Those that have walked the halls of iProspect’s Fort Worth office or worked closely with those that have, often comment on the unique sense of community and culture that echoes throughout. Those closest to it often call it a family. However, when one chooses to illustrate that feeling, the desire is to convey that in this physical or increasingly virtual space, something special exists. Something you don’t often come by. Something that is perhaps, unique to dentsu.
How is that sense of culture and community created? How do we capture its essence, continuing to foster and spread it far and wide throughout the network? A story of how iProspect’s Fort Worth office recently supported one of its own, halfway around the world, might help provide an answer to some of those questions.
Kenny Thomas is a Sr. Desktop Administrator at dentsu and has called the iProspect Fort Worth office home for over 6 years now. From establishing himself as a trusted source for timely IT solutions when client relationships and deliverables are on the line, to starting office traditions by manning the patio grill on Fridays at lunchtime. Kenny’s actions and presence have always conveyed that this community of professionals is more than the work we do. When a feeling of fellowship with others results from shared common attitudes, interests, and goals it becomes much more.
Kenny is also a 10-year Veteran and US Army Reservist currently called up to serve his second tour of duty as an E5 Sergeant managing technicians in maintaining timely service in ticket resolution, local network upgrades. In addition, Kenny serves as the Lead Combat Network Radio Manager/ NCOIC which includes managing radio communications with rotary aircraft. His team manages issues for over 1200 users spanning across multiple countries and sites including Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
While the value of service that Kenny is providing is unquestionable, this level of service comes at a steep price. At home he has a wife and a two-year-old daughter who are eagerly and patiently awaiting his return. In addition to missing his daughter who will celebrate her 3rd birthday in just a few weeks, his wife Jess would tell you that, “He misses a lot about being home, the fresh air, the mountains, the cooler climate, and the everyday things like driving.”
iP’s Fort Worth Office Coordinator, Tracey Okray, a colleague of Kenny and a veteran herself, recently provided her own perspective, saying that, “I have been a part of the military community for over 30 years. I know the struggle of families separated, the mindset that spouses must divide and conquer to make ends meet. I have also known many friends that were alone and didn’t have family to depend on. I know how much the military community appreciates and looks forward to the generosity and gratitude of Americans.”
This perspective is what recently drove Tracey to action, finding a way to support our iP family member so far from the comfort of home but not from our thoughts. She recently spearheaded a donation drive for Kenny in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day. Tracey worked with dentsu leadership and employees to collect and distribute a series of care packages for Kenny, showcasing their love and gratitude for his service. The effort quickly blossomed to include dentsu’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion team, and ultimately, the Military Business Resource Group (BRG) team. Over the course of six weeks, with the help of one of iProspect’s Associate Director of Client Services, Andrew Pearcy, and his connections to a local non-profit, Tracey was able to far surpass her initial goals.
Donations totaled more than $1,200, with items including basic toiletries, oral care, gourmet coffee beans, a coffee grinder, games, party decorations, chips, and several cases of jerky. A total of 35 boxes of items were shipped to Kuwait via USPS, with dentsu covering all shipping costs. Employees also included personalized cards directed at Kenny, some of which included special notes, funny quotes, and words of encouragement.
As we ask ourselves, what kind of culture do we want to foster in addition to perfecting our craft? What kind of values do we want to impart as individuals and as an organization beyond the services we provide? How can we best impact and support those within our community? Kenny’s story reminds us that to spread positive influence throughout the network and nurture the sense of community, can be as simple as supporting each other, one relationship at a time.
iProspect, a dentsu company, is a global digital-first end to end media agency. Its unmatched mix of media strategy and storytelling with digital expertise and audience knowledge defines the new territory of performance-driven brand building. By delivering human-centric solutions, iProspect accelerates growth for the world’s most iconic brands including Sonos, Cox, LG, Hilton, Levi’s, Budweiser, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble. The iProspect team works across a network of more than 8,000 media and performance specialists spread across 93 global markets.