Last July, I celebrated my 25th year as the CEO of American Christmas while the company celebrated its 45th anniversary, having been founded in 1968 by my father, Marvin. So much has changed over the years, yet the constant of our leadership position in our industry endures and, in fact, grows stronger over time.
Our new website was launched on July 1, 2013 and we have received very positive feedback about the design and content. The site includes a blog and we established the practice of asking a different employee to write for the blog each month. I hope it has served the purpose of providing a new perspective into our unique culture.
Company events like our Wii bowling tournament, 3 on 3 basketball tournament, Poker tournament, holiday party and end of season celebratory dinner continue to be great fun. Our traditions of giving to local charities, installing décor at area not for profits and serving dinner at the Soup Kitchen in Mount Vernon remain important and a source of pride for our staff.
Over the last 12 months, the company was honored with the 914 Inc. Excellence in Small Business Award and the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. I was the guest speaker at the UJA Federation of New York Westchester Division Spring Breakfast and was later asked to join their Board of Directors. I also joined the Board of the Mount Vernon Boys & Girls Club. I am extremely proud of the good work happening at the Club and its role in nurturing young people.
In December, we reached a record high of 160 employees and, in 2013, grew the business by 24%. Many new clients joined our family, including The Citadel in Los Angeles where we installed the largest bow in the world. We also expanded our geographic reach by decorating Cartier in Geneva, Switzerland.
At the start of the year, the company added 10 new, full time jobs. Our great family continues to grow as we prepare for another fantastic season.
On a personal note, my family and I celebrated the bar mitzvah of my younger son, Jonah, in March. I must say that facts like 25 years at work along with a 16 year old son and a 13 year old son crystalize the fact that I am not a kid anymore.
Our business model has always been about getting better, not necessarily bigger. The products and services we offer continue to improve each year. As a result, we continue to grow. Thank you to our families, friends, clients and vendors for helping us make the magic.