It’s more than style. It’s a story to tell, a passion to follow, and a community to impact. Elevate Gear is inspired by phenomenal individuals and organizations making a positive influence in local communities and throughout the world.
The Justice Shirt
The Justice Shirt is one of our favorite items, created with the hope of increasing conversations around fairness.
Justice is a powerful word and one that relates to every person, community, and culture. For some, it can mean an end to stereotypes and unequal rights and, moving toward restoration. For others, it might look like freedom from abuse and oppression. Justice represents fairness from a global perspective, down to each person’s individual situation.
Meet Justus Murimi (pictured above), an advocate for justice and the inspiration behind our new Justice Shirt. He’s the creator of Wrecked Lawns, a lawn care company providing work opportunities and leadership development for students in Dallas, TX.
“As I started working with students, I realized most of them had no idea how to be a leader. I saw kids graduating from high school–and graduation was the end of a cliff. They were destined to fail. They were sold the dream of college with no steps on how to get there, how to stay there, how to build income, how to network, how to provide for a family.” – Justus Murimi
Wrecked Lawns is specifically targeted toward students living in lower income, single-parent households. The program focuses on building leadership skills, as well as developing a plan for life after high school. Students learn how to mow lawns with excellence and communicate well with clients. Each student also has the opportunity to network with successful business leaders.
In addition to hands-on experience and learning opportunities, Justus focuses on personal development. Wrecked Lawns incorporates wiring workshops with resources like Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinders, helping each student to identify their abilities and better understand their personalities.
Justus’ passion stems from his spiritual beliefs. Many of his students have faced abuse and trauma, and he hopes to see holistic healing through his development program. As an influencer of the next generation, Justus has a passion for seeing generational patterns broken, and for seeing his students thrive.
“Justice for me looks like going after a generation of students and seeing their hearts, bodies, and minds healed… doing what Jesus did for me.” – Justus Murimi
Justus’ story inspired our team to share the message of justice through Elevate Gear. Our hope is that each Justice Shirt will spark powerful conversations around fairness, equality, and impact.
We hope you’ll consider joining us in fighting for justice, whatever that might look like for you and your community. Follow us on social media and be the first to know when Elevate Gear goes live!
It’s no secret new Chick-fil-A restaurants are opening around the country, spreading the one-of-a-kind taste of their original chicken sandwich. Did you know Chick-fil-A plans a First 100 event before each grand opening, giving 100 lucky people free Chick-fil-A meals for a year?
We’re partnering with this incredible brand to host each of Chick-fil-A’s grand openings, taking our team to over 100 cities in 2017.
First 100 Raving Fans
If you’re not familiar with this event, it’s an opportunity to be one of the first 100 in your community to visit a new Chick-fil-A and participate in the day-long festivities. Our team’s goal at every grand opening is to elevate the Chick-fil-A brand and help create raving fans.
In addition to introducing communities to their local Chick-fil-A, we also lead a culture building event to help new restaurant team members learn and connect with the company history and values.
Hosting a First 100 Event
Though each grand opening is unique to its community and culture, we aim to provide the same opportunities for participants at every event:
- Serving Others
We partner with nonprofits like Feeding Children Everywhere, as well as local organizations to give participants an opportunity to serve their communities.
- Building Relationships
Our team prioritizes relationships and hopes to connect people through group activities and friendly competitions.
- Joining the Fun
We love enthusiasm and our experience leaders create a high level of energy through games, music and contests.
- Engaging with Chick-fil-A
One of our goals is to highlight the Chick-fil-A brand as we strive to create moments of engagement and learning at each event. We do this by teaching participants about Chick-fil-A through custom trivia, as well as providing introductions to the franchise operator and restaurant team members.
Partnering with the Hero
At Elevate, we like to say the client is the hero. We want to inspire fans to leave an event raving about the company’s brand, and because of their strong values and exceptional team members, Chick-fil-A makes this our pleasure.
Learn more about First 100 events and stay tuned for grand openings near you!
Today kicks off one of our favorite weeks of the year-Thanksgiving week. This week typically involves eating yummy food with family and friends, while reflecting on the things we are thankful for. Although the food can seem like the best part, fostering a heart of gratitude is the greatest win of all.
The word gratitude is defined as “readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” This season we want to challenge you to act out of gratitude–to show appreciation and return kindness. It’s so important to take initiative in making others feel appreciated for all that they do.
To start us off, we’ve made a week-long “gratitude challenge.” Each day we encourage you to uplift someone. Here are a few ideas:
- Write an encouraging note to a co-worker.
- Affirm 3 people for their hard work.
- Tell your boss what you appreciate most about him (or her).
- Volunteer to do the dishes.
- Give as many high fives as you can!
- Send an encouraging text to a friend.
- Make a donation of any amount to a cause that you believe in.
Want to share your gratitude story with us?
Email email@example.com. Let us know who you encouraged, what you did and how they responded.
To all of our Elevate family, friends and clients, we are thankful for you! Happy Thanksgiving and Keep Elevating!
A little over a month ago, our team headed to Birmingham to lend a hand in creating the environment for The 2016 Shelby County Student Leadership Conference. The Leadership Conference is put on by high school student leaders in Shelby County, Alabama who are passionate about instilling a drive for leadership in their fellow high schoolers. While working with the incredible, generation-changing program, we had the privilege of serving alongside John Milton. John is a Shelby County teacher and a key player in the Leadership Conference. His passion for building strong student leaders inspired our team. Meet John and check out the heart behind this incredible organization!
What is your role with the Shelby County Leadership Program and how did you get involved?
I am the Founder and Program Director. I started the Conference in 2013 with a small group of students from Oak Mountain High School who wanted to make a difference in their community. We thought the best way would be to create an event that inspired others students in our community to make an impact in their schools.
What is your favorite part about working with high school students?
I love how high school students get passionate about helping others. I love that a large part of their story hasn’t been written yet and I get the chance to help them think about how they want to write it. Their ideas and energy motivate me to continue to grow as a leader. I really love the relationships I am able to create, that typically last for many years. It is so special to me to stay in touch with students and see them grow up, get married, and start families and I know that I was a part of their story.
Why are you passionate about leadership?
For me, leadership is a way to connect with others and do something meaningful. I have never been the most talented, but I am always able to find ways to influence others. I think that leadership is a great training ground for character development. As a high school teacher, my top priority has to be about preparing students for what’s next. Leadership is essential in that training.
What is the most important thing that being involved with the Leadership Program has taught you?
I have learned so many things, but I think that what has stood out to me the most is to stay humble and remember how and why this started. If this program was gone tomorrow, no longer funded or supported, I would still be able to influence the kids I teach. As the program has grown, I’ve tried to still remember at the core it is about one-on-one connections with kids who are hungry to learn, grow and lead.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”- John Maxwell
What is your favorite song right now?
Anything by Tom Petty
What is the best piece of leadership advice you’d like to share with us?
I’ve come to learn more and more that leadership is about relationships. Relationships with real people. People have emotions, they grow, and they change, and therefore leadership is constantly changing as you seek to start, build, and rebuild relationships. My advice would be to always remember to put people first and treat others with respect.
John, you truly exemplify living and leading at a higher level–keep on inspiring students to do the same!
Leadership is something we believe in wholeheartedly at Elevate. As we expand the #cuetheconfetticannon project, it got us thinking about leadership. Confetti paints a perfect metaphor for leadership in three ways–leaders are intentional in their actions, forthright in their direction and have a lot of fun.
We do our best to use confetti cannons intentionally by celebrating others, causing smiles and to create an incredible experience. This kind of intentionality is important in a leadership position as well. Without intentionality, leaders live reactive lives, and a leader cannot change culture by living a reactive life. A leader must know the why behind his or her actions in order to make a culture change for the better. Just like shooting a confetti cannon, if it is not done intentionally, it can go wrong.
An intentional leader is compelled to throw off the habit of apathetically drifting through life and shift their focus to thoughtful, innovative actions that activate world change.
We challenge you to pull out the confetti cannon within your leadership and to be an intentional force for culture change in your work, school or home! #cuetheconfetticannon
Image Credit: @plywoodpeople
If you’ve never heard of Plywood People, maybe it’s time to start putting your Google Search App to good use and look them up. In their words, Plywood is a non-profit in Atlanta leading a community of startups doing good. In our words, Plywood is a powerhouse with an incredible mission–to equip entrepreneurs and companies to change the city and the world for good.
One way they equip and intentionally invest in individuals who are hungry for purposeful work is through their annual gathering Plywood Presents. A few of our team members got to experience Plywood Presents a few weeks ago and were blown away by the experience that Plywood created. From the layout of the room to the memorable speakers, it was an unforgettable couple of days that we couldn’t help but share.
Elevate is all about creating a memorable experience, and we always have our eyes peeled for companies and individuals who do this well. Travis Mason, one of this year’s speakers, said: “Contact with people outside of your box can be your greatest tool as an entrepreneur.” One way that Plywood makes their experience one of the best is the way they set their attendees up for interaction with individuals from each end of the spectrum. With long tables and encouragement for discussion, guests are able to chat with others about issues, speakers and ideas anytime. This stood out for our team members because they were able to communicate with people from various professions. It challenged them to listen and learn from others who see things from a different perspective.
Plywood creates an environment of celebration in an awesome and innovative way. Each speaker receives a standing ovation from the audience before and after they take the stage to share what inspires them. What an incredible way to make someone feel celebrated and appreciated!
Plywood, you are great at what you do and we are cheering you on.
When you think of confetti, you probably picture a concert or New Year’s Eve, not the lobby of the Elevate Home Office. This summer, we discovered the confetti cannon, and our office will never be the same. Seriously, we shoot one off almost daily and sometimes even go home with confetti in our shoes. Despite the clean-up, they are a ton of fun and we can’t get enough! Purchasing the handheld cannons got us thinking—we can’t just use these for big moments, we have to use them for everyday moments too. Then, #cuetheconfetticannon was born.
Everyone deserves to be celebrated, and whether it be welcoming a visiting family member or celebrating a friend’s birthday, the confetti cannon is our answer. At our core we are others focused, and by celebrating the everyday moments of others we are able to create extraordinary experiences for anyone who walks into our front door. We want to create a ripple effect of encouragement, and what better way to do that than starting off with a bang?
The goal behind using a confetti cannon is to instill joy and life in others, and to make them feel encouraged, celebrated and important. Confetti cannons are intentional, directional and fun, and illustrate essentially why celebrating others is extremely important to us.
Bottom line, celebrations are important and people are important, so next time you want to celebrate someone #cuetheconfetticannon.
Meet Sean Specie, Elevate’s newest full-time team member! Sean and his wife Natalie recently moved to Norcross from Phoenix, AZ. He has been participating in events across the country with Elevate since the idea launched in 2012. We value our team members and want to welcome him in by learning a bit more about him!
1. What is your role with Elevate?
My title is Business Development. For me, business development means doing my best to develop our business in any way that I can. Whether it be external sales, internal development, assisting other team members or customer service, my job is to serve clients and to move Elevate forward.
2. What is your favorite part of your job?
One of my favorite parts about working at Elevate is the creative license that we may use freely. Since we are a creative agency, there are so many routes for me to think and act creatively.
3. Since being on the team, how have you learned to better fulfill Elevate’s Vision of living and leading at a higher level?
I recently heard a quote from Dave Ramsey that says: “If you serve enough people, you will never have to worry about money.” At Elevate, I have been challenged to serve others at a higher level though my role.
4. Why are you passionate about what Elevate does?
I grew up in a lake house outside of Gainesville, Florida. Any time there was a holiday like Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day, we would always host our family and friends for parties. I was a part of every event from set up to tear down, and I grew to love helping people have fun. I love Elevate and what we do because it is part of my nature to want to help other people have fun. At an event, when a crowd is having fun, it fuels me personally because it is a part of who I am.
5. Out of our 5 values (Relationships, Remarkability, Enthusiasm, Initiative and Bravery) which do you think applies most to your role in Business Development and why?
Bravery resonates the most with my role in business development because there are always going to be new situations, products, and people. It is fun for me to remind myself to be brave every day.
6. What is your favorite book?
My personal favorite books are the Harry Potter series, all 7. Professionally, my favorite book is Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander. It is a short and fun read that has one extended metaphor for how to be successful every day.
7. What is your favorite thing you’ve done since moving to Georgia?
Natalie and I have really enjoyed going to downtown Norcross and watching the free concerts they host in the evenings. It gives us the chance to reconnect with friends that I haven’t seen in years… and people watch!
8. What is your favorite 2016 song that Elevate plays at events?
It’s a tie between Can’t Stop the Feelin’ by Justin Timberlake, and Something Better by Audien.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Emily Broussard is one of Elevate’s top clients and friends. She is part of the marketing team with Chick-fil-A and she is amazing at what she does! Our team has worked with Emily for various events over the past year, including the grand opening of the first two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Oregon. Because we love our clients, we want to highlight her.
1. What is your role with Chick-fil-A?
I am an Event Planner for New Restaurant Marketing. My team travels to different Chick-fil-A restaurants (mainly on the west coast) to handle the events that lead up to a grand opening. Our events include premier night for special guests, dinner for new Chick-fil-A team members, the first 100 and all marketing for grand openings. We spend time letting the community know that Chick-fil-A is opening nearby.
2. How long have you been with Chick-fil-A?
I have been with Chick-fil-A for almost 5 years. I have been in my current role for about 3 years. Prior to that, I was a restaurant marketing director in Orange County. In that role, I ran promotions, partnerships with schools and businesses, and store events.
3. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is getting to introduce new markets (like Washington and Oregon) to Chick-fil-A. I love getting to expand the Chick-fil-A brand and show people that we have a great product. Even more than that, I want people to see that you get so much more than great chicken when you come to a Chick-fil-A restaurant. I enjoy getting to interact with so many people and helping set the owner-operator up for success in his or her community. We always want guests’ to have a positive first experience with Chick-fil-A.
4. What is the most important thing you are learning in your role right now?
The most important thing I am learning in my role right now is the importance of the big details. There are so many simple things that can be done to make a great experience for customers and guests. The big details include playing music, saying hi to customers as they come in, and the momentum that is created leading up to an event. Sometimes we need to take a step back and make sure we are executing the big details well.
5. Chick-fil-A is known for their incredible customer service. From your experience with Chick-fil-A, what advice would you give to someone working in customer service?
The advice I would give to someone working in customer service is to never be too busy. Never be too busy that you forget about your customer, your team, or vendors. When you work in the customer service industry you are in contact with a variety of people on a daily basis. There are so many things that can consume our day, from fires that we need to put out, to the daily to-dos on our list. My advice would be to not be too busy to invest in those around you. It is those relationships, those moments that result in great customer experience.
Emily leads her team with kindness, wisdom and care. She is a phenomenal leader and we are grateful to partner with her!
I have always had a love for reading children’s literature. The structure of these books mixes fantasy, imagination and practical life application in ways that other mediums can’t. At the same time, children’s literature can be inspirational to children as well as to the adults who read them. One of my favorite books is titled What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada. This story follows a little boy with an idea. His idea is represented by an egg. At first, the little boy doesn’t know what to do with it. He tries to hide and ignore it as long as he can, until he realizes that the longer he spends with his idea, the more it grows and the happier he becomes. By the end of the story the little boy realizes what you do with an idea: you change the world.
Interestingly enough, I believe that many, if not most people have had this moment at some point in their lives. That moment when you come up with an idea but aren’t sure how to turn that idea into something great. The amazing part is, we don’t have to wait for our ideas to be “great” or “perfect” before we share them. They can take form as soon as we are brave enough to embrace them. Here are a few steps you can take to execute your ideas.
Step 1: Learn something new and reflect. This seems simple enough but when do people get new ideas? Very often we observe something around us, or notice a gap in the way the world works, and our ideas are then formed to fill that gap. When you learn something new from podcasts, videos, TV, articles, conversations or observations, take the time to self-reflect. If you give yourself time to process what you learned, many times you will feel your thoughts leading you into the direction of a new perspective or idea that you haven’t heard of before. Clarify your thoughts and verbalize your ideas out loud to yourself. Get them out in the open so they can breathe a little.
Step 2: Collaborate. As you clarify your ideas, it is important to create a space where ideas can mingle, swap and create new forms. Bring your ideas in front of other people and share with them what you’ve been reflecting on. Sometimes this is where self-doubt comes into play. If our ideas are not in the majority or if we cannot fully explain the details of putting legs to the egg, we tend to push our ideas aside, thinking they aren’t as significant as we once thought. At times this thinking can be true but when you collaborate, you are giving your egg the freedom to explore ideas with other people. This is where synergy happens, and it will help you clarify the next steps you need to take.
Step 3: Act. Act is a verb, defined as ‘the process of doing’. When you act on something, there is physical movement to it. This is where you start to write to-dos down on a list, delegate tasks, create teams and schedule your time to get things done. It’s important to remember that acting on your ideas is often a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself time to let everything unfold but don’t forget to get moving! Even taking actions such as sending that first email can get the ball rolling.
Whenever your idea starts to take form, get excited! Just like the little boy in the story, you will notice genuine happiness as you embrace your idea and accept it for what it is. Taking your idea to execution doesn’t need to be impossible. It doesn’t need to be done quickly. It doesn’t need to be done alone. Stay consistent in your pursuit and don’t give up. It takes some time to put legs to the egg but keep at it. You’ll be glad you did.