Why I heart akhia
From Trivial Pursuit to WAMhoot!
In a recent blog post, Ben recalled his first experiences at Akhia as employee number eight in 2000. He captured the spirit of the growing agency and how we got our first tagline: Run fast. But never miss a step.
Fast forward four years, and I became employee number 13. I felt lucky.
People did run fast without missing a step. We also didn’t miss a chance to get together for personal conversations (sometimes way too personal), to talk pop culture around the water cooler, to engage in friendly-ish competition (walking challenge anyone?), or to lift someone up when they needed it. It was loud, it was energetic, it was family, and it was home.
In 2013 a new agency rallying cry was adopted and, of course, we made a competition out of it. Who could capture the spirit of this place? The culture? The energy? Game on. Everyone had a say in judging the entries and there was a clear winner: I Heart Akhia. We all had our reasons why it resonated with us. But it spoke to everyone in a big way, clients included.
You still hear those words said almost daily even as Akhia is not just a home away from home anymore—it’s in our homes. We still feel and we still mean it.
From 2004 to now, here are just a few of the reasons I Heart Akhia:
Then: Did you know birthdays can be competitive? They are at Akhia. Back then we competed to find (or make) the funniest and most fitting birthday card. Then, they were passed around the table for everyone to read and judge. Not funny? You lose.
Now: We scour the internet for the funniest and most fitting memes to post on Teams. Funny is still mandatory. Who will get the most likes this time? That’s how we know who wins.
Then: Who is forming an alliance on Survivor? Who got fired on the Apprentice? Who did you vote for on American Idol? Spoiler alert, you better be ready to talk about it the very next day.
Now: Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift nearly broke our Teams channels recently. Enough said.
Then: I took Ben’s cubicle when he moved to an office. He left behind a sticker on the cabinet that read “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Now: Ben still talks too much about Star Wars. And if you ask him, I’m sure there’s at least one action figure in his home office. Or maybe an entire set.
Then: Trivial Pursuit! Two teams would face off on each side of the conference room table fighting for the last piece of pie. This wasn’t the junior edition either. This was real competition, and bragging rights were involved.
Now: WAMhoot! Every Wednesday, we put on our game faces, enter our PINs and race to select the right answer. Are you skilled enough to get on the podium this week? To win the quarterly prizes? What is with us and competitions?
Then: In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, someone—anyone—would kick us off, recounting all the reasons they were thankful this year. Some were long, some were short, some were personal and some funny, but appreciation and gratitude became one of our most beloved traditions.
Now: We’ve never missed a year, and I look forward to keeping the feel-goods going this year (if I had to pick, this one might be my favorite!).
Then: If you need something—anything—the answer to “gotta sec?” was always yes. Doors were always open, and there was always time.
Now: Still the same. Anyone in the agency is a click away to help. No questions asked, we’re there.
Sure, we have people in every U.S. time zone, and we support manufacturing clients all over the globe. But somehow, we are as connected as ever. We still know each other’s business (in a good way) and there’s still plenty of room for healthy, good-spirited competition. But most of all, we cheer each other on personally and professionally.
That’s why I Heart Akhia, and always will. Here’s to whatever comes next!