June 30, 2020

Finding Pride through Advocacy: Rocketeers create grassroots fundraiser for LGBTQIA+ community

Here’s the story about how this 3-inch rainbow sticker raised over $1,000 for The Trevor Project and sparked a larger conversation for change and awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community at Bottle Rocket.

I’m Rebekah, the Office Experience Assistant, at Bottle Rocket. The biggest portion of my job that I take pride in, is the ability to amplify the voices of others and be the advocate for positive ideas. In my support role, I am proud to advocate for ideas both big and small.

I’ve been happy to help turn fun ideas such as a gumbo cook-off for Mardi Gras, to a candy-gram valentine’s fundraiser for the American Heart Association, to the hopes of a large-scale Mid-century space themed Holiday Party, into a reality!

Little did we know that come March the fun in-person events would no longer be possible. On March 5th,we had our last in-person meeting with our volunteer group, called LIFT, which is a combination of the “party-planning committee” and an activism group. As all of our jobs have adapted to the circumstances, we knew that all events, including Pride, would have to adapt as well.

I am confident I am not alone when I say that this Pride Month has felt unlike any other. With the murder of George Floyd, we watched Americans rise to action, amidst our quarantine, to speak out, march and sign petitions, in passionate effort to fight against racism, systemic injustice and police brutality that we have witnessed in our country for many years.

We did not want the momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement to be hindered, but instead amplified moving into Pride Month 2020. If it were not for trans activists of color such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and countless others who fought during the Stonewall riots and protests, the progress in our country wouldn’t be where it is today.   

John Sarmiento, Madison Luzarraga and Michaela Banks

Meanwhile at Bottle Rocket, a grassroots effort began to take shape. I partnered with a team of three, another LGBTQIA+ ally and Talent Operations Generalist; Madison, a co-worker who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and Experience Design Researcher; John, and a talented Rocketeer and Visual Designer; Mika, to create this Pride sticker fundraiser campaign!

When it comes to scrappy grassroots efforts, this is the definition. We started by drafting a request for this internal initiative to adapt our beloved BR logo to a rainbow version to be sold as a sticker. We created and posed an internal poll to decide which LGBTQIA+ organization we would collectively like to donate proceeds. We drafted emails on the cost approval to create this magical 3-inch circle to be mailed and proudly displayed.

Thanks to the talented Mika, we had 8+ iterations of the beautiful rainbow BR logo within two hours, with the speed of our leadership we had approval for internal use the following day, and thanks to Sticker Mule we had stickers in tow by the following week.

In the span of 10 days, we received approvals, produced a sticker that our co-workers loved and selected an organization that members of our company were excited to support! The beauty of teamwork!

We were thrilled that we landed on donating all our sticker proceeds to The Trevor Project, which offers accredited life-saving, life-affirming programs and services to LGBTQIA+ youth that create safe, accepting and inclusive environments over the phone, online and through text. (More info here: https://www.thetrevorproject.org)

To date, we’ve sold over 128 stickers within our 180 staffed company. Through the sale of the $3 stickers, Rocketeers offering to match total donations and the efforts of our parent company Ogilvy offering donation matching, by the end of June 2020, we will have $1,000 in donations.

We were thrilled to see Bottle Rocket elect to publicly change our logo to the proud rainbow design, and we are challenging everyone to display more actions that reflect the support of the LGBTQIA+ community. We are proud to see continued efforts with Inclusion and Diversity teams at Bottle Rocket as well to provide a safe and equitable work culture.

Now from my couch at home, I work on my laptop that proudly displays a circular sticker with the two letters, ‘BR’, blanketed by the 6 stripes that create a gorgeous rainbow, and I feel pride. Though it may feel small, the pride is found in the passion it takes to continue to advocate, educate and partner with communities that are often silenced. 

We must continue to advocate for the many members of the community, such as the Black trans deaths of Tony McDade, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton and those who have not yet been counted. Every step towards justice counts.

So, I encourage you, be a trailblazer. The path may seem unclear, but find a team you trust, even if it’s just four, and lift each other up. Happy Pride month, from me, Madison, John, Mika and everyone else at Bottle Rocket. Together we stand.

November 26, 2019

Calvin Carter Recognized for fourth year in a row as one of Dallas’ Top 500

Every year, the editors of D CEO release a special edition magazine called The Dallas 500 that celebrates the most influential business leaders in North Texas. Unprecedented in scope, it’s the result of a year-long research initiative who base selections on extensive contacts in local business circles and hundreds of interviews. Dallas 500 provides a personal, engaging look at the leaders who make Dallas-Fort Worth’s economy tick.

Every year since 2017, our fearless leader, Calvin Carter has been recognized and 2020 is no different.  For more information, please visit: https://productions.dmagazine.com/the-dallas-500/.

November 11, 2019

Calvin Carter and Chris Viscito are set to speak at upcoming Capital One Beyond Summit

As the world continues to rapidly transform, the power to unlock new ideas is critical to future success. What better time to bring together the visionaries, bold thinkers and leading business folk for a day of learning, networking and inspiration?

And Bottle Rocket is proud to have had two Rocketeers invited to speak at this year’s event that focuses on igniting innovation across DFW.

Calvin Carter, our very own Founder and CEO, is set to share the stage for a customer experience panel alongside industry leaders Marty Cagen (Author of “Inspired: How to create products customers love” and founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group) and Sanjiv Yajnik (President of Capital One Finance Services). The panel will be moderated by Jeffrey Schnick, Editor in Chief of the Dallas Business Journal. The panel will discuss how they have each created digital products or ecosystems that are delightful, frictonless and personalized.

Later that day, Chris Viscito will discuss “Product Management In The Agency World” as a part of the product track at the event.

Way to go Rocketeers!

November 10, 2019

Amy Czuchlewski Honored at this year’s Technology Ball gala with Luminary Award

Digital transformation has become a hot topic as of late. Once you decide that your business needs one, how do you go about actually implementing the technology to bring your business forward? Here are three key ways that most businesses need to adapt for the digital age, and some technology that can help get you there:

Bottle Rocket’s own SVP, Technology was honored last night at the annual Technology Ball gala with the organizations first ever Women in Technology Luminary Award. Amy was recognized as an exceptional woman in the field of technology who has made a positive impact within her organization and/or the technology community in Dallas.

A “luminary” is defined as “a leading light who has achieved success in their chosen field and who serves as a positive inspiration or influence to others. “Congratulations to all the other amazing finalists for their accomplishments - you're all luminaries to me,” said Amy in her acceptance speech. “Thank you to Bottle Rocket for supporting my passion and vision, and for creating an inclusive environment with many other female leaders by my side. And a huge thank you to Technology Ball and SEI for shining a light on female technology leaders and helping to inspire a new generation.” 

More info on Technology Ball can be found here: http://technologyball.com/.

Congratulations Amy!

November 4, 2019

Amy Czuchlewski to represent Bottle Rocket at 2020 MAKERS conference

Selected as one of this year’s MAKERS in the category of GROUNDBREAKER, Amy will represent Bottle Rocket and our parent company Ogilvy at the upcoming event in February, 2020.

 MAKERS is the digital video initiative to capture the most dynamic collection of inspiring stories about women (some of the stories have been featured on PBS).  The stories have included OPRAH WINFREY, ERIN BROCKOVICH, and HILLARY CLINTON, to name a few. The MAKERS program allows for corporate partners, such as Bottle Rocket and OGILVY, to recognize their own game-changers in the business.

Below are just a few of the reasons Amy was selected among her peers for this GROUNDBREAKER nomination.

  • Bringing operational excellence to the company
  • Progressing and supporting the careers of so many amazing and talented technologists,
  • Honoring Bottle Rocket’s value of asking tough questions
  • Supporting STEM in the Dallas community
  • Progressing our strategies and competencies to lead us into tomorrow

More info on this initiative can be found here: https://www.makers.com/.

Congratulations Amy!

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