GRAPEVINE, TX — When SilverEdge Systems President Maria Vedral takes her clients out on the town each year during the annual Deltek Insight conventions, it’s no low-energy, hob nob, suit-and-tie dinner.

No, it’s a full-blown, let’s-get-together, have fun, and get-to-know-each-other-better affair that usually includes exotic drinks, great local chow, and some kind of unanticipated energy-sharing experience.

Her past events have included a barbecue dinner after an evening of racing Indy-type speedway go-carts in Orlando, FL. Another time, it was a Southern dinner and group singing at the Big Bang Dueling Piano bar in the Honky Tonk district of downtown Nashville.

And, on still another occasion, Maria’s clients were entertained with dinner and music while riding in a historic paddleboat back and forth along the Potomac River in the shadows of the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials in Washington, D.C.

This year was no different.

A large group of Maria’s clients — totaling just over 100 — boarded two buses at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Resort here and sped away to nearby downtown Dallas for an evening of drinking and dining at a variety of popular hotspots.

The first stop was at Stirr, a renovated industrial building-turned-nightclub in the Deep Ellum district. Upon entering, clients chuckled as they studied a message stenciled on the staircase facing. It read: “You have to take the stairs to Heaven. There is no elevator.”

Four flights of stairs later, clients quickly understood the message as they were immediately taken aback by the stunning view of the open-air rooftop bar that opened magnificently upon the Dallas skyline. As clients buzzed about the view, they were served a choice of two Stirr “house” favorites — a Rose Rita (Avion Silver Tequilla, Bijou Rose, lemon juice, St. Germain liqueur, strawberry puree, and strawberries) or a Sweet Escape (Effen Cucumber Vodka, St. Germain liqueur, lemon juice, cucumbers, mint, and champagne).

Clients could be heard saying: “Oh, my, what a view!” “This is awesome!” “Incredible!”

For those who had taken part in previous client events — like Dean Landes, who was on his ninth outing with Maria, their reactions were predictably positive.

“This is great. I always enjoy them,” said Landes, Systems Administrator with Butler, Fairman, and Seufert, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN.

For those who were on their first sojourn with Maria, you could say they were blown away.

“This is my first time,” said Kimberly D’Amato, Marketing Manager for Applied Technologies located in the greater Milwaukee area. “I hope to do this again … as long as I get a pass. They’re fantastic.”

But, this was just the beginning of the evening.

After about 45 minutes at Stirr, the clients were shepherded back onto their buses. The convoy then sped across town, coming to a stop at Dealey Plaza near the intersection of Elm Street and Houston Street. Tour guides on each bus pointed out the nearby Texas Book Depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald shot and assassinated President John F. Kennedy in November, 1963.

After a few minutes of discussing the area and its historic significance, the buses split up and headed to two different nearby restaurants. One bus took half the clients to RJ Mexican Cuisine in the historic West End of downtown Dallas. The other bus took its riders to 3Eleven Kitchen and Cocktails, another trendy restaurant a few blocks away, also in the West End.

At RJ’s, clients were treated to tortilla chips and homemade salsa, chicken fajitas, Mexican beers and house margaritas.

At 3Eleven, clients were serviced beef tenderloin sliders, seasonal vegetables, and a spud flight of French fries.

After dinner the buses reloaded and headed to Vidorra Cocina de Mexico, another nearby eating establishment that specializes in mouth-watering desserts. The after-dinner offering this night was the Churro Stack, a tasty treat involving a warm cinnamon sugar churro, coconut white chocolate, spicy coconut, and mango sauce.

Before getting back on the buses for the 30-minute return ride to the Gaylord Texan Hotel, clients took a few moments to express what they appreciated most about Maria and her SiverEdge staff.

“SilverEdge is experienced, confident, accessible.  As a friend, I have known Maria eight years. We have a golf tournament in Seattle for charity. It raises about $50,000 to $60,000. She’s a sponsor and comes out to the tournament. We have a really good time,” said Richard Borbe, an Associate with D’Amato, Conversano, Inc., of Seattle.

For the record, Draper Aden Associates was a Deltek MVP Award Finalist and the winner of the 2018 SilverEdge Project Excellence Award. Other SilverEdge Project Excellence Award finalists were: GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.; Applied Technologies; and Klein & Hoffman.

Looking back upon the evening, Vedral said:

“One of my mantras is that I will only give you a gift that I would want for myself.  So that entails creating a client experience that exceeds my expectations for an awesome time!  We put great care into planning to ensure that we include all of the facets of experience according to Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore’s Experience Economy framework.  Each experience must be educational, aesthetically pleasing, escapist and entertaining.  The journey includes how clients are invited, how clients enter, engage, exit and how we extend the experience.  All equally important! We want our clients to feel the love!  It gives us great pleasure!”

Pat Yedlicka, Senior Acct. Manager with Farnsworth Group, Inc. (St. Louis, MO), says SilverEdge Systems staff is always willing to work with you and meet your needs. “They listen to us and figure out what we need,” she remarked at the 2018 Deltek Insight Convention.

Karen Freeman(Second from left), Director of Finance with Harris & Associates (Concord, CA), who also attended the 2018 Deltek Insight Convention, says she’s so impressed by how much SilverEdge Systems President Maria Vedral cares about her clients. SilverEdge is the catalyst to help solve problems. Maria is such a happy partner with a great laugh that is infectious. She’s a very caring woman.”

Kristin Burke (right), CFO with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (Chicago area), says she appreciates SilverEdge Systems President Maria Vedral and her staff for the work they do with their clients over the years. “Maria is a very good friend, loyal. She’s a friend for the ages. She (and her staff) really take care of the clients,” she said during SilverEdge’s annual client outing.

Tim Cretney, CFO with Draper Aden Associates (Blacksburg, VA), had a terrific year in 2018. His company was a Deltek MVP Award Finalist and the winner of the 2018 SilverEdge Project Excellence Award. Despite that, Cretney shares some of the credit with SilverEdge Systems staff. “We couldn’t do what we do without Adam (Sitterding), Deb (Eastberg) and Tiffany (Morrow). These kind of people are so rare. We dream up things and they make it happen. Everything in Deltek we dreamed up is coming true,” he said near the end of SilverEdge’s annual client outing

Brian Converse, President/GM with Willett, Hofmann & Associates, Inc. (Dixon, IL), says SilverEdge Systems is a lot like his own company. “They offer good support. And, I really like working with Deb (Eastberg) and Dennis (McGuire). Maria appears to have an ethical company which is the way we do business,” he said during the 2018 Deltek Insight Convention.

Dean Landes (left), Systems Administrator with Butler, Fairman and Seufert, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN), really enjoys being around SilverEdge Systems President Maria Vedral and her staff. Landes, who attended the 2018 Deltek Insight Convention, says the quality of people Vedral employs and her laugh are things he thinks of when he hears the name SilverEdge. “Maria’s always so upbeat. And, she’s got quality people with her. It’s our main product.”

Kimberly D’Amato (left), Marketing Manager with Applied Technologies. (Milwaukee), another 2018 Deltek Insight attendee, says she appreciates the kindness and knowledge of SilverEdge Systems President Maria Vedral and her team. “They go out of their way to help. They’re fantastic.”

Melissa Clark (middle), Controller with Primera Engineers, Ltd. (Chicago), says SilverEdge Systems is the type of company that is known for its expert service and friendship. “They don’t see you as a number but as a life-long partner. I admire their expertise and quality and they give it to you straight,” she said at the 2018 Deltek Insight Convention.

Richard Borbe, Associate with D’Amato, Conversano, Inc. (Seattle), while attending the 2018 Deltek Insight Convention, says SilverEdge is everything you need in a software consulting company. “They’re experienced, confident, and accessible.”