Otters for Life #DLRTour
It was day 20 of our tour, and we were still full of excitement! These past few weeks have been composed of exhilarating events, inspiring conferences, and most of all, wonderful people.
Our journey led us to Fort Collins in Colorado, where we had the pleasure of meeting with the OtterBox family. OtterBox, a private company founded by Curt and Nancy Richardson, specializes in protecting mobile tools with a variety of protective cases. Having originally met at ISTE 2012 in San Diego, OtterBox communicated a sincere interest in partnering with our organization and joining our movement for change. Their heavy duty cases were exactly what our non-profit needed: protection for our Educational tools.
As we pulled up in our 45′ tour bus, we were warmly greeted by several members from OtterBox’s family. Overwhelmed by the dynamics and culture of this innovative company, the entire iSchool Initiative team quickly found itself attracted to the work principles that OtterBox encompassed. The two-story Otter slide, alone, set the mood as employees told us, “No matter whether it’s a good day or bad, the slide always makes it better.”
While our team received a tour of the company’s headquarters and its inner-workings, we understood very quickly that this atmosphere built by OtterBox’s founders contributed greatly to their great work environment. Nancy Richardson, President of the OtterCares Foundation, reminded us that a strong team needed to be created from top-down management. Her and Curt’s unwillingness to condone inappropriate behavior is what led to their tight knit family, and this was a lesson that iSchool Initiative would learn from as we continued our nationwide tour.
In addition to providing our entire team with OtterBox cases for both our mobile phones and our iPads, we were also gifted extra OtterBox cases that came in great use during the remainder of the trip. In several of the upcoming cities in which we presented, the OtterBox cases became a highly sought after reward for our “Digital Scavenger Hunts”. These “Digital Scavenger Hunts” tested teachers and students with riddles, their understanding of iPads and the methods needed to seek out solutions for their problems; depending on who tallied the most points from the hunt, the coveted prize of an OtterBox case was awarded to the first place winner. The organic, competitive element, entirely sponsored by the OtterBox prize, created a fun, collaborative exercise in which teachers and students could familiarize themselves with the iPad and its unique capabilities.
Here is a video that shows our experience at one of the scavenger hunts: http://youtu.be/p1ttbZn0By4
As a team, we have already grown so much and learned more than we could have expected from this amazing journey. Unsure of what to expect next, we took all of the lessons learned from the OtterBox family and embedded them within our organization, prepared for the remainder of the trip and the challenges it may bring.
OtterBox and its OtterCares Foundation are one of the few companies I have met that act more as a “for purpose” company than a “for profit” company. Their dynamics continue to inspire our team and motivate us in ways that we could not have predicted. Blessed for the collaborative opportunities, I am looking forward to a great partnership and a long future together.