Votion “life” Update

Hey team! We hope you’ve been well. Our office has been SUPER busy the last six months and undergoing several changes, so we apologize to have been M.I.A. from updating our blog on these happenings. While our other social media has remained current, we would love to get our blog followers up-to-date as well.

Our first change six months ago: Going from two Office Managers to one. Previously, Votion was managed by both Cristian and Jake, but, due to the coming birth of his firstborn child, Cristian decided to move closer to family in Utah. While we miss Cristian’s presence in the office, Jake has adjusted and was able to quickly pick up where he left off. Occasionally we still hear from Cristian, and it sounds like he is doing very well. His wife gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl in May, and she is the light of their lives.

 

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One of Jake’s first orders of business as the sole manager was to move our firm to a more functional office space. Our previous office had a lot of extra, unused space, which didn’t make sense to keep so we downsized. Our new location provides the perfect amount of square footage as well as a bit of wiggle room for growth. There’s also available community area in our building that can be reserved for important meetings and conferences as needed. This eliminated our need for a larger office in general – Score!

At the time both of these changes felt huge for our team, but, with a brief adjustment period, we would come to realize that not much was actually changing. Same coworkers, same roles, same clients, and (for some) same manager. Given how other larger companies have handled such changes, our management team was prepared for a bit of unease from team members. However, we assured the crew that there absolutely still was job security and that we were working diligently behind the scenes to make transitions as easy as possible for all involved. Jake cannot commend our team enough for taking these moves in stride and not missing a beat. Things could have gone awry, but the transition was seamless thanks to the managers’ effective planning and our flexible team.

Our company culture is very important to us, so annual company events, frequent volunteering, team outings, and national/regional conferences are still in full swing (regardless of any changes).

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Our Memorial Day beach BBQ and Labor Day camp out were a ton of fun. We really enjoy these annual events that allow us to spend quality time with our coworkers and their families while having some fun in the sun.

 

 

 

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Votion has maintained company volunteer efforts with our usual partners, but have also added two new ones: American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. We are also looking forward to the annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk in October. The Light the Night Walk is the cause we had first got involved with three years ago, and our team expanded our reach of giving back to our local community from there.

 

From early spring until now, a new team event we have began hosting is a monthly leader’s dinner. This event is by invite only and is a great way for leaders of our office to get together and brain storm where we would like Votion to go as a company. We expected leader’s dinner to be helpful for employee feedback, but the results that came out from just out first meeting was beyond what we could have imagined. The feedback from our team has helped get the ball rolling for future team workshops, more efficient employee training, and expected expansions.

 

 

 

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Votion still frequently holds team nights twice a month, but has also started a company Dungeons and Dragons group that meets on the opposite weeks. The idea was posed by our soon-to-be Assistant Manager, David, and several team members were interested in attending. What started as an average sized D&D group of six, quickly grew to 10. It’s safe to assume that the excited chatter from each group meet sparked curiosity around our office, and several more people wanted to check out what all the fun was about. This is David’s largest group that he has ever been the “Dungeon Master” (the storyteller) for, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

 

The newest change that is fast approaching is the acquisition of a new client: Uber. With this pilot program (as with any trial run) we anticipate a lot of trial and error to figure out the bumps and create a great campaign for our new client. To head this campaign, Jake has selected seasoned Account Manager, Stephanie, and new Account Manager, Ben. The expected launch date with Uber is sometime during the week of the 7th of October. We will update our social media on this as we have more information available.

 

 

As if we weren’t busy enough with all of the above, we are now beginning the preparations for a Halloween party at the end of October and an expansion to Salem, Oregon by the end of the year. Our team certainly keeps us on our toes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Each member plays an instrumental role in our work family, and we think they deserve the absolute best.

Cheers to a great (and productive) rest of the year!

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August Employee of the Month

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Get to know David!

Three of his hobbies:

  1. Mixed martial arts (MMA) / Competition fighting – David began MMA in 2012 and has been training for his first ring match ever since. He expects to be ready to step into the ring November of 2019.
  2. Racquetball – David plays in the driver position. He says this sport helps him with quick reaction time for MMA.
  3. Rapping – Rap music helps David relate his experiences in life to others. He even went on tour as T.O.B.! David hopes his rap will help others to not make dumb choices.

David is the Dungeon Master for our company’s Dungeons & Dragon’s group. His favorite mythological creature is the phoenix. This is not only because it can be born again, but because each time the phoenix is reborn makes it more powerful. The phoenix will have more strength and a better shield. It is a beast that reminds us to turn our failures into strengths.

A guilty pleasure that David won’t dabble in anymore is video games. He says he got too attached and it took away his focus on MMA. David went as far as to give away his TV and console to prevent distractions. While he was playing, his favorite games were Fallout and Dance Dance Revolution.

A talent that David prides himself in is perseverance. He is someone who has over come more than his fair share of struggle in life and continues to push through any obstacle put in front of him.

A fun fact about David is that he has little to no sense of smell.

 

Working at Votion

David’s favorite part of working at Votion is seeing the potential in others and watching each individual grow. “It’s so cool to be a part of others’ development and watch them realize how much they can actually do,” said David. He really enjoys being hands on with his team and molding each member into an essential part of our office. One of David’s favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar: “You can get everything you want, as long as you help others get anything they want.” He explains that those that are focused on others’ success, it will get farther than those who are only concerned with their own success.

Some things David is looking forward to doing by the end of this year are being successful in a campaign that he previously felt he couldn’t do and then expanding with that campaign into a new market. He has his eye on Salem, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee, but is open to whichever market is available for the taking at the time of his promotion.

To anyone looking to emulate his success, David stresses the need to know your goals for life and who is depending on you to reach them. “If you know your why, you’ll never give up,” said David. “Everyone is going to hit something that knocks them down, but if you know what you have to lose you won’t let it stop you.” David describes that there is a metaphorical ‘last wall’ people reach, and that you need to know your goals to be able to get past it.

 

However he gets there, we have no doubt that David has what it takes to become our next Manager. Congratulations again on being voted our August Employee of the Month, David!

March Employee of the Month!

March Employee of the Month!

Congratulations to Wally on being selected by his peers as our March employee of the month!

Get to know Wally:

Wally is a “foodie.” His ability to pair foods is unparalleled and highly sought after in the high-end restaurant industry of Portland. Wally appreciates comfort foods, like pasta dishes, and feels that it takes him back to his roots. This isn’t his only talent in the restaurant industry, Wally is also great at bar tending and event planning. “What will take professionals hours to decide on for table setting, I can just look at and know where things are supposed to go,” says Wally. One of the most interesting facts about Wally is how many influential people he has got to meet in his life. Due to his long career in the restaurant industry, he has had the privilege of meeting Margaret Thatcher, Condoleezza Rice, and Mohamed Ali to name a few. When he’s not working, Wally enjoys playing disc gold and watching sports. He says he is looking forward to the Masters, which is a golf tournament for the best of the best players coming up on April 7th.  One of Wally’s favorite past times is at Green Lake, Maine. He used to spend summers there with his family and friends swimming, water skiing, and having barbeques. He looks forward to visiting his family on a low-key vacation there some day.

 

Wally’s thoughts on Votion:

“Wally is an instrumental member of our team at Votion,” says Assistant Manager, Michael. Wally is consistently a high roller in the office, often setting the pace for the rest of the team, which has helped him be viewed as a leader that people can look to for guidance. What he likes most about working at Votion is that he is in control of his own destiny. “What I accomplish, or don’t, is solely determined by myself — not dictated by someone else’s opinion of me,” says Wally. Another thing he appreciates about the culture of Votion is that it fosters a learning environment. “I can honestly say that I have learned at least one thing from everyone I work with,” says Wally. The biggest factor for Wally reaching his own business goals is preparing himself the night before for his next day of work. He admits he may not be the best at thinking on his feet but given the time to organize his thoughts and game plan he can outperform others. Wally hopes to be promoted to a Manager by the end of the year and is currently laying the groundwork towards that goal.

Votion holds Spirit Week competition

Votion holds Spirit Week competition

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Votion employees recently participated in a Spirit Week contest to bring some friendly competition into the office.

The goal: Participating in the “challenge” for each day of the week to win.

The week started out with a “company colors” challenge, where everyone was told to wear Votion colors — green and purple.

Tuesday was a “ugly scarf and tie day.” Team members came to work wearing their ugliest scarf or tie.

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Wednesday’s challenge was to see which employee could perform the best in the field that day. Then Thursday’s challenge was extra fun: “dress up like who you wanted to be when you grew up.”

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Votion’s Human Resources Director, Rachel, dressed up as a chef.

The week ended with a “casual Friday” challenge. (We think this was everyone’s favorite, to be honest.) 🙂

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And the winner was…

Team member Wally!

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He completed every challenge and won a lunch with Votion Manager Cristian.

Wally said the competition was a nice distraction from work. He had a hard time coming up with what he wanted to be when he grew up, but ending up choosing “to be retired at the beach somewhere.” He showed up to work wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Manager Cristian said he got a kick out of that.

The competition was a “total success,” said Votion Assistant Manager Michael. He says he enjoyed it so much, he thinks we should do it quarterly.

Comment below with your challenge ideas for next time!

Votion celebrates the holidays with company party

Votion celebrates the holidays with company party

Votion decided to end 2017 with a bang by having a company holiday party on December 16th, complete with a potluck dinner and white elephant gift exchange.

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The party was held at manager Cristian’s house. He just moved in a couple of months previous, and it was the first party he and his wife Sonja hosted there, which they both really enjoyed, Sonja said.

Christmas music filled the air, and Cristian and Sonja don’t have a fireplace, but played a YouTube video of a crackling fireplace on their TV to set the mood.

The night’s main attraction was the white elephant gift exchange. Gifts included Star Wars wine glasses, hot sauces, a DIY ugly sock kit, and a white elephant decoration (which everyone thought was a great pun).

Check out what everyone received below! (These were all taken before the final switch of the game.)

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Possibly the funniest moment of the night was when manager Jake opened his gift. Watch what happened:

Account manager David thought it’d be fun to prank whoever opened the gift he brought. Good one, David!

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It was definitely a night to remember.

Votion wishes everyone the best New Year yet!

 

 

Votion’s November employee of the month: Aaron

Votion’s November employee of the month: Aaron

Aaron, one of Votion’s rising account managers, has been selected for the November employee of the month by his peers.

Aaron has been able to reach his goals lately by maintaining a positive and persevering attitude, he said. 

“Because not every day is an easy day,” Aaron said. “There are definitely days where you have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just get the job done.”

But the numbers take care of themselves as long as he has confidence in himself and faith in what he can do, he said.

Aaron’s advice for others trying to reach his level of success?

“Don’t quit when the going gets tough,” he said. “Not every day is a cake walk, and not every day do things just fall into your lap. So having that kind of perseverance and attitude is very helpful.”

He says that having a student mentality is also important.

“Even in the stage that I’m in I think I have something to learn every day and I try to get better at my job every single day because I don’t feel like I know everything — I’m always willing to take advice from people that have been around here longer that know more than I do, because maybe they’re doing something that makes my job easier — who doesn’t want that?”

Aaron’s favorite part about working at Votion is the team atmosphere, he said.

“I think that I’ve learned something from everybody that I’ve worked with, and that’s helped me be more efficient and more effective in my job,” Aaron said. “And everybody’s willing to help each other, which is great, and at a lot of places that’s not the case — it’s more cutthroat and that’s not the case here. Everyone can go as far as their abilities take them.”

As far as who he looks up to at Votion, Manager Cristian comes to mind.

“He’s been around the longest and he’s seen the most as far as day to day things, the highs and the lows, and how to maneuver around them and still be successful,” Aaron said.

He also really respects Eric.

“I think Eric is a good example of that as well because he’s extremely consistent as far as what he does and production.” he said. “I think that’s a very big key to learn — being consistent.”

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Aaron, left, and Eric with the gifts Manager Cristian got them for getting promoted to Account Managers.

And being consistent is one quality that Aaron thinks got him nominated for employee of the month.

“I think that I’ve begun to crack the code so to speak, and kind of figure out what it takes to be consistent on a daily basis, and I really try just to replicate that model every day as best I can,” Aaron said. “Obviously there are days where you’ve got to work a little harder to get where you need to get, but for the most part if I consistently apply that, it will work out in my favor almost every time.”

When Aaron isn’t working, he enjoys skiing and snowboarding. He loves being an Oregonian, being outdoors, and going camping, he said.

He also loves to golf.

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“I played college golf at USC and most people don’t know that,” Aaron said. “I’m actually quite good at it, or used to be — I’ve had a few back surgeries since then.”

 

When asked if he likes summer or winter better, Aaron said both.

“In this state, there’s stuff you can do in either season, and i like them both probably equally. I like snow, I like nice weather — anytime I can be outside when it’s not raining, that works for me.”

A place Aaron would like to visit is Peru, he said.

“’I’ve always wanted to go to Machu Picchu and climb it before I get too old to actually physically do it,” Aaron said. “Instead of taking the tram up, to actually climb it.”

October Employee of the Month

October Employee of the Month

Account Manager Cristian Namoca was chosen as Votion’s employee of the month for October by his peers, and he thinks it has something to do with “stepping up.”

When asked why he thought he was nominated, he said, “Because I felt like I was a leader.”

And when Votion’s managers left for the Relax and Rejuvenation Retreat in Punta Cana earlier in October, Cristian saw the need to lead.

I was pretty much the only senior rep even though I’m 22 year old, and I said, ‘Okay I’m the only one here I might as well step up and learn how to do game plans,” Cristian said. 

So while the owners were in Punta Cana, Cristian managed the office.

And having the opportunity to be a leader is one of Cristian’s favorite things about working at Votion.

“I love being able to give back to the new hires — the guys that are under me that are just reps — just helping them out with daily processes, what’s going on out in the field, what they might need improvement on. I’ve never had employees rely on me for help and for advice and for insight before, and that’s pretty cool.”

For now, he’s focusing on accepting that he “can’t just take a jump or step forward and be the best” — that there’s a process to becoming successful.  

“There’s processes that have to be done, levels and qualifications to learn before you reach that end,” he said. “I’ve just been trying to work on staying grounded with learning something new every day — taking new steps out of my comfort zone every day.”

Having good mentors is something that’s been helping him reach his goals lately.

“My mentors and leaders — Michael, Aaron, Shatha, Cristian Joubert — they’re at where they are for a reason and are successful for a reason, so I might as well pick their brains. Having a mentor helps a lot with the daily grind.”

His advice for anyone looking to reach his level of success?

“Take the time to step back and really put in the effort to learn,” he said. 

His favorite quote is from the TV show “Friday Night Lights,” and says: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” 

“About 95% of the job is just mentality and just keeping clear eyes on the vision and the process for the job at hand and just having a full heart going into things — whether personal or professional — with your heart more than just your mind, your passions will really come out whatever you’re after. If you go with passion, and you’re driven with your vision, then you can’t lose.”

Speaking of TV shows, he’s currently binge watching “Man Hunt” and “White Gold” on Netflix, and is a big “Prison Break,” “That 70s Show,” and “House of Cards” fan. 

A fun fact about Cristian is that he lived in Japan for three years. In fact, if he had the ability to teleport anywhere, he said he’d choose to teleport to Japan because he loves the country, the food, and his parents still live there.

When he’s not working he’s snowboarding, golfing, or spending time with his girlfriend.