In case you missed it, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited our office last week. Security detail, sniffer dogs, entourage and all. For our American friends, this is the equivalent of the president coming over for coffee – it’s a pretty big deal.
Much has been written about what the Prime Minister visiting a tech company in Kitchener-Waterloo means. We talked about what it meant to us as a company. The CBC, dove into what it meant to us as a region, and as a country. But what about the individual Vidyardians whose day was made by our nation’s leadership choosing to visit us on a rainy Tuesday?
Everyone at Vidyard had a special experience that day, and I could write a blog post on each of them if time permitted. But today I want to highlight five really special moments from last week, and what it meant to the people that were a part of it.
Barb Lima – Ringing the Big Bell
At Vidyard, we have a few office cultural traditions that are sacred. Every Thursday a bunch of us stick around and play video games after work. Every Tuesday we gather as a team for our weekly catch-up meeting over lunch. And every time we close a deal, we ring the Big Bell. Spanning all 3 floors of our office, the Big Bell rings three former church-bells simultaneously. It’s a symbol of a big deal closed – usually one that takes months of effort, hard work, and dedication.
Before the Prime Minister’s arrival, Barb Lima on our sales team closed a deal with a Canadian company called Ceridian. It was extraordinarily good timing, and our CEO saw an opportunity to make the moment extra special. Barb stood up, joined the Prime Minister, and rang the bell to celebrate one Canadian company joining another in success:
Barb had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Waterloo Record on the experience, and described it as the highlight of her career. So I asked her to dive a bit deeper on that, and share what the experience meant to her. Here’s what she had to say:
Julie Campell – Sharing a Sassy Cat
Not every job doubles as a hobby, so the ones that do are extra special. For our designers, building our visual brand is a full-time job, but all of them have deep portfolios of personal work that influence and define their unique style. For Julie Campbell, one of her most popular works is her sassy cat – a tongue-in-cheek piece of a cat throwing up two middle fingers. Sassy cat was so beloved in our office that Julie had it made into pins and stickers. And when the Prime Minister visited, she saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present him with one. And he loved it:
Just like Barb’s story of ringing the big bell, it’s not every day you get to hand one of your favorite art pieces over to the Prime Minister and pose for a sweet picture of the moment. I asked Julie to tell me what that felt like. Here’s what she had to say:
Sean Olesen – A Very Special Day at the Office
Sean Olesen is a cornerstone of our company culture. Working with Vidyard and the KW Habilitation team, he makes sure the groceries find their way to the right floors, packs up lunches every day so leftovers can be enjoyed by everyone, and makes sure everything is in its right place. Tuesday could have been just like any other day, making sure the second floor had a top-up of granola bars – except last Tuesday he took a selfie with the Prime Minister:
Most people don’t get the chance to see their nation’s leadership up close and personal, let alone shake their hand and pose for a selfie. To find out what this meant to Sean, check out this video he recorded:
Mike & Devon – So The Prime Minister is Coming to the Office…
The entire visit from the Prime Minister was, necessarily, kept under wraps from all but a few people here at Vidyard HQ. Mike was tasked with interviewing the PM during our fireside chat, and Devon was on the spot for a tech demo, and deep-dive into what we do as a company.
While both Mike and Devon are seasoned veterans in welcoming and entertaining extraordinary individuals, this day was definitely a few degrees above normal. To find out what it means when the leader of your country visits your office, I asked Devon and Mike what the experience felt like. Here’s what they had to say:
A Big Day All Around
Everyone at Vidyard had an awesome experience, and this post is meant only to highlight a few that stood out to me. From everyone who helped coordinate this amazing day, to those like myself who had the chance to be a part of it, we also wanted to thank the Prime Minister and his team for visiting Vidyard, championing innovation, and being the leadership our country needs. So in true Vidyard fashion, here’s a little thank-you from us:
Thanks for checking out this post, and seeing what this extraordinary day meant to our team!