The employees, most in their twenties and thirties, have gone bowling together and once whipped up a fondue party. Holdren installed a Direct TV satellite dish for the office, so people working on weekends wouldn't miss football games.
"Young start-up companies tend to have some real crazy atmospheres. People are under a lot of pressure, and they do all sorts of crazy things to have fun," says Katherine Clark, the CEO of Landmark Systems Corporation and a member, with Holdren, in a Women Technology Entrepreneurs group.
Olympus Group isn't Animal House crazy; it's a professional place. The outings help employees to bond, to recharge.
Holdren leads by example, making time in her schedule for other things--mainly her husband, Jim Harrison, their two Jack Russell terriers, and exercise. She jogs five times a week and lifts weights three times a week.
But even when letting off steam, Holdren can't completely relax.
Case in point: Many Olympus Groupers, including Holdren, spend their lunch hours jogging together. Holdren often uses some of the time to run ideas by colleagues.
Julie Holdren was born and raised in Mount Vernon, to a father who worked for the Interior Department and a mother who was a nurse. Holdren was first exposed to computers as a sophomore at Mount Vernon High School, in its then-new computer lab.
She went on to George Mason University, where she majored in computer engineering. To pay for college, she worked full-time at Sprint while taking classes.
When the entrepreneurial itch struck in 1994, Holdren withdrew the $5,000 or so she had in her 401(k) and founded her firm. She was 25, but you wouldn't have known it: Holdren is confident beyond her years. Take, for example, the name she choose to announce herself.
"Olympus Group is the home of the gods," Holdren says. "We were calling ourselves the Internet gods."