Category Archives: JobGiraffe Fun

What You Can Learn From Giraffes to be More Effective at Work

Giraffes are one of nature’s most compelling creatures. Every day, both zoologists and ethologists (scientists who study animal behavior) learn more and more about how they live in both captivity and the wild. Here are some interesting facts about giraffes, and what lessons we can learn from them about being more effective at work:

  • Be a team player…

Giraffes are believed to be one of nature’s least territorial large animals. Multiple groups (called “towers”) will frequently inhabit the same space in order to share resources and look after calves and pregnant females. These towers often come together to form herds, which can number into the hundreds.

  • Work well individually AND as part of a team…

Despite their easy-going nature and team-focused social structure, giraffes know when it’s time to go it alone. Smaller towers of giraffes will often split off from the main herd if an area becomes overcrowded or resources begin to become depleted.

  • Embrace change…

Giraffes adapt easily to new challenges to survive in the wild. Herds of giraffes often split, merge and reform, only to do the same with new giraffes shortly thereafter. Giraffes also appear to be less sentimental about their herd-mates than other large herbivores, making it easier for them to form new alliances with new giraffes as needed.

Check out more about giraffe conservation and other animal behaviors at giraffeconservation.org and nature.com.

JobGiraffe Gets Involved!

JobGiraffe values community service, charity and social action as we strive to be both good neighbors and responsible corporate citizens. We actively encourage our employees to volunteer within their communities and to support the causes they believe in. This year we would like to highlight three of our team members for the work they have done and are continuing to do!

Pam – Red Nose Day

Today is Red Nose Day, a day to come together and “fun-raise” to bring attention to childhood poverty and hunger around the globe, culminating in a live 2-hour television event tonight at 8pm Central on NBC. Red Nose Day has now grown into a major pop culture event attracting attention for celebrities such as Neil Patrick Harris and Julia Roberts and partnering with some of America’s most recognizable brands including Walgreens and Coca Cola. This year, our own Pam Wing took the initiative to coordinate our fundraising and social media efforts for Red Nose Day. For more information or to make a donation, please visit rednoseday.org.

red nose

Zack – Bike 4 Life

Bike-4-Life_659830_imageBike 4 Life is a unique organization that brings together hobbyists and philanthropists in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Bike 4 Life is a non-profit bike store that holds regular community outreach events and donates all of its profits to HIV research and awareness. Located at 3603 West Armitage Ave, Bike 4 Life performs repairs and accepts donations in a carefree, friendly and all-volunteer environment. Our own Zackary Wheeler has taken it upon himself to raise awareness for this one of a kind organization. To learn more visit bike4lifechicago.org.

Ben – Lakeside Congregation’s ‘Mitzvah Day’

In the Hebrew language, a mitzvah is a good deed or act of charity. On May 1st, our Communications Director, Ben Horwitz, had the opportunity to coordinate his congregation’s 16th annual Mitzvah Day event. During the course of the day over 100 volunteers were able to revitalize a local park, collect and sort over two carloads of clothing for the homeless and prepare 10,000 individual meals to help feed the world’s most vulnerable families. You can watch some of the highlights from Lakeside Congregation’s 2016 Mitzvah Day here: youtube.com/watch?v=fc0ZCw6UR4Y.

The Fantastic Fundraising Efforts of our own Deb Gates

Deb Gates has been a member of the JobGiraffe team since 1999 working as a recruiting and staffing consultant in our Vernon Hills office. She also is an active fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and has recently been recognized for her good work in the Chicago Tribune’s suburban online publication (you may find the article about her here). We are very proud of her annual leadership and participation in fundraisers for MS research and would like to commemorate her here, as well as share a little bit of her story.

Deb was diagnosed with MS back in February of 2004 while working with JobGiraffe (which was then known as Paige Personnel Services). Within just a few months of receiving her diagnosis she decided to become actively involved in fundraising for Walk MS, which supports the research of this disease (which, in short, interrupts the flow of information in one’s central nervous system) and affects roughly 2.3 million worldwide. She then made participating in Walk MS a yearly event, and recruited family and friends to participate with her. She just was involved in the most recent walk, which held on May 4th at Attea Middle School in Glenview.

As Deb explained in her Chicago Tribune article, “Walk MS is important to help fund scientific research and to also give back to those in the Greater Illinois MS Community who need assistance… I’m very appreciative of those who spend countless hours fundraising on our [MS patients] behalf as well as those who are involved in organizing the event.”

Deb Gates MS Walk Fundraising
Deb Gates and Laura Immergluck at Walk MS

But the best part is that Deb didn’t stop there. In 2012, when Deb’s family wasn’t able to join her for Walk MS, she created and organized her own bowling fundraising event. How impressive is that!? That year they raised $3,000 for the National MS Society. However, this past year she outdid her self and her bowling fundraising event raised $3,500.

Not only did Deb annually become involved in Walk MS but she has now orchestrated her own annual fun-centric bowling fundraisers that seem poised to raise more and more funds each year. Fundraising for research for MS is essential, as it is a disease that takes on numerous forms for different people and is a disease for which unfortunately there is no known cure.

We are proud of Deb, how she has stayed positive and not let her diagnosis affect her daily life much, and how she immediately began to be involved in fundraising for research for a cure – and has continued to do so for a decade now. We are also proud that the Chicago Tribune online recognized her efforts!

If you would like to know more about Walk MS or donate online just contact The Walk MS Team at 312.423.1156 or at walkmsillinois@nmss.org, or you may visit walkMSillinois.org.

Meet Hinsdale Central’s DevilStorm Robotics Team & Their Creation, Shannon

Robot bannerThis is an interesting story that occurs at the crossroads of education, robotics, competition, and of course – fun. JobGiraffe is a proud sponsor of the inaugural Hinsdale Central FIRST robotics team. They are technically FIRST Robotics Team # 4979, but they proudly go by the name of DevilStorm Robotics (click here to check out their Facebook page).

 

Devil Storm Robot JobGiraffe

A little explanation, the FIRST Robotics Competition is a multi-national competition for high school students. The students work side-by-side with scientists, engineers and teachers with the aim of building their own robot. They build the robot while trying to solve an specific engineering design problem/challenge in a competitive and engaging manner – namely a sports-like competition (which is meant quite literally, the competition occurs in a basketball stadium filled with people who are ardently cheering their favorite robot and team on). As explained on the FIRST Robotics Competition website; each team is given a “Kit of Parts,” a common set of rules, limited resources and time constraints. The teams are then challenged to design, build, and program a 120 lb. robot to perform the tasks of that season’s “game” (to see a demonstration of the specifics of how the game works please check out the video below the article). The students also gain the valuable skills of fundraising, designing a team “brand,” and honing their teamwork skills.

DevilStorm’s robot is named Shannon and she is a quick and nimble little machine. She is designed to not only maneuver the court of the game, which is called Aerial Assist, but to also throw a ball into one of two different “goals” (one of which is higher, resulting in more points), and to use her bumpers and speed to try and stop the other team’s robots from making any goals themselves. You can also get points for assists, or moving into the other teams space, successfully passing the ball to robot on your team, and for a variety of other Robot team photofeats (again, the video below explains the specifics of game the best). Each match is split into two different sections, an autonomous part and a human-controlled part. The exciting part about all of this is that Shannon was successfully designed to play this game all on her own, without any input from humans, as well as to be remote controlled. Now that’s impressive!

We are proud to announce that the DevilStorm Robotics team recently competed in their first robotics competition, the Midwest Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. They ended up being on the winning alliance/team for 6 of the 12 qualification matches. Even more impressively they were awarded the Rookie All-Star Award for the Midwest region! Because of this they have been invited to the World Championship Competition that will be held in St. Louis at the end of April. In St. Louis there will be approximately 400 teams, invited from around the world. It’s clearly a large honor to be invited, especially as a rookie team.

We at JobGiraffe are very proud of DevilStorm Robotics team and their fantastic achievement in being awarded the Rookie All-Star Award! If you’d like to see more pictures, or to contact the team for potential sponsorship, please visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/devilstormrobotics.

Good luck to Shannon at the World Championship Competition, we’ll be rooting for you!