The day started in a conference room in the Central Business District (CBD) of New Orleans where the team gathered for our fifth annual Twelfth Night. For you non-NOLA locals, here’s a quick history lesson. Traditionally, the 12th night of Christmas officially kicks off Mardi Gras season, which lasts until Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, this year is March 1, 2022). On this day, Louisianians can begin to eat king cake, “legally,” each year.
To kick the season off, there is a small parade on the St. Charles Streetcar line (which our NOLA office sits on) and all of the Mardi Gras Krewe royalty (yes, that’s a real thing), makes it official by gathering for a toast. So, naturally, the very bright, colorful, and fun pomp and circumstance were perfectly fitting to use as an excuse to formally kick-off this top-tech PR agency’s fiscal year, too (and eat some king cake of course)!
After a few hours of collective reflection, brainstorming, and strategizing on how we were going to drive change and desire to be our very best in 2022, it was time to put on our party shoes and embody our celebrate success spirited ideal. So, we second lined into the French Quarter for dinner with the help of the All For One Brass Band and our second annual Army of Awesome Achievement Awards.
The awards celebrate those members of the team who consistently and passionately exhibit the characteristics that make this army awesome.
The ceremony highlighted employees in three separate categories – Spirited Ideal Champion, Ideal Team Player, and last, but certainly not least, the grand prize – The AoA Outstanding Member of the Year. To pick the winners of the first two categories, we turned to the team to nominate a co-worker, friend, manager, colleague, or all of the above that has excelled in exhibiting our spirited ideals and team virtues (humble, hungry & smart). As the nominations started trickling in, the winners were made apparent fairly quickly.
And without further adieu, here are the award winners of the 2021 ARPR Army of Awesome Achievement Awards.
SPIRITED IDEAL CHAMPION
To her colleagues, Amelia Wright was a shoo-in for the spirited ideal champion. In Each of Amelia’s peer nominations, it was easy to see how she embraced our ideals throughout each day, in every assignment she was tasked. Here’s an excerpt from one of the nominations forms:
She’s constantly driving change in the way she and her teams report results to clients while also thinking with an upsell mindset, which is a hard skill to teach and matches the ideal for “in all things: service”. She’s the first person to celebrate success with a team member and has even created a recurring happy hour for the ATL team to bond and continuously get to know each other. She’s humble (when looking for guidance), hungry (in that she’s always finding ways to get client wins), and smart (her main client contacts have a ton of respect for her because of her smarts).
IDEAL TEAM PLAYER
So for 2021’s Ideal Team Player – we asked the team to nominate a team member who’s consistently exhibited our humble, hungry, smart virtues this year with their co-workers, coaches, and clients – setting an example that would make even Mr. Lencioni proud. Here’s what they had to say about this year’s winner, Jhaunae Cephas:
Jhaunae is not only a great PR pro to collaborate with, hungry for top-tier hits for her clients, she always brings a cheerful and collaborative attitude to every single day which makes working with her fun and meaningful. She is always cheering for and helping others to succeed and isn’t afraid to ask hard questions and try new creative approaches, which showcases her humility.
ARMY OF AWESOME OUTSTANDING MEMBER OF YEAR, CORTNEY WILLIAMS
This award was deliberated on by the leadership team. The decision was unanimous as this person shined during almost every occasion throughout the year – well beyond just her specific clients and account teams. There was so much to say, we had to turn to video to make the announcement.
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