Another year gone. It seems like just yesterday I was writing our 2021 wrap-up. Now we’ve reached the end of 2022 and, like every year, I can’t believe it.
But I do find it helpful each year to sit down and look at the big things that happened over the last 12 months. For 2022, these are those things.
Far Reach Turns 15
April 2022 marked 15 years since we founded Far Reach. Thanks to our amazing team members, clients, advocates, and partners, we made it this far—with no intention of stopping. It’s still hard for me to believe that somehow a decade and a half has gone by, and yet here we are.
You can read my anniversary recap here.
Transitioning to Fully Remote
We haven’t made a big splash about it, so you may not know, but we closed our Far Reach office at 208A Main Street in Cedar Falls at the end of November. We had been in that location, up on the second floor, since 2008. We spiced the place up with faux brick, inviting paint colors, IKEA desks, and all the technology you’d expect from a tech company.
We decided to leave our Main Street location because while we’ve been remote-friendly since about 2014, we’ve been pretty much fully remote since COVID hit in 2020. Team members have set up comfortable work spaces in their homes or other locations, and we work together from towns around Iowa and cities across the country.
208A will always hold a lot of fond memories for our team members. We had client meetings, holiday parties, lots of productive collaboration, anniversaries, silly shenanigans, and everything else you’d expect from nearly 15 years in the same office space. (Speaking of Office Space, we even smashed an old printer with a baseball bat outside our building in tribute to a classic scene from one of our favorite movies. 🤣 Ah, good times…)
Looking back through the archives, I can see how the space looks so similar and yet everything is different.
Our conference room held a lot of meetings. Here’s a picture from ‘08 before we moved in, and another photo from 2022, a few weeks ago, as we moved out.
And here’s a wide shot of our office while we were initially setting it up and then in the final days of our tenancy. The place looks different—phone cameras and our photography skills have also gotten a lot better.
And finally, just a word of warning to the next tenants: This guy, one of our many great white elephant gifts, might haunt the place. If you find any Christmas tree squirrels…that was us, too.
We’re going to miss this place, our home for nearly 15 years. But we’ve been very successful working as a fully remote team, which has many benefits as well.
Product Launches and Enhancements
It’s impossible to remember every product enhancement we do—we’re always releasing new features and updates—but we had some notable launches and releases in 2022.
We worked with BerganKDV to build their PlainSight fraud reporting tip line, which allows employees, vendors, contractors, and customers to anonymously report fraud tips. Organizations can collect, follow up on, and manage tips in an easy-to-use, secure portal.
One of our clients needed a better way to edit and manage map images in their custom portal. We took their idea for a solution and built something even more streamlined, right inside the portal. Sales reps now save hours on tracking down, editing, and uploading map images.
STRATAFOLIO continues to build out new features in their SaaS platform. While they have an internal team to handle many areas of development, they occasionally partner with Far Reach on certain new features and updates, as they did early this year. We work as an integrated team as the platform continues to scale.
Leading Edge Fundraising also continues to enhance their Launch fundraising platform. This year, we made many upgrades, including a behind-the-scenes update that reduces downtime during production deployments and helps keep the system available for users around the clock.
iEmergent, a long-term Far Reach partner, had a big year. They were named the 2022 FinTech & InsurTech Company of the Year at the Technology Association of Iowa’s (TAI’s) annual Prometheus Awards in November. Chris and I got to celebrate the evening with Laird and Bernard and, needless to say, a good time was had by all!
iEmergent has also continued to build out features in Mortgage MarketSmart, a mortgage forecast, mapping, and insights tool. They’re on an important mission to help close the inequitable homeownership gap by helping mortgage lenders serve diverse markets, and their vision is really resonating with the industry. We’re happy to be on this journey with them and look forward to sharing more updates about iEmergent’s positive impact on the mortgage lending landscape in the months to come.
New Team Members
Since becoming remote-friendly in 2014 and now being fully remote, we’ve been able to bring on team members from around the country—as well as from the Cedar Valley. If you check out our team page, you’ll see a mix of familiar and new faces. Plus, you can hover over each photo on that page to see an animated gif chosen by each team member—a popular feature on our site.
You can also learn more about Far Reach team members in our People Behind the Project series.
While we don’t do what we do for awards and recognition, we do take pride in being a great place to work. So being recognized for that does mean a lot to us. This year, we were named a 2022 Best Place for Working Parents® business.
This is just a sampling of the good things we were blessed with in 2022. To share them all would keep you reading through the holidays and I’ll venture to guess that you have more important things to do with your time this week! So, I’ll wrap this post up by thanking you sincerely for being a part of the extended Far Reach family and wishing you the happiest and healthiest of holiday seasons!