The Imagine team talks favorite career moments

Imagine partner Alex Raffi always asks job interviewees to bring in something they’re proud of. He feels this — more than all kinds of pointed questions — helps interviewers glean insight into the real person behind the perfect clothes, coiffed hair and rehearsed responses. This week, we turned that tactic inward and posed a similar question to the team. We lay our answers before you in case you, too, are interested in what makes your team of marketing professionals stand a little straighter:

What’s one of your favorite career moments?

“Having not one, not two, but three of my team members win Employee of the Year awards at the Palms. Denise, Chassie and Ashley. The Palms team members are split into four divisions that represented different areas of the company (gaming, food and beverage, support staff and hotel staff). One team member from each division could win the award for the year. Having team members who reported directly to me win an award like that is so gratifying. It was definitely a good reflection on me for hiring the right people and fostering a work environment that allowed people to excel, learn and be recognized for their contributions to the company.” Sheri Long, account manager

“Being able to survive the financial crisis of 2008–11 without laying anyone off.” –Alex Raffi, partner/creative director

“Nadia, Tiffannie and I did a presentation to renew an agreement with our biggest client (who was required to put it out for bid). We were going for a one-year renewal, and the client said we would hear back in a couple of weeks. A few hours later, just after boarding the flight for our return trip, the client called to say we had been awarded a three-year contract. If memory serves, Tiffannie danced in the aisle.” Brian Rouff, managing partner

“Not too long after I began working here (four years ago?), we were asked to write up our ‘ideal job descriptions.’ I found mine recently, and I am now doing everything on that list.” Cynthia Carbajal, art director

“For me, I love being part of a team that is focused on doing good work for our clients. One of my favorite career moments was attending the appreciation party for the Rescue My Library campaign. Having members of the community mixed with our team coming together for the same cause was awesome.” Megan Neri, director of client relations

“A client not prone to hyperbole said business ‘literally doubled’ the week an article we coordinated for him came out. He also said the article helped his employees better understand why the company was established. He recently told me that, several years later, he is still getting business from that piece.” Melissa Biernacinski, director of public relations/reputation manager

“Giving a presentation to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality when I was just a few years into a professional career and still in college.” Nadia Zerka, account manager

“My favorite moments when I worked at Western Michigan University occurred each time I managed to come up with a solution for a panicked student who hadn’t been able to get the classes needed for graduation.” Gail Orta, public relations assistant/receptionist

 “My favorite career moment so far would be a wine tasting event for a large client. I designed stand-alone advertisements and banners, all of which stretched me creatively. I feel my best designs were done through that event.” Meagan McCall, junior designer

 “My favorite moment was solving electrical interference between two computer boards with a manila folder and aluminum foil (in front of an all-male audience). Not only was it fun to play MacGyver, but it led to my next job and biggest pay increase.” Donna Namchek, controller

“I still feel the same sense of fulfillment and satisfaction as a senior designer that I felt as an intern just starting out when I see something I helped design. Being able to see your hard work as a useful tool for a company has always been rewarding.” Julie Varley, senior designer

“In the six years since I joined Imagine, the photography side of my career has really developed (pun intended?). In that regard, helping to create an online image library has been a highlight. Over 15,000 pictures have been uploaded, categorized and keyword tagged. Photos from the library have been featured on the cover of the SMART Journal and Focus on Funds as well as featured in other industry publications. My great uncle, a member of the railroad side of SMART, received the Journal in his mailbox and was proud to tell his union friends his great niece took the photo on the cover. That was pretty dang cool.” –Tiffannie Bond, public relations coordinator/company photographer

“One of my favorite career moments was when Mr. Rouff asked me to write flash fiction, and I actually submitted it to a contest and got my work published.” Rebecca Ioane, intern

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