was a stressful day with myriad flight cancellations, team members being rerouted to airports hours away from Miami and needing to drive into the location in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Not to mention completely flooded streets, and our hotel losing power for nearly 12 hours!

While this could have been a show stopper for our offsite, the team rallied and exhibited incredible resilience and positivity during the challenging travel impediments and inconveniences. Some team members ended up arriving at the hotel at 4am and were still able to make it for our kick-off at 9am on Thursday. What started off as a horrendous beginning ended up creating this incredible solidarity among the team and actually made Thursday that much sweeter. We know there will be jokes about Offsite #4’s rocky (rainy) start for years to come. Check out some of the snippets from our community Slack Channel “Cafecito Break Room”:


Day 1: Building Bonds and Celebrating Culture

The offsite kicked off with some icebreakers setting the tone for the event. Payabli has an official Team Dance that originated from the early day’s of our Founders’ friendship. Every offsite it’s an opportunity to induct the “newbies” into Payabli by teaching them the “Big Fish, Little Fish” dance. After getting our boogie on our leaders, Will Corbera and Jo Phillips, moderated the game “If You Really Knew Me.” In this game each team member has 60 seconds to share personal facts about themselves, bringing us closer together and building a stronger trust and camaraderie. It was an eye-opening experience that allowed us to see each other beyond our professional roles and connect on a deeper level.

We then dived into discussions about our core company values and how they align with this year’s theme of “Leveling Up.” These values are the backbone of Payabli and guide us in our mission to deliver exceptional service and innovative payment solutions to our Partners daily. Each team—operations, sales, marketing, and customer success—provided updates on their respective areas, highlighting achievements and setting ambitious goals for the future.

As night fell, we embraced the rich cultural heritage of some of our team members at Miami’s Sazon restaurant. The atmosphere was electric as we indulged in traditional Cuban cuisine, danced to live music, and celebrated our shared journey and team accomplishments. It was a night filled with laughter, music, and delicious food, reinforcing the bonds we’ve built and the vibrant culture we cherish at Payabli.

Day 2: Inspiring Talks and Team Spirit

Day two began with a fantastic surprise: custom Payabli jerseys for everyone! Each jersey was custom embroidered with every employees’ last name and their number of when they joined the company. We took team photos and professional headshots, capturing the spirit and unity of our team. These jerseys weren’t just clothing; they symbolized our collective identity and pride in being part of Payabli.

The excitement continued with two very special guest speakers. First, we welcomed Guillermo Cancio Bello Jr., a renowned business psychologist, who delivered an impactful discussion on “Sticking Together: Practicing Radical Candor & Empathy.” His insights on fostering open communication and understanding within teams resonated deeply with us, providing valuable tools to enhance our teamwork and collaboration.

Next, Michael Marmo, CEO and Founder of CurbWaste and a valued Payabli customer, inspired us. He shared his personal story on his entrepreneurial journey, detailing how it led him to build CurbWaste and how Payabli’s payment solutions play an integral role in their success. Michael’s story was a powerful reminder of the impact of our work and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead, empowering vertical SaaS businesses like CurbWaste to embed and monetize payments. Much like our team members who had a difficult time getting to our offsite, Mike also had to navigate through canceled flights and an emergency landing in order to join us. We will always be grateful to Mike for joining us as it definitely was an extremely motivating and memorable presentation.

The day also included more business updates, focused on upcoming Product Releases at Payabli as well as a mesmerizing session on some of the AI applications being employed at Payabli today and our further plans to leverage AI at Payabli in the future. There are a lot of exciting new features being rolled out these next two quarters and we’re excited to get them in our customers’ hand!

We concluded the offsite with a wonderful team dinner at Mila. The elegant setting, delicious food, and great company perfectly ended a productive and exhilarating event. We left the offsite feeling energized, refreshed, and ready to tackle the challenges ahead with renewed vigor and a united front.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Payabli

Our June 2024 offsite in Miami was more than just a meeting; it was a celebration of our achievements, a reinforcement of our core values, and a powerful motivation to “Level Up” as we enter an exciting new phase of the company’s growth. The experiences we shared, the knowledge we gained, and the bonds we strengthened have prepared us to achieve greater heights.

As we move forward, we carry the inspiration and energy from these two incredible days. Big things are happening at Payabli, and we are excited and ready for the future. Together, we will continue to innovate, excel, and make a difference in the world of payments. Here’s to leveling up and making 2024 our best year yet!