Avanade employees shout out their ‘work besties’ this Employee Appreciation Day

  • Posted on March 1, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 6 minutes

Every year, organizations around the world celebrate Employee Appreciation Day on the first Friday of March. At Avanade, you’ll often hear someone say “the people” is what makes working here great, but for Employee Appreciation Day this year, we wanted to put some faces to that sentiment. We asked employees to shout out their work bestie, IM buddy or go-to teammate, and many were more than happy to show some love.

Friends in tough times

As fate would have it, Esha Gupta and I were thrown into the frying pan together last year to develop a new strategy for the board and then, when COVID-19 hit, launch our new Rethink go-to-market campaign. She has been an amazing partner through some very stressful times. She has lifted me up through all the bad days, brainstormed every problem with me, and listened to countless hours of complaints. She has been my biggest cheerleader – not only at work but also at home. I feel incredibly lucky to call her a friend. —Melissa Sherrard

Mentorship that goes above and beyond

I am really grateful for my career adviser, Doug Goldberg, who has been a great advocate, my constant support, and a mentor.  He has always made himself available to help me, hear me, and to teach me to be a better person and how to navigate some difficult situations in life in general. He has a world of wisdom, he’s always willing to share that when and where needed, and he does it respectfully and with care to not step over boundaries. I really appreciate him as a colleague, as a manager, and as a friend. —Zora Bryant

Welcoming presence

Morgan Ann O’Donnell shows tireless pursuit of marketing excellence through continuous process improvement. Morgan Ann has welcomed me with open arms since I joined Avanade in September and had been extremely supportive in all of our marketing needs including industry, holiday and partner events. She is a pleasure to work with and is always trying to make things simpler, more efficient and more effective. She is a positive influence on our clients, partners and our bottom line. She is always positive and smiling, even when she has four events at one time! —Woody Walker

Her support makes me better at my job

I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to show gratitude for Margaret Shintaku. Margaret supported me on multiple opportunities with clients from a legal and contracting perspective, allowing me to stay 100% focused on our customer. She gracefully handled difficult conversations, and multiple change requests on time, helping us close direct business. Margaret is an extraordinary teammate, and I am so happy to have had the chance to work closely with her! —Carol Caldwell

Lifting others up

I just couldn’t settle on one great employee; I want to shine a light on two amazing employees we have here at Avanade. Although they are both extremely busy with their own work, they’ve gone above and beyond for me as an intern here. They’ve made my transition to the company welcoming and really showed me what team work truly is. I can’t thank them enough!

First, my buddy Timothy Den Ouden, who is always there when I need him. One time, there was a subject matter that I couldn’t wrap my head around. He created a demo and set aside an hour to go over how it works and gave me time to play around with this project. He is very knowledgeable and is great at communicating things thoroughly and easy to understand.

Second, my teammate Marlene McCombs, whom I’m currently working with in the data warehousing team. I was new to the data team, and I asked her, “What do I need to do to get to where you are?” and she replied, “Start now!” She promotes women in STEM and believes it’s best to dive in fully to get what you really want. She sets me up with pertinent tasks, explains tools that can be of use which can save me time, shows me new things to learn, but doesn’t push me overboard in the daily tasks. —Alivia Castillo

The best of the best

You know who the bestie-est is? Lana Syvokon. She is super intelligent, caring, funny and one of the best teammates you could hope for. I love Avanade and the wonderful people I get to interact with on a daily basis. Lana is at the top of that list. I hope she is featured because everyone Avanade-wide should know how talented and incredible she is and will shower her with praise. If I need to send in 200 emails just like this to get Lana recognized just let me know… —Ryan Broswell

Sharing joys

There are a ton of amazing people here at Avanade, but I would love to praise one of my colleagues in here: Luana Pinto. Is she an amazing professional? Yes. An amazing person? Yes too. And it is great to work with her… And to share ideas about life, travels and her son (who loves Sonic – the video game character 😊). So, thanks a bunch, Lu. For bringing your knowledge, intelligence and good heart for all the challenges and opportunities we have! Let’s fly high! Cheers! —Pedro Rizzo

Almost a decade of work friendship

Soon after I started with Avanade in 2013, I was an infrastructure lead on my second project that Matt was assigned to help me with. Though we have been in our respective regions, we have continued to be able to work together closely through numerous projects – both challenging as well as rewarding and fun. We have worked late into the morning hours on projects and seen each other through various personal and work ups and downs. We have seen our teams around us come and go, but we have always been there for each other. After over 20 years in the industry, I am proud to brag about Matt being the type of go-to teammate that I think everyone should have. —Anonymous submission

Together we are stronger

When Priscilla Kuehnel, Kendra Capozzi and I came together as a team a little under a year ago, I was a bit nervous. Three people at the same level doing the same role and with very different personalities and viewpoints could have been a recipe for competitiveness. But instead of being competitors, we are each other’s biggest supporters and loudest cheerleaders; we are in competition with the challenges we face, and we know it’s better if we face them together.

The pandemic has meant we have never met face to face as a team. It amazes me that we’ve managed to build such close bonds just using Teams chat and video calls, and that we are all comfortable to be our authentic selves. The trust is liberating, we talk about everything: our work, our aspirations, our families, our hobbies, we listen to each other’s worries, and we celebrate each other’s successes. It has been a tough year, but can honestly say, this is the most fun I’ve ever had in a team. —Emily Warren

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