Career Advice from a Longtime Daxko Pro

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent, Team Member Spotlight | One Comment

When I joined Daxko in 2009, it was my first “real job” out of college. Being a clueless-yet-confident twenty-something, I was terrified that at any moment, someone might discover I didn’t have it all figured out. Lucky for me, Daxko turned out to be fertile ground to grow my career and blossom. The fast-paced environment was just what I needed to expand my skillset, super-charge my confidence, and find the courage to be my (weird) self.

My first Daxko “wall” photo taken in 2009. Can you smell my eagerness?

As I prepare for my next adventure after nearly a decade-long career at Daxko, I can’t help but reflect on the relationships I’ve built and lessons I’ve learned along the way. So, here’s a bit of career advice from me to you. Whether you’re the new kid on the block, rocking your second decade with a company, or somewhere in between, I hope you’ll find advice here to move onward and upward in your career.

Enthusiasm is Everything
Life is short and tomorrow is not promised, which is why I aim to enjoy every moment, including my time at the office. This is why I’ve always fit into the company culture at Daxko. The entire company is teeming with fun folks who bring a high level of enthusiasm to their work. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people willingly follow passionate leaders. Think about it. Is there anything more inspiring than working alongside someone who’s fired up? It’s like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Running amok with teammates at our Kickoff 2012 event

Stretch, Reinvent, Repeat
Through my years at Daxko, I’ve held a few different positions. Each time, the change was scary, but I was always better for it in the end. Beginning your career in one role or department doesn’t mean you’re locked in for life. When it’s time for a little reinvention, channel your inner Bowie and figure out how specific skills you possess can translate into that next new job. If you’re qualified for 60% of the job, go for it and stretch, baby, stretch!

My final reinvention at Daxko was on the Marketing Team. We were…really into exploring our strengths.

Find Your Equilibrium
If you’re not intentional about setting boundaries and scheduling down time, work stress can suck the lifeblood out of you. Case in point? A good portion of my Daxko years were spent managing events, which is statistically one of the most stressful jobs, along with firefighters and airline pilots, so I’ve navigated my fair share of hair-on-fire work stress. Of course, every job has its stressors, and there will always be projects that call for longer hours and a little more hustle. The trick is to avoid burnout by finding your equilibrium – a pace you can sustain for the long haul.

Stress? What stress? We’re cool as cucumbers, baby!

Change is Inevitable. Adapt!
During my time at Daxko, I’ve seen so much change: new faces, new products, new leadership, new workspaces, new goals, new norms…the list goes on. It’s true what they say – nothing ever stays the same. That’s why it’s important to become adaptable. I find this is best accomplished with a good sense of humor and eyes wide open for new opportunities. The butterflies in your stomach are natural. Push through and embrace the change!

No desk? No problem! Adapt, plug in, and make some magic happen.

7 of My Wildest Daxko Moments

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko, Workplace | 6 Comments

How did I already make it to my 7th year at Daxko? If you didn’t know, reaching the 7th year in Daxkoland is kind of a big deal because you get a one-month paid sabbatical. Looking back on my 7-year career, I’ve had so many “learning opportunities,” misadventures, and hilarious stories that need to be shared. That’s why I’m gifting you 7 of my wildest Daxko moments. I hope you enjoy reading about my failures and triumphs!

#7: The Time I Bought a Haunted Doll
When we moved to a new office and I was tasked with designing fun themes for our meeting rooms, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a haunted house-themed room we named “Spooky.” That’s when I found Annabelle – an antique, porcelain doll with alien-green eyes (that see straight through to your dark soul) and a chipped pinky finger. She sits in Spooky, haunting anyone who dares to enter. I often find her turned around, covered up, or banished from the room, because she’s a little unsettling for some; but I think it’s nice to have her looking out for me. Annabelle’s always got my back!

Just your average, everyday office decoration.

Just your average, everyday office decoration.


#6: The Time I Threw an Awkward Costume Party
One year, our CEO asked me to organize a fun, fall-themed event for our Team Members. I’m pretty sure he just wanted a tailgate party, but because I always learn the hard way, I thought I’d shake things up with an Oktoberfest party! In the month of November. At a seedy bar. During a football game. Needless to say, no one was jazzed about breaking out the lederhosen (Ompa!) or playing my reindeer games (German trivia, anyone?) at my “Novemberfest” party. Alanis is right – you live, you learn. Just give the people what they want – beer, football, and ‘merican clothes.

Testing, testing... is this thing on?

Testing, testing… is this thing on?


#5: The Time I Hired a Magician… For Adults!
You know how to magically make all the enthusiasm in a room disappear? Hire a magician for your party of adults! This is an example of me “thinking outside the box” for events (you’re welcome, Daxko). The “magnificent” magician I hired donned a cape and did those pull-a-quarter-out-of-your-ear type “magic” tricks. The party flopped like rabbit ears out of a magic hat.

#4: The Time I Danced Like No One Was Watching (But They Totally Were)
As a kid, I really wished I was one of the Fly Girls on In Living Color. This is probably why I accepted (without hesitation) a teammate’s request to be a backup dancer in his Daxko talent show act. Two words: Gangnam Style. Two more words: We lost. On the plus side, I finally perfected my Gangnam Style pony prance.

Always willing to shake my groove thang for Daxko.

Always willing to shake my groove thang for Daxko.


#3: The Time I Became a Daxko Rap Star
Secret’s out – I’ve got some mad rhyming skills. I’m no Nicki Minaj, but I made Daxko pretty proud (or embarrassed) by writing a rap song called “It’s the DaxLife.” I also directed, produced, and stared in the music video. It’s off the chain. Or maybe just off. Check it out! It’s 3:20 minutes of your life you can never get back.

Watch out, Internet - we're going viral!

Watch out, Internet – we’re going viral!


#2: The Time I Came Out
There’s nothing quite like waiting 5 years into your new job to come out. In case you’re not following, I mean out of the big ole gay closet. Lesbi-honest – it was one of the hardest and most awkward things I’ve ever had to do (outside of everything mentioned in this post). If you’re ever struggling for the right words, I recommend saying nothing. Just post your lesbian wedding photo Christmas card (“Merry and married!”) on the company bulletin board for all to behold. In all seriousness, I’m glad to work in a place where I can be myself.

#1: The Time I Partied Like a Daxko Celeb in Costa Rica
Achievers Club is the top award at Daxko. It’s awarded annually to the top 10% of the company – folks who were nominated by peers for their exemplary accomplishments during that year. I was shocked (and I’m betting you are, too!) to learn I won the award for my work in 2014. As a result, I got to enjoy a very adventurous, all-expenses-paid vacation to Costa Rica where I drank lots of delicious coffee and encountered many, many chill iguanas.

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First, I’d like to thank the Academy…

Positively Inspired by NAYDO

By | Engagement, Events & Happenings, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health | No Comments

Believe it or not, another NAYDO Conference has come and gone. Over 1,600 attendees made it the most well attended conference yet and, dare we say, one of the most inspirational. Everyone there, including Team Daxko, left with a spark ignited within. Here’s what inspired us most:

Changing the Way We Think About Charity

We were proud to sponsor the Thursday General Session and Luncheon and inspired by the message that keynote speaker Dan Pallotta brought to the table. Dan showed us revolutionary new ways to think about charity to create a bigger impact in the movement. Looking for more ways to make an impact at your Y? See Dan’s Ted Talk.

Positively Influencing The Lives of Others

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you have more influence than you think. When it comes members at your Y, there’s so much you can do to keep them engaged and connected to the mission. Remember, your influence does more than retain members. It changes lives.

Painting the Town Red with our Y Friends

When the conference sessions were over, 900+ folks dressed up in red and walked over to the World of Coca-Cola for the Paint the Town Red Party Friday night. Partygoers enjoyed Southern food, drinks, interactive exhibits, and a live band that had everyone dancing the night away. It was the perfect end to NAYDO 2015 and we have the photographic evidence to prove it.

Are you a Daxko customer looking to continue the conversations started at NAYDO? Join 300-400 other Daxko customers at Reach 2015 in Nashville, TN.

Igniting a Spark in Atlanta

By | Campaigns, Engagement, Events & Happenings, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Uncategorized | No Comments

Daxko’s Headed to the 34th Annual NAYDO Conference

Next week, 30+ Daxko Team Members will travel to Atlanta for NAYDO 2015 – an annual, four-day conference that draws 1,500+ YMCA staff and volunteers from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and 20 other countries. If you’re also planning to attend, we know your schedule is already jam-packed with sessions, social events, and networking. We hope you’ll find time to connect with team Daxko while you’re there. Here are four ways you can meet us in Atlanta:

1. Visit Our Booth (#57-58) and Score Swag

Swing by our booth in the Marquis Ballroom foyer to pick up your FREE ticket to the “Paint the Town Red” party Friday night and enter for your chance to win one of two Apple Watch giveways! Come see us when you’re ready for a break. We’ll have lounge furniture for relaxing, treats for snacking, and fun Daxko swag to give away. Learn more.

2. Party with Us at “Paint the Town Red”

We’re proud to sponsor NAYDO’s big Friday night party – “Paint the Town Red!” Pick up your free ticket at our booth, wear something red, then walk over to the World of Coca-Cola Friday night at 7:00 to enjoy delicious Southern food, drinks, a cash bar, dancing, and a live band. We’ll also announce the winner of our Apple Watch giveaway, so you won’t want to miss this party! Learn more.

3. Ignite your Inspiration by Attending our Sessions

Thursday @ 12:00 p.m. – General Session & Luncheon Sponsored by Daxko

Thursday @ 2:15 p.m. – “Creating Fundraising Volunteers who are On Fire for the Cause

Thursday @ 3:45 p.m. – “Tap Into Membership to Fuel your Donor Pipeline

Friday @ 10:45 a.m. – “Engaging Millennials in the Y’s Cause

4. Get Social with Us

Be sure to follow @Daxko on Twitter and like us on Facebook so we can keep you posted with updates, drawing winners, conference photos, and more.