14 Cool Things Brella Did in 2014


Here at Brella, we strive to make each year better and bolder than the one before. We set the bar pretty high in 2014, as the following list demonstrates.

1.      Grow, Baby, Grow!—In 2014, Brella grew by leaps and bounds. A hiring bonanza took us to 100 employees, spread far and wide. Our ongoing construction initiative added approximately 3000 square feet of space and a third floor. By the time the dust settles, Brella HQ will boast three new edit suites, two more large conference rooms, and a beautifully refurbished green-screen studio, along with a king-sized server room, and over two miles of CAT6E cable.

2.      World Travel—We sent our Video and Events teams around the globe, running 79 events in 10 different countries, including France, Denmark, Turkey, Japan, and the Netherlands.

3.      Time Travel—Brella’s Video Team joined the likes of H.G. Wells and Dr. Emmet Brown by mastering time travel. Using a second-hand treadmill and a liberal dose of AfterEffects, we followed the president of Chicago’s Meeting Professionals International on a tour of meetings through the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s to the present day. The video received rave reviews when presented at MPI’s annual gala.

4.      Launch Time—Brella founder Bernadette Burke sat in on a panel for “Ladies Who Launch,” an all-day program honoring the contributions of female-owned businesses to the Evanston economy. Our AV, Design, and Events team provided support for the program, including recording the panels for posterity.

5.      Keeping America Beautiful—Brella proved instrumental to the successful launch of an up-and-coming cosmetics company. Resources we provided for the ECRM tradeshow landed their products a spot in Target’s online store, with other nationwide locations on the horizon.

6.      Viekira Victory—The Brella North team was instrumental in the December US launch of Viekira which is a landmark treatment for Hepatitis C.  As part of the client’s Internal Ad Agency, our writers, designers, and account staff helped to create sales materials and internal announcements for this momentous launch.

7.      Back for More—2014 saw the return of Patient Journey, an interactive training course that called on the talents of both the HQ and Brella North teams. Available on iOS and desktop environments, this course provides sales staff and executives with patient perspectives on nine different diseases.

8.      X-Ray Vision—Brella provided a pro-bono website rebuild for Rotary District 6440’s HealthRays project. The HealthRays initiative aims to provide x-ray services to Guatemala’s rural poor who don’t have access to this essential diagnostic technology.

9.      A Novel Approach—Brella’s design and programming departments stretched the boundaries of e-learning by creating an interactive graphic novel for a major university’s business law course.

10.   Taking the World by Storm—December heralded Brella’s entry into the world of sports as we produced the first in a series of livecasts of the Racine Storm Premier League basketball team.

11.   Sales Force—In December, we welcomed Rudy Birtler into the fold as our new Director of Sales. We look forward to the places he will take us in 2015.

12.   Puttin’ on the Ritz—The Events team put together several gala receptions throughout the course of 2014, most notably a fundraiser for Evanston’s Youth Job Center, held at Soldier Field. The event was a smashing success, raising almost $250,000 for local job programs for kids.

13.   Green Machine—We continued to make our transportation fleet environmentally friendly, adding a fun-size Smart ForTwo Electric Drive to go with the ultra-green Chevy Volt we bought in 2013.

14. hack.summit—The entire Programming department took part in this virtual conference, featuring thought leaders and luminaries from the world of programming.