United by Accountor
...would probably be the perfect name for the story how we visited the Accountor Head Office. It’s a bit bittersweet, as we were constantly thinking of Ukraine and the current events, but it gave us the strength and the confidence to believe that the future is bright for all of us.
We got to spend four wonderful days with our Finnish and Dutch colleagues in Helsinki and Espoo. But let us start from the beginning!
Helsinki, Our Meeting Point
As you probably know, the Accountor Ukraine team has been split in two parts. Some employees have been in the Netherlands for a while, thanks to our Dutch colleagues and our General Director Guido Wellig, whereas most of the employees are in Ukraine. So, we had to arrive in two separate groups. It was easier for those travelling from the Netherlands: a two-hour flight - and we were on the spot! The fourteen ladies travelling from Ukraine had to go to Poland by bus all the way to Warsaw where they were met by a certain Dutch gentleman 😊– i.e., our General Director Guido Wellig who took care of them and cheered them up after the road trip.
Words can’t describe how we were feeling as we all finally met at the Helsinki airport, as we hadn’t seen each in flesh other for almost a year!
After we checked into the hotel, we met the President & CEO of the Accountor Group, Niklas Sonkin, the CFO of the Group, Matti Piri, and the Executive Vice President, Otto Lepikkö. What an overwhelming meeting with lots of hugs, talks and laughter! It was so weird: to feel the “good old times” vibe and to realize how deeply the whole management team cares and worries about every single one of us.
Accountor Tower and the “Back to the 1980s” Party
The next day was even more exciting. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we got on the subway and went to Espoo - the city where the Accountor Tower is located.
Niklas Sonkin, our CEO, and Matti Piri, CFO of the Accountor Group, gave us a very interesting tour of the tower, talking about the history of how Accountor moved to the tower, how the building has changed after that, they showed us the peculiarities such as a cool art object on the 17th floor made of some parquet found in the basement or the window on the ceiling that gives you a nice view of the Accountor logo on the facade of the building. Yes, the view from the windows is breathtaking, giving you a sense of power, freedom, and new horizons.
After a nice tour, we were invited to have lunch with the colleagues, at a restaurant on the 18th floor of the Accountor Tower with a very appropriate name: “Lucy in the Sky”. Of course, it was interesting for the OLT members ( top managers of the company) to learn from Ukrainians (and not only from mass media) what they think about the recent events in Ukraine and all over Europe: to hear, “touch” and feel the Ukrainian spirit, as represented by us.
In the evening, we were invited to the “Back to the 80s” party. It was amazing! We knew that Accountorians were talented, but seeing and hearing the “Accountor House Band” perform hit songs on stage was a BIG surprise!
At the Mayor’s Residence
We had no idea another BIG surprise was waiting for us. The next day, as we weren’t expecting anything, a taxi came to pick us up. We had no idea where we were going. After a 30-minute ride it looked like we were in the woods… What would that be: a restaurant, a ski resort, or… maybe, we’re going hunting? As we were starting to worry, we suddenly saw a residence, and we were greeted by none other than the Mayor of Espoo, Mr. Jukka Mäkelä! Mr. Mayor expressed such sincere support for Ukraine in his speech that it nearly made us cry. It was obvious that this reception was not a formal occasion but more like a family event where we were welcomed by our friends and allies. Even the flowers on the tables and the window sills were blue and yellow (and, by the way, so were the desserts)! Our CEO Niklas Sonkin was also wearing a blue and yellow suit, as you can see on the photos 😊.
We can’t express how grateful we feel for this invitation and this opportunity. As we were talking, we did not notice how several hours had passed. Such moments truly stay with you forever.
As we were saying our goodbyes, Mr. Jukka Mäkelä expressed his sincere hopes that Ukraine would be celebrating victory soon. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for your support, kindness and wisdom!
The Last Day and the Way Back Home
Our last day was a bit different, yet cool! We had a walk and did some shopping in the morning and then spent some quality time at the Espoo Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibits are truly mesmerizing! Then, we had a farewell dinner at a restaurant in Helsinki downtown.
Still impressed and overwhelmed by the whole experience, we returned to the hotel and the next morning, the team had to be divided again to go back as two separate groups. Two groups with one Ukrainian soul.
We are all home by now, and, as we are thinking it over, we realize that we will cherish these memories forever. We will always remember the people, the kindness, their words and actions. We really feel our unity not just as Accountorians or Europeans, but as human beings: if we treat each other kindly, we will be united and strong, no matter the distance.
A BIG “THANK YOU” to each and every one of our colleagues who made this trip possible! We can’t wait to see all of you in Ukraine after our VICTORY! 😉
The Accountor Ukraine team.