Early in 2017, the team at the Kaleida Foundation showed us the wall that would be dedicated to telling the story of John R. Oishei at the new Oishei Children’s Hospital. It is a great, highly visible space right inside the doors of the main lobby.
Typically, a static glass sign with small type and a photo would be used to tell a major donor’s story. In this case, we felt that, sooner rather than later, the information about our founder would become wallpaper that no one really noticed.
We wanted to tell his story in a more engaging way – one that people would pay attention to for years to come. As the Foundation’s Chief Communications Officer, my dream was to do something interactive that people could manipulate and that would offer interesting elements for adults and children alike.
I presented the idea of producing a creative, dynamic display wall to the Foundation President, Robert Gioia, and then our Board. They were a little hesitant, and thought I might be overly optimistic with my very limited budget, but being the ultimate, trusting, wise professionals that they are, they gave me the “go ahead.”
I then reached out to a few small local agencies to inquire about their array of capabilities and their availability from July through October. One group stood out: 19 IDEAS.
After meeting with owners Dan Gigante and Katie Krawczyk, I had a good feeling that they’d be the perfect group to pull this off for us.
I gave them the assignment and they jumped in full force. Amber Rapino, Charlie Fashano and the newly hired Theresa Donnelly joined Katie and Dan. They started with a solid base concept of the elements, and worked with us feverishly through the design, illustration, copy, coding and testing stages. Krez Freas joined in near the end to write code and handle a bunch of techy stuff. They were all patient with my copy edits and numerous questions and showed unending enthusiasm for the project. Oh, and I can’t forget Ellie, Director of Bellyrubs – the office labradoodle who eagerly provided kisses and love (what a great addition!)
The Kaleida team, coordinated by Jim Finnerty and Jessica Mabie, also did a stellar job preparing the wall, hooking up electric, hanging hardware, etc. all while juggling the construction and moving a major hospital.
The end result was better than I could have imagined. And, it doesn’t hurt that Robert and the Board approves of the result. Board Member Florence Conti was even kind enough to call me out at last week’s board meeting to say, “Sally, I questioned and doubted you a bit on the Oishei Children’s wall project, but….I was wrong. It is fantastic.”
Thank you, 19 IDEAS!