It's been an amazing year at Aceable. We've helped thousands of students achieve their goals of getting a driver license, continued to improve our mobile-first education platform every day, expanded into new states and verticals, and had a little fun along the way. (Well, actually, a lot of fun.) As the year comes to a close, here's a look back at our 30 favorite memories from 2016. Thank you for being part of our journey, and from our family to yours, best wishes for the new year!
1. The times we got new Aceable swag were always the best. Krista said her favorite memory from 2016 was "that time me and my Aceversary twin Audrey got to have an Aceable merch photoshoot." They cute.
2. Another favorite memory? That time we won an award for being one of Austin Inno's 50 companies on fire ...
— Aceable (@aceable) December 8, 2016
And got invited to a party because of it. They even had a mac 'n' cheese bar, as only the classiest of events do.
3. Of course we all loved the fancy photo shoot we got to have with Ace. Our robot friend looks stunning as usual. The rest of us try to keep up.
— Aceable (@aceable) November 7, 2016
4. Speaking of awards, we were also named one of the coolest companies in Austin this year. All this hardware had us feeling like Meryl Streep at the Oscars.
5. And who could forget Aceable Halloween? No other company had a banana, Lego and Ms. Frizzle doppelgänger, we bet.
6. Sometimes, the best memories are simply when we're supporting one another. As Alex said, "I thought it was super cool that the team made a welcome video for me after signing/ before moving here." Whitney agreed. "Just that amazing GIF-filled "Welcome to Aceable" email" she said. #SquadGoals
— Aceable (@aceable) October 26, 2016
7. And who could forget that time we voted together like good citizens? Ace couldn't vote (as it is unconstitutional for robots to vote), but we brought him back a sticker.
8. We had a lot of adventures this year, but one of our most favorites was when we visited high schools in Florida. Josh had a great time learning about ways to improve our product for students in the Sunshine State.
— Aceable (@aceable) October 11, 2016
9. Every once in a while, we get to take a break from work and volunteer together. Anna said her favorite memory was going on a company philanthropy trip to help out at Central Texas Food Bank. "Everyone showed up in a company shirt and looking down the line of tables laden with food, it was a sea of smiling faces in blue shirts," she said. "It was pretty wonderful to be somewhere that wanted to support the rest of the community by using company time to give back. Just an example of an Aceable core value coming to life: #HelpOthers."
10. Obvious favorite memory: Every time cute pups visited our office. LOOK AT THOSE FACES.
— Aceable (@aceable) August 19, 2016
11. At Aceable, we have the opportunity to learn about new topics from one another through "Lunch and Learns." One of the most fun this year was Alec's tutorial on how to tie a bowtie. Honestly we should wear these every day.
— Aceable (@aceable) August 16, 2016
12. In December, we donated money to two wonderful charities: Dogs Out Loud and the Christianson Syndrome Association, which are both located within 150 miles of our office. We loved the opportunity to contribute to local organizations.
13. There was also that time we raised $4 million in Series A funding to expand our mobile education platform. We love continuing to grow and move forward with even more ambitious projects.
14. It's no secret that we love sending words of encouragement to our students. Josh's favorite memory from 2016 was this motivational video we sent to Macy.
Afterward, Macy sent us a handmade card. Like a proud parent, we Scotch-taped that baby to our fridge.
15. Patti's favorite moment from 2016? Josh's epic water bottle flip." His big sigh before, and then that shirt-pluck after! I keep it on my desktop and watch that all the time!" she said.
16. In April, we started a campaign for drunk driving prevention and education. One of the highlights of our year was seeing dozens of people participate in the campaign, which donated money to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
17. We like to celebrate at Aceable, and one of the most fun days of 2016 was our amazing holiday party. We do know how to make a great GIF.
18. At Aceable, we enjoy nothing more than good friends and good food. It comes as no surprise then that Cameron's favorite memory from this year was, "when I went to eat with Sam and he ate my tomatoes cause I don't really like tomatoes." What a good friend!
19. We also took a company trip to the go-kart racing course this fall. Michael said his favorite memory was "watching Desiree run her go-kart over the barriers and get kicked off the track." See video below for Desiree's Fast and Furious moment.
20. Working at Aceable is never boring, but one of the most exciting days at work this year was when we tested out Snapchat Spectacles while boating on Lake Austin. Hard day at the office, right?
21. Of all the changes that have happened at Aceable this year, one of the biggest was expanding our office. Blake's favorite moment from 2016 was knocking down our office wall with a sledgehammer. Seriously, have you ever seen someone so happy about a hole in the wall?
22. Teammates at Aceable are always there to help one another out, no matter what. Sam said his favorite memory from this year was doing just that. "Matt's car broke down a block away [from the office] and he called for emergency help on Slack," he said. "I jumped up out of my chair along with a handful of others and we ran as fast as possible down to help him. We pushed his car out of the intersection into safety and everything turned out well. Reminded me that there is no substitute for focused teamwork."
23. And when it comes to teamwork, no one does it better than the winners of our best dance squad competition, the Del Valle Cardinal Belles. The team rallied together to garner the most online votes and claim our $500 grand prize. Visiting the team to present them with their giant check was one of the highlights of our year.
24. Our students tag us in pictures with their permits and licenses all the time, but one of our favorites had to be the "my dog ate my certificate" photo. One of our students asked a customer experience representative if he could resend her certificate because her dog ate it. He said he would do so for free if she posted a picture of the incident. Cue this photo of an adorable dog and half-eaten certificate.
25. If you've taken the Aceable course, you know we love a good meme. So when Joe snapped this photo of Craig face-palming at his desk, it quickly became a meme for expressing all sorts of emotions among the Aceable team. For Nick, the moment captured in this photo was his favorite from 2016. "I don't know why Craig looks so distraught in this photo," he said. "A bad migraine? Accidentally hit 'reply all' on an email? Tickets sold out for the 20th-anniversary screening of Space Jam before he could finalize his order? Whatever unfortunate circumstances inspired this pose will remain one of history's mysteries ... and maybe that's for the best. Whenever I'm feeling sad or lonely I can look at my framed copy of this photo and think, "Hey, we all have those days."
26. But most of the time, we're not distraught, even during some of the busiest times of the year. We all have so much fun around the holidays, and we especially loved participating in a toy drive for kids in our area.
27. We also had a photo and video shoot for our company holiday card a few days later. There were a couple photos where we attempted to be serious ... but most looked like this.
28. And in case you haven't noticed a trend, dressing up and taking photos is one of our favorite things. One of the best dress-up days we had this year was our Nineties Day. Nobody rocks high-waisted jorts and fanny packs better than we do.
29. We get competitive around the office, and Marcela's favorite memory from 2016 involved a fierce Jenga competition. "One of my favorite memories was the almost two-hour-long Jenga game," she said. "People went and came back from lunch, candidates came in and out for interviews, and somehow that Jenga tower would not come down. Ben tried to explain how, when you want to rip a paper towel from the roll, you have to do it quickly, like a ninja, otherwise you end up with a ton of paper towels on your hands. He was going to try to apply the same physics to the Jenga tower. We were skeptical of his logic, but it worked, and none of us could believe it."
30. And finally, our favorite memories from this year have been celebrating our teammates, whether it's an Aceversary, birthday or achievement. Mostly, because there's usually dessert involved.