Happy Thanksgiving week! One of the best parts about hosting a podcast is getting to connect with new people while reconnecting with some of my past coworkers and friends. This week I welcomed two of my very favorite people to the podcast, Barney Abramson and Lynn Arage. Barney, Lynn, and I worked together at International Game Technology on the global branding team. Although we didn’t work together long, our team tackled a global rebrand, gigantic tradeshows, and a host of other things. Our team bonded quickly and became so close that we branded ourselves #TeamAwesome. We even had a logo. 

But, corporate optics caught up with us, and we eventually were sat down and told that #TeamAwesome had to come to an end. We weren’t allowed to use our “branding,” and that we needed to tone down our…happiness? It was the kind of blow that hits hard. I felt it was incredibly deflating since we had been working so hard and we truly enjoyed our jobs. In time, #TeamAwesome formally came to an end. Some of us moved on to other positions, but the bond we had created was never broken. Although our time together was short, we’ve stayed in touch, stayed close, and we share that relationship in this week’s episode. We had such a good time talking to one another that, for the first time ever, I’ve broken this episode into two pieces. 

I’m grateful to Barney and Lynn for their honesty and candor in this episode, but also because they have always given me grace and the space to get things wrong when talking about diversity or race. We have SUCH a good conversation about diversity, equity, inclusion, and Barney and Lynn’s lived experiences as people of color. We also talk about diversity in marketing, and how it’s not just about how or what, but also when diversity is introduced into advertising. 

In this episode: 

  • The rise and fall of #TeamAwesome
  • Building a healthy, diverse team 
  • Corporate culture and its impact on fun
  • Lynn and Barney’s lived experience as people of color and children of immigrants in the marketing profession
  • Their careers working for some of the biggest brands in the world
  • Transitioning from being a doer to being a delegator
  • What a great diversity and inclusion program might look like 
  • How brands can create a sense of belonging


Episode 14 Servant Marketing Snacks