Scott Greggory, Chief Creative Officer
Exercising creativity in one form often inspires creativity in other forms. That's one of the reasons for the MadAveGroup Art Show.
On Valentine's Day 2020, we opened our first in-house display of employee artwork, complete with wine and cheese. Many of the pieces are shown below.
"While none of us make our living as fine artists, many of our team members work as visual communicators," said Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory. "Others have an art background or have just wanted to experiment with painting. This is a nice opportunity to stretch a little bit and practice a different skill set."
The ongoing Art Show is open to all members of the MadAveGroup team. We hope to show new work every three to four months.
MadAveGroup was chosen as a Top Workplace based on responses to an employee survey conducted by Energage. They study successful organizations and apply the findings to their Intentional Culture Platform to help other companies improve.
And culture is a subject that MadAveGroup founder and CEO Jerry Brown takes seriously. “Most of us spend more time with our workmates than we do with our families,” he said. “So, it’s imperative that we do all we can to make sure that time is enjoyable and rewarding.”
One of the aspects of MadAveGroup’s culture that many staff members enjoy is the openness and authenticity. “It’s honest and direct, and yes, it’s politically incorrect sometimes,” said Brown, “but everyone is free to express themselves without having to worry about the consequences of offending someone.”
We also earned one of seven special awards. We were singled out for "Superior Appreciation" since so many of our team members wrote that they feel appreciated at work.
According to the Energage website, “Creating a top workplace is about more than offering great benefits and vacation time. It’s about organizational health. Employees want to align with the company’s vision, be challenged by a high-performance culture, and feel that they are valued and that their voices are heard.”
“At MadAveGroup, our employees come first, their family comes second, and work comes third,” said Brown. “We also work to ensure that people are in the right roles by matching both their technical skill sets and personality propensities with their job.”
Brown also stressed that “we train heavily, provide the tools and direction, and then give our people the freedom to do the work as they see fit.”
And while we work hard, we play hard, too. MadAveGroup employees can take advantage of the annual President’s Club vacation, our in-house Social Club, and many events, including the MadAveGroup Olympics, quarterly fitness days, the Downtown Toledo scavenger hunt, the Chili Cook-Off and others.
Roiann Gunnells died Monday, January 20th.
She was our Fulfillment Coordinator from the fall of 2013 until December 2019 when cancer started to get the best of her.
“When I would make client calls, Roiann would sit next to me and ask if I needed anything,” remembered Courtney Buczkowski, our Service and Production Coordinator. “Or she would tell me to give her some of my work to do because she wanted to help me out. She didn’t ask if she could help; she told me she was going to.”
That's how Roiann was. “She always put aside what she was doing if anyone needed a hand,” said BusinessVoice Director Steve Evert. “Roiann was always a team player and willing to help anywhere she could, even while she was sick,” said Accounting Associate Cheri Stewart.
Roiann struggled with her illness for several years, yet her sass and resilience still came shining through. “Once I told Roiann I was having a bad day,” recalled Cheri. “She looked at me and, in her typical Roiann tone, said 'just because you're having a bad day doesn’t mean it's okay to be a jerk to people.' It was the best advice I ever got, and now I smile more every day because of her.”
Nikki Brown is the Director of the MadAveCollective. She knew Roiann long before they worked together at MadAveGroup. “After 20 years of friendship, I have more than a few stories about her. I'll miss hearing her answer the front desk phone and helping callers who just couldn’t get her name right. I’d hear her say, 'It's Roiann. ROI-ANN. No, ROOOIIIII-ANNN.' That always cracked me up.”
“Roiann would bring me lunch sometimes,” said Courtney. “She'd bring in meatloaf when she made it at home because she knew it's my favorite. And hers was the best. I also made her write down her sloppy Joe recipe. I still keep it in my wallet.”
“She always wanted the work done right,” said Fulfillment Manager Susan Harris, yet “I'll miss her laugh and her sarcastic sense of humor the most.”
“She was outgoing; always the life of the party,” according to Cheri.
Courtney said, “Roiann would sing along with the songs that came on the overhead [music system], especially 'Diamonds' by Rhianna. She would sing it obnoxiously, and then we'd just 'shine bright like a diamond' for the rest of the day. Oh, and whenever 'You Raise Me Up' by Josh Groban played she would intercom Jess down the hall and let her know it was on. She knew Jess doesn't like the song, so Roiann called her just to kind of torture her about it. She thought it was funny.” (It was.)
“I'll miss our daily lunch conversations, her hugs after work, and the light that beamed from her beautiful soul,” said Cheri. “I loved her so much.”
“I could go on and on about her, but I think my eyes may float out of my head,” said Courtney. “I miss her already.”
Roiann was just 48 years old.
Portions of a video we produced for Toledo Public Schools have been incorporated into another video that's part of the Robert F. Kennedy / Discovery Education compilation called "Speak Truth To Power - Master Class Series."
"TPS asked us to create a documentary about the Ohio Teacher of the Year, Mona Al Hayani," said Michael Seay, Director of our branding, advertising and design agency d2i. "Mona is also part of the RFK Human Rights group. She was honored by the organization for her focus on human trafficking after she created a curriculum on the subject to educate both teachers and students."
Click here to access the RFK video. After a quick scroll, look for the title "Speak Truth to Power's Cross-Curricular Ties" and click "View Video."