By Erin Campagna
On a crisp, chilly morning in mid-December, almost 300 Bandmates settled into the Barn to watch the 2023 Annual Awards show from the Raleigh HQ, while hundreds more joined from around the world. In Dublin, Bandmates tuned in to the viewing from the Stella Cinema, in London, from Fora Parcel, and in Brussels, employees made themselves comfortable at the Reservoir Bar. Denver and Rochester Bandmates joined from their respective offices.
The Barn is made from 200-year-old reclaimed wood and is Bandwidth’s designated gathering place for company wide and departmental Town Halls, Ask Me Anything meetings (AMAs), customer receptions, and other special events. The Annual Awards are prestigious, peer-nominated, and truly the event of the year at Bandwidth. There was a buzz in the air as employees eagerly waited to see who would be recognized in the eight different categories, and who would win the coveted MVB (Most Valuable Bandmate) and MVT (Most Valuable Team) awards.
CEO David Morken, COO Anthony Bartolo, CPO Rebecca Bottorff, and CFO Daryl Raiford were all featured in the video and explained the significance of each award, including: Rookie of the Year, Ruehlen Customer First, Lee Hull Spirit, Mission+ Performer, Giant Leap, Transformer, Innovator, and Notables. Rebecca, along with Angela Connor, Sledge Sattler, and Joe Kranz from the Internal Communications team introduced us to each winner through powerful storytelling, leading us on a journey through their accomplishments and the impact of their work on the business. While the videos played and winners were identified, cheers erupted and echoed throughout the Barn at Bandmate Way as Bandmates celebrated their coworkers. The Slack channel dedicated to the awards show blew up with congratulatory messages and emojis as well wishes streamed in from all around the world.
Sonal Raval, a Strategic Customer Delivery Manager, was one of the winners of the Matt Ruehlen Customer First Award, which is awarded to Bandmates that eat, live, and breathe the customer experience. When speaking with Sonal, she highlighted how winning this award two years in a row has made her feel so honored and valued. “It is the recognition that my hard work, tenacity, and dedication to my customer is seen and valued by not only my peers but leadership as well which makes me feel so appreciated. This customer sets a high bar for operational excellence and carrier expectations. I strive to exceed their expectations while also trying to raise the bar we set for ourselves at Bandwidth.” Sonal also added that winning this award opened opportunities to network with other Bandmates and learn from their “buckets of endless knowledge” and that overall this achievement comes with a great source of pride and inspiration to keep striving for success all around.
Valera Senic, a TAC Voice Analyst III, was recognized with the Mission Plus Award, which goes to Bandmates who consistently produce the highest quality of work amongst their peers and regularly helps other team members achieve the mission. For Val, this award symbolizes a culmination of relentless dedication and hard work in messaging escalation and documentation. “My approach has always been to tackle problems head-on, regardless of their scale, and ensure that we deliver our customer the highest standard of service.” Val emphasized that this award is not just a personal achievement for him, but also represents his team’s collective effort and progress. He is grateful for the validation from his colleagues and said every challenge we face and every solution we find contributes to our growth and success as a group.
Niamh McCann, a Facilities Manager II based in Dublin, had a very successful first year with Bandwidth after joining in November 2022. She won the Spirit Award for her contributions to Bandwidth’s global real estate portfolio in 2023. “It was a monumental year for change and I’m so grateful to have led the charge in our international locations. To be recognised in this way by my peers and leaders for my commitment to improving our Bandmates’ workplace experience is immeasurable.”
Once the awards show had concluded, the rest of the afternoon for Raleigh Bandmates consisted of a catered lunch, karaoke in the Wild Turkey café, and multiple rounds of bingo with Bandmates competing for a variety of prizes: gift cards, chocolates, coffee, watercolor prints, Owala water bottles, and more. Bandmates in the Denver office enjoyed breakfast and a White Elephant gift exchange, while after parties rang in from pubs, bars, and cafés in Iasi, Dublin, London, and Brussels. Holiday music echoed throughout the office halls, and the scent of cinnamon and warm apple cider followed groups of Bandmates laughing, chatting, and gathering all together one last time to close out 2023.