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Celebrating Five Years of ModSquad’s European Operations Center

Five years — how time flies! It seems like just yesterday that we announced the opening of our European Operations Center in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Now here we are looking back at all of the new ModSquad faces we’ve met over the years and the many amazing client engagements that have been headquartered at the Derry office.

To commemorate this milestone occasion, we spoke with members of the Derry office crew to reminisce about everything from the very early days to the powerful work and strong friendships that have come out of this office.

Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland was once the shirt-making capital of the world, with factories housed in fabulous brick buildings. These structures dated back to the 1800s, but had of late stood empty, a reminder of glory days gone by. Derry’s renaissance saw the refurbishment of many of these former factory buildings. ModSquad opened its European Operations Center on the third floor of the City Factory building.

Aaron B., Assistant Project Manager: “These factories were a big part of the culture within the city back in the day. It’s heartwarming to see them not only alive and well but to see how ModSquad uses the space for the most modern forms of engagement. Who’d have thought 300 years ago that the top floor would be used as a hub for communication on a global scale?”

Kevin O. was one of the first people to work at the Derry location. He joined ModSquad on June 1, 2015.

Kevin O., Director, Accounting: “That was the first day that anyone worked in the Derry office. I was joined by ModSquad folks from the U.S., who had come over to help get the European Operations Center up and running. There was a lot of buzz as we got ready for the official opening on 24th June. We had to look our best for the cameras! It’s great to look back and see how we’ve grown the UK operation since then.”

Local print and television press were on hand to announce ModSquad’s presence in Derry. Within a few months, the Derry group was taking part in events like CultureTECH 2015, where ModSquad sponsored the festival-closing party.

Stephen D., Director, Client Services: “None of us will forget the craft beer event on Sunday at the Walled City Brewery. We know how to make our mark! CultureTECH gave us the opportunity to demonstrate to local companies how we’re able to connect them, locally and globally, with their customers in the digital world.”

Celebrating Five Years of ModSquad’s European Operations Center

In September 2016, just 15 months after opening its doors, the Derry office announced its 100th hire.

Stephen D.: “Even beyond the 100th hire, we’ve continued to have a very successful team working for us across the UK, and the list of clients we serve continues to grow. On any given day you can find our UK group assisting client customers and communities in gaming, tourism, technology, shopping, and many other spaces.

By 2017, as the office celebrated its second anniversary, Derry was on a roll. ModSquad had just been named a US-Ireland Top 50 Company for the third consecutive year (it would go on to achieve that recognition the following year) and the office was the hub of operations for major clients.

Stephen D.: “As the business grew, we welcomed major clients like Tourism Ireland. And that’s been a real success story; the work we’ve provided for Tourism Ireland earned us Gold status at the 2019 Golden Bridge Awards. To this day, that partnership continues to grow ever stronger.”

An internal partnership that resonates with those at the Derry office is the company-wide push to support Extra Life, a video game marathon fundraising event.

Stephen D.: “The people of Derry are well known for taking care of people both in and beyond the local community. Every year, we at the Derry office are keen on giving up some of our time to assist the U.S. Operations Centers in their ongoing mission to provide much-needed funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This event is eagerly awaited by the Derry folks, where a 24-hour streaming marathon held in the office runs concurrently with the other ModSquad sites. A good portion of the Derry Mod network gathers together in person for this gaming event. It’s often a great opportunity to reconnect with those of us who work from home in the local area, not to mention a great excuse to play games for a whole day!”

More recently, Digital Strategist Elodie F. set up a fundraiser in support of another organization dedicated to the health and wellness of children.

Stephen D.: “In February, Elodie organized a get together to raise funds for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust. As a cause near and dear to Elodie, as well as others in the office, everybody was keen to hop on board and help in any way. Some baked amazing treats, while others brought store-bought goodies. People were more than happy to make a small donation in exchange for these snacks. Elodie raised £1400 for the charity, and we’re certainly proud of the Derry office’s contribution to that total.”

After five years, the character of the city of Derry has not only influenced the local office environment, but has had an effect on the larger organization.

Shane B., Project Manager: “The company has definitely been positively impacted by Derry culture as a whole. The Derry humour definitely makes team meetings a lot more entertaining, with many clients loving this personable level of engagement as well. ModSquad people from the U.S. love hearing about Derry. Some have even come across to say hello!”

Stephen D.: “We’ve been lucky enough to have a few of our U.S. clients come and spend extended periods of time with us. We certainly aren’t shy about taking them on tours of Derry and beyond. Derry and Northern Ireland have many beautiful places to visit and we love nothing more than being able to share that with our visitors. We’ve even hosted Dungeons & Dragons nights with clients and the Derry team!”

Celebrating Five Years of ModSquad’s European Operations Center

This anniversary kindles an even greater celebratory mood than the standard camaraderie on display among the Derry group. For those who are a part of the Derry Operations Center, it’s been more than just five years of outstanding, award-winning work; they cherish five years of good memories, good experiences, and good friends.

Stephen D.: “We definitely like to enjoy ourselves. Every year, a good group will get together at Christmas and don their favorite festive jumper to enjoy a few drinks and socialize with one another. Another fun annual event is a visit from a member of the U.S. executive team, which usually takes place in the summer. It’s a great opportunity for the staff to meet and greet our visitor, have a good time, and learn the latest about what’s happening across the business.”

James C., Project Manager: “I’ve only been with the company for two years, but it’s hard to think of just one specific favorite memory here at ModSquad. I enjoy the parties that are thrown during the summer. It’s nice to get everyone together and meet the folks who work from home.”

Mark R., Project Manager: “Birthdays are never passed in the office. Steve normally heads to Tesco and we all feast on cake, typically the chocolate caterpillar kind. The lads in the office do enjoy a night out at Peadar O’Donnell’s for a few stouts.”

Stephen D.: “It’s been a busy five years. We have numerous well-established clients whose projects are based out of the Derry office; we serve their needs 24/7/365. There are also a wide range of projects that our remote team works on — throughout Derry, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, and beyond. Here’s to the next successful five years!”

Celebrating Five Years of ModSquad’s European Operations Center
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