Caution. I’m not really a mushy girl (my team can attest), but this is a really mushy blog. I can’t help it. At this time of year, it’s hard for me to rein in my feelings about HFA and the team we have here. So, today, I’m giving myself a moment to step out of my usual logistics mode and step into all the feely feels.
Experiential marketing is always a rollercoaster, but add in a pandemic, and a recession (or at least the talk of a recession), and it’s cuckoo crazy. Fortunately, we have amazing clients who have ridden this wild ride with us. And for each of our clients, we are so grateful!
But in today’s blog, I am going to focus on the people behind the scenes here at HFA who keep the wheels turning – keeping clients informed and engaged, making sure BAs are paid on time and correctly, and brainstorming ideas that keep us moving forward.
Alicia was our first full-time employee. She’s worn literally every hat at HFA. If you haven’t read the blog on her story, it’s worth a read. Alicia is the most HFA-oriented person I’ve ever met. We all know her skills are worth more than we can afford, but she chooses to stay with us and I couldn’t be more grateful. About this time last year, Alicia took over all of our new client development. As usual, Alicia pioneered this role, made it her own, and is crushing it. I am grateful for Alicia’s belief, passion, and love for our company.
Polly came to us from a medical coding background. Her husband is good friends with Alicia, and said she’d be great for our admin opening, so we decided to give her a shot. I’m so happy we did! Polly has held many roles, and recently found her superpower – Excel formulas. She’s a wizard at making things easier for the rest of the team, and I think this fills her empathetic heart. I’m grateful she shares her wizardry with us common folk.
Laura is both positive and realistic – two traits that don’t often coexist peacefully. I always appreciate her candid voice of reality when we grossly overestimate our bandwidth. Recently, she’s jumped in to help other members of the team in key moments, which I realize may not be normal in other companies. I am grateful for Laura’s candor and her ability to come through when it counts.
Becca took over the brand-new Director of Operations role after about a year with the company. I think we could all see she is a shining light. She is always brave enough to put herself out there and share out-of-the-box ideas. Often those ideas take us on a path to genius! She keeps the team organized and our leadership team focused. I am grateful for Becca’s positive energy, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in.
Noraliz is a productivity queen. We call her “Nike,” because she just does it. I can’t remember ever hearing a complaint from her, even if it means moving a storage unit on a Saturday, working a 12-hour day, or taking an account needing some extra attention. She takes pride in performing her work efficiently and error free. I am grateful Noraliz shares her work ethic with us and keeps us all on track!
Kayla always prioritizes the team first. She even prioritizes what’s most important for the company when it costs her financially. There have been a few times when she decided to put her quarterly goals, on which her quarterly bonuses are based, on hold to do a project that is more important for our company’s needs. Sometimes she Slacks me at midnight. Long hours are not encouraged at HFA, but I am grateful for her unwavering dedication to the team.
Jacquelyn’s creativity always astounds me. As a non-creative, at least in the visual space, I don’t really understand how her brain works sometimes. All I know is no matter what project we give her, even if it’s boring, she can make it beautiful and engaging. Jacquelyn is constantly brainstorming ways we can better present ourselves online and in print. I am grateful she shares her creative energy and positive attitude with this team.
Marcus is our newest team member. He impressed us in his interviews with his insightful questions and note taking. His inquisitive mind and detail-oriented nature have served him well in his full-time role of On-Call Manager East. He is even-keeled, even with the crazy situations he encounters daily. I am grateful Marcus accepted our invitation to work at HFA, and for the unique, thoughtful demeanor he brings to each conversation.
Salvador is ready for anything. While his primary responsibility is managing shipments, he’s also down to help out in any other capacity when his workload permits. Sometimes that’s picking up embroidered jackets. Sometimes it’s approving extra reports. Whatever the need is, Salvador is ready to jump in. His eager attitude is matched by his hunger to learn. I am grateful for Salvador’s positive energy and the pride he takes in his work.
This team is the reason Health and Fitness Activations has been able to persevere through 2020 and 2021, when many experiential marketing agencies closed their doors. It’s also the reason we have returned to the black in 2022. I am so proud to lead this team and truly grateful for their faith in me.
What are you grateful for this year?