My Co-Worker is my Spouse


Any relationship takes hard work, compromise, plus the average argument. But then we come upon that one couple who is working in the same office. Yes, everyone knows that couple! Most of us see them most frequently played on TV shows. From them, we’ve learned that having a relationship with people in the office leaves a deeply negative vibe. Who knows how many couples have ended up steering away from working together from such a negative portrayal in the media. It has come to the point where I believed a successful working and romantic relationship was just an office legend, but no. I’ve slowly come to realize this type of business and personal relationship can actually work out with a happy ending.

I’m talking about a real couple who can work together for a living, and yet manage to carefully balance a romantic relationship with their professional relationship. Obviously, at first, I also imagined this would only lead to double the amount of arguments, twice the stress and the foreboding possibility of bringing even more work home. But I was awestruck to find out there are actual couples who can manage to work together and still leave together happily after work to enjoy their marital bliss.

If you think about it, this is a huge responsibility to carry. I mean, they have to keep themselves from bickering about who is lagging on washing the dishes at home or as they walk or interact with each other around the office. You can’t let romantic issues leak into your work, and you also can’t let your inter-office politics interfere with your love life, either- which we all know is hard to leave at the threshold of your office.

Personally, I just didn’t believe co-workers could last without one changing their livelihood, but lately I’ve been pleasantly surprised and proven wrong. Meet Danny Sanchez and Lisa Deleon. They built up Proterra and have been working together since 1993, which is over 20 years! When speaking to Lisa, she told me how the two met, “It was 1991 Danny worked for a previous marketing firm and I worked for one of his clients.” From my understanding, since the fateful day 23 years ago, they have been inseparable both romantically and professionally.

So I’m going to shed a little insight and advice that Lisa and Danny kindly passed on to me since it’s obvious that they’ve got this type of work/love relationship down- maybe we can all learn from them, and the next time we end up in a romantic relationship with a coworker we don’t go running to the hills.

Lisa is the President of Proterra, Inc. since they started up their company in 1993. Danny, on the other hand, is the CEO of Proterra, Inc.

Lisa’s List of Pros and Cons of Marrying her Business Partner:

Pros: They have a shared visions and goals for the business, an immense trust, and shared experiences. They can have all that without sharing their job roles. They get to carpool to work, and surprisingly [for me] Lisa says it’s easy to separate work and home life. She sagely says that, “I can go home and complain about my CEO as a person, not as my husband.” Which is some great wisdom, if I do say so myself.

Cons: She admits there are some, but she chooses not to focus on them, because after 20 years, they are vastly outweighed by the positives.

Danny’s List of Pros and Cons of Marrying his Business Partner:

Pros: “Trust is the best part, since we already know each other. It is easy to make decisions with each other for the better of our clients. I already know she has integrity and her passions and connecting those energies to the client is a plus.”

Cons: “We can’t go home and talk about work. We can’t share how the day has been since we both experienced it.”

Ever since I began interning at Proterra, I have personally witnessed how successful a supportive business and a loving relationship can be. Like any joint business partners or married couples, Lisa and Danny have their share of misunderstandings here and there, but they do not let it affect their marriage or working relationship. They talk it out, and just prove how being partners in the two aspects has only strengthened their communication skills.

These two really do such an amazing job as a professionally and romantically involved man and woman! I can’t help but admire how their success in building their business and up keeping a healthy relationship. Truly, this type of working and personal relationship brings  challenges to a relationship and those who will choose to persevere in Lisa and Danny’s footsteps will have their struggles, but they provide a prime example that a couple who really wants it to work can make it work no matter what.

Written by Marcela Davila

Music Festivals: The Adult Playground

There are many questions that arise when one asks, what is true happiness? Better yet, it is more of a question of self, as in which state did one truly feel happy? You might ponder this inquiry for time only to realize that you now feel a slight twinge of sadness. This can be attributed to the fact that as Millennials we often possess a strong nostalgic link to our respective childhoods.  This search for our past lives and personas can be seen all across social media in how we dig up previous versions of ourselves through hashtags and posts like #TransformationTuesday and #ThrowbackThursday. We take a look through the lens of life embellishing what we imagine to be our glory days. As a culture we are present and evolving but our security is in the past. Today that sense of unadulterated freedom that we felt as children is now a hot commodity that can be bought with a ticket.

Backyard 2

The playground is the proverbial example of freedom to a child and today as these children have grown into adults the need for a new playground has evolved into what is now the music festival. It is here that Millennials can tap into that lost sensation of true freedom. While festivals have been around since the early sixties what differentiates the current festival model from previous ones is that the main draw is no longer just the music, but the experience itself.

The BackYard 1

The Ford Motor Company maintains a consistent presence at these festivals, and has really mastered the art of maximizing their brand visibility by selling experiences rather than pushing their products. For this year’s music festival circuit Ford created a new event called the The Backyard. The space featured an area filled with classic outdoor games, an AC cooled tree house, tattoo shop and special live performances as well as a chance to win a brand new Ford vehicle. It was an instant success.

Back Yard 3

In fact before the event had even launched there was a significant amount of buzz across the social online community. Another aspect that really drew in the crowds was their lineup of underground bands that Ford had partnered with. At huge festivals such as Bonnaroo fans are often kept at a distance from the performers. Ford however bridged that gap by creating a more intimate setting for fans allowing them to really engage with their favorite musicians. Their efforts did not go unnoticed. Spin Magazine featured the event with a gallery of photos that gave an inside look at the activities and the performers. Sadly they did not record or stream any of the performances. This would have been a key opportunity to lay down a solid foundation for their brand on YouTube.

Back Yard 4

Experiences like these create maximal brand visibility, which in turn allows the consumer to form organic relationships not based on a series of transactions. The brilliance behind this strategy is that it has not only increased branded sales for those marketing their companies but it has also doubled the attendance rates to these events all across the world. In the end its Company’s like Ford who understand that childlike wonder and adventure never die, it just needs the right platform.


Written by Charles Oakes

Corporate Social Responsibility Top Trend in 2015


Corporate social responsibility, the way business and professionals develop positive relationships with society in which they operate is a hot trend in 2015.  Business professionals are increasingly using social media platforms to showcase these social responsibility efforts.

Business win-win

Connecting with the community and serving society have become natural expectations for consumers in determining what they buy, where they work and what investments interest them. The use of social media to communicate alignment of socially responsible policies/ perspectives, cultivating and instilling such messages has become a powerful trend for improving business. Leveraging these opportunities enhances consumer trust and loyalty, becoming part of their business strategy.


Personal identity branding win-win

The power of social media has allowed for increased visibility and credibility for personal branding purposes. Socially conscious aware individuals gain a level of satisfaction by volunteering their skills to make a positive impact. The charity or cause also benefits from their time, effort and expertise. The professionals involvement allows them to identify and express their passion, purpose and vision whether their end goal is a strategic career move or merely for social networking.

According to LinkedIn, this powerful trend will continue to grow. To date, more than 3.5 million LinkedIn members have signaled on their profile that they want to serve on a non-profit board or use their skills to volunteer.

#CorporateSocialResponsibility – Ice Bucket Challenge & Je Suis Charlie

The power of social media recently connected these two distinct social causes at a speed the world has never seen. It galvanized individuals through The Ice Bucket Challenge ALS Association and struck at our heartstrings. On the global stage, Je suis Charlie allowed the world to grieve collectively and stand united in our belief for free speech.

Whether social media is used for business or personal purposes, this realized global connectivity, is more than meeting the bottom line. It is also about increasing social consciousness and fostering positive action for change.


Written by: Marissa R. Anchia, Public Affairs Unlimited, LLC. A Dallas based consultant to Proterra Advertising. She specializes in public affairs/government relations, marketing and corporate social responsibility.

Restaurants Offer More than Food Nowadays

Flying food and enlarged particles of ice. These are what you think of when a restaurant advertisement comes to mind. However, many other marketing strategies are applied to ensure that a restaurant’s special occasion plans do not fall through. Restaurants seek to combine great food, world-class service, entertainment, and specials into one meal, night or weekend that patrons won’t soon forget.


With Mother’s day having passed, countless families (including mine) sat down with the woman of the day, or weekend, and enjoyed brunch. Even though the founder of Mother’s Day had much more intimate intentions for the occasion, commercial success in today’s society means an exciting and competitive Mother’s Day options. Although one can never be certain if a restaurant is going to pass muster where the food is concerned, the atmosphere for the entire brunch hour is always a light-hearted one full of family and love. Typically, a Mother’s Day menu will be one made specifically by the chef for the occasion. The advertisements on all sorts of media and the astounding amount of gift certificates sold mean even more business. However, many, more established restaurants do not do anything spectacular outside of the food they prepare. Surely tenure and word-of-mouth for great restaurants is a marketing strategy in its own league.

On an occasion such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, it really comes down to one day in particular that the restaurant can focus in on and give that day everything they’ve got. On Father’s day, statistics suggest that over half of all outings, which are usually for dinner, will be to the Father’s favorite restaurant. This means that most of the job is already done. Bringing in a special guest such as a chef or musician will make the evening more enjoyable for regular customers. I propose that a bigger challenge is Christmas or perhaps Thanksgiving, where the days surrounding the actual holidays are more lucrative for restaurants. For Christmas, restaurants tend to follow suit with the rest of the crowd and begin their promotions in November.


Increasingly popular, because of social media and countless other media platforms, is video marketing. One restaurant in particular, The Restaurant at Meadowood, made a video series and put it up on YouTube.

Even though most local restaurants do not have the resources to accomplish a video series of this caliber, there are surely other small scale projects that can be tackled in-house if one is ambitious enough. There are plenty of tutorials and discount merchandise out there to make launching such projects a success.

Restaurants that make good food are everywhere these days. However, few restaurants accomplish that well-rounded blend of food and service. Achieving such heights is the goal, while being aware of the market is the means.

Written by David Rodriguez

Branded Videos are Here to Stay:

Flashing products, beaming models, melodious jingles—sound familiar? Probably. Before you have time to switch the channel, in flies the company logo or catchy slogan that, if the marketer is lucky and you are rather unlucky, gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day.


As a modern consumer, it can be difficult and near-impossible to escape the barrage of commercials that flood our devices, channels, and technologies each day. They vie and clamor for our attention. Pick me, pick me! They shamelessly cry. We can choose to ignore these videos or actively watch them (Interestingly enough, research seems to support the latter—it turns out that people do watch commercials)

Commercials are distinct both in their style and in purpose: to raise awareness of company products and to ultimately increase sales. Above all, these companies seek to sell. But there is another form of video that is not nearly as popularly utilized, but on the rise within the field of advertising: the branded video.


I stumbled upon the branded video before ever realizing I had stumbled upon it. You’ve probably seen it before: the Dove Real Beauty Sketches. Sure, the video was promoted by a company (in this case Dove), which I’ll admit made me vaguely wary, but the video was shared on social media by my friend. In fact, it was shared by a handful of my friends. Additionally, news outlets plastered the video all across various articles, lauding Dove’s unique approach to the thought-provoking video. And just like that, I—along with millions of other viewers—was sold. No, we were not necessarily sold on Dove’s new lotion or shampoo or Purely Pampering Shea Butter Beauty Bar with Warm Vanilla. We were sold on the brand. The branded video had successfully mastered the art of the branded video, pluckily toeing the line between entertainment and advertising.


And the art of branded content lies in its very nature where “entertainment” largely dominates “advertising.” Branded content strikes a chord in the viewer—it makes the viewer laugh, cry, or think. Branded content allows the company to tell a story, a story that often is not necessarily about a particular product. And in many instances, branded content prompts the viewer to share with others, ultimately generating a larger digital response.


So what does this mean from the marketer or advertiser’s perspective? (And, in my case, from the aspiring videographer’s?) Well, it means a multitude of things, from attesting to the importance of a company’s brand personality to the sheer power of the video to communicate a message not always fit for verbal description. For Dove’s Beauty Sketches, it’s one thing to say “you are more beautiful than you think” and certainly another to create a literal, art-studio set up to clearly illustrate that “you [really] are more beautiful than you think.” For other companies who seek to create a Branded Video highlighting their company meaning, personality, and purpose, it is important to keep in mind that ultimately, these videos are not simply about the company—they are very much about the audience.


Written By Lulu Wang



Lululemon, good karma, great social media branding


Lululemon’s strong multi-platform social media strategy around their lifestyle branding has proven to be very successful. Their manifesto of being ‘passionate about sweating every day and wanting the world to know it’ is at the core of their branding mission. The good karma associated with enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle continues to differentiate their brand in a crowded field.

Being an indoor cycling/pilates enthusiast and wearing the Lululemon (Lulu) brand regularly, I have turned into a Lulu loyalist. The quality of their product never fails and stylishly goes from workout to daytime wear easily. Whether purchased online or in-store, the experience is seamless. And as a social media buff, I thoroughly enjoy following the company via their various social media platforms.

Inspiring content on Facebook/ Blog

By simply liking their company Facebook page, the reader receives regular informational blog posts which is a mix of all things running and yoga to contests, polls, upcoming community events, campaigns, goal setting, nutritional information, beauty and fashion. To the woman or man whose priorities include a powerful physical and mental life, the Lulu blog seems like the perfect place to find inspiration and the encouragement to be your best. These same blogs are among other interesting information that can be found on the Lululemon website, including what the company is involved in whether it be sustainability, community contributions, philanthropy, factory relationships and sponsorships.


Convenient Apps

If short on time and in need of a pair of yoga pants, just download one of their Apps, and a few clicks and magically, their gear appears at your doorstep.

Engaging Twitter stream

Their Twitter stream reads very conversationally and one would feel that they are a part of a larger community by their responsive commentary from followers.

Content rich YouTube channel

Adding to their social media strategy, their YouTube channel is loaded with content-heavy playlists ranging from instructional videos, contributions from their fitness ambassadors, product education and featured products to name a few. A viewer can interact with the brand, its employees making the experience authentic and personal.

Connect & Share: Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest & Tumblr

Lulu’s stellar photography, via their Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr platforms are visually appealing to their fitness and lifestyle brand. Sprinkle in some inspiration, motivation and karma is achieved. Their perfectly organized structures are varied and friendly enough to connect and share.


Social lessons

Lulu personifies a lifestyle brand that leverages their multi-platform social media strategy effectively leaving the customer feeling good about their purchase and a part of the Lulu family.


Written by Marissa Anchia, a Dallas based consultant to Proterra Advertising. She specializes in public affairs/government relations, marketing and corporate social responsibility.

Top 5 Most Creative Offices

Working is a part of life that takes different forms for all people. Some sit at a desk all day, yet others drive a truck or serve food. Whatever the case, being comfortable at work is one thing that everyone desires. Here at Proterra, we have found a new home in Dallas and are excited as ever to make it a comfortable workspace. Before the summer is over, we will be in a new office and expect it to be even more productive than the last one. These are some of our inspirations, in no particular order.


Did you ever see the movie “The Internship” with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson? Well the Google offices in the movie are not a stretch and may even underestimate how awesome a place Google is to work at. This is a picture of the Google office in Zurich, and as you can clearly see an employee is taking a highly efficient trip down a slide to a cafeteria. A cafeteria where all employees are fed for free, in order to fulfill a rule that all employees must always be within 100 meters of food. Yes, that’s a real rule and it’s fantastic.


This is a picture of one of the lounge areas whose chairs are more comfortable than your grandpa’s and lighting more perfect than a Broadway show. Plus, who doesn’t like aquariums?



Selgas Cano

These architect offices are designed more by nature than by man. They feature work areas in a tunnel exposed to a forest located near Madrid, Spain. We all here agree that working with a view like this would make our days much less stressful.


This Picture clearly shows how much natural light comes into this office. Even though the space is not any larger than your average office, the open ceiling retracts all the way to release any claustrophobic feelings one might have.



The geniuses who bring us Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, and the like must work in an office that is equally as entertaining, don’t you think? Well you’re right! This is what one of their cubicles look like. In case you’re confused, I’d like to point out that this is a house. A. House. Look at that chandelier in there! At any rate, I’m not going to complain just so long as they keep entertaining me with great movies.


The details of this picture make me dream big. A grown man with a view to match his tenure, yet a wall full of fuzzy or not-so-fuzzy play things to match the creativity and ingenuity of the entire studio. Truly not only a cool place to work but also a great place to show the world what you’re made of.



Big In Japan

We didn’t choose this office just to fulfill the Texas mention requirement although it doesn’t hurt. Big In Japan has made their way by designing the award winning barcode scanning app ShopSavvy. With an office sporting no cubicles, and having fun in order to encourage creativity is what they are all about.


Their offices remind me of a warehouse, which without the presence of people are creepy. At BIJ, though, they’ve made their warehouse an open place for their employees to be creative and productive yet not confined to their work areas.



Corus Entertainment

This entertainment company’s office has been dubbed Toronto’s smartest building, and is clearly one of the most fun. Not only is the inside of this office incredibly fun and exciting, but the outside is an impressive sight to behold.


This atrium shows just how grand this office is. Its many levels, slides, and televisions show how fun this office can be.



Written by David Rodriguez

Proterra Roots

Proterra Advertising has become synonymous with great multicultural communication. From receiving awards like PRSA’s La Plata Award of Excellence to having many multilingual employees, Proterra has been bringing diverse people and organizations together since its inception in 1993. When Founder and CEO Danny Sanchez gave us the name Proterra, he started an American tradition of true diversity. The name Proterra sticks out because its depth is not initially understood by the general public. However, Danny put a lot of thought into the name. Meaning “for the earth,” Proterra is dedicated to serving the earth as a planet, as well as its inhabitants. Further, by combining his traditional general marketing training (represented by the prefix ‘pro’) with his experience in the Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (represented by the Spanish word ‘tierra’), Danny constructed a bridge for safe passage of business between the pre-existing American corporations and the newly-emerging, ever-diversifying Hispanic businesses. Danny’s work in The Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce included helping create the Hispanic Business Expo called Viva Dallas.

Initially named La Feria, this business expo allows the Dallas public to see what local Hispanic business has to offer. In keeping with the great traditions of diversity, the ever-improving team of highly skilled members have provided Proterra with a vast multicultural insight. This insight gives Proterra the upper hand on competition to provide professional marketing, advertising, and public relations strategies. With success in campaigns for Pollo Campero, 210 Ceviche, and Pizza Patron, we have shown our dedication and skill in reaching the diverse audience locally as well as around the nation. To further extend the arm of diversity we have reached out, Proterra has brought on Indian native Neha Bhargava as our Account Planner. Her addition to the team not only increases our creative capabilities, but also further solidifies our dedication to reaching more and more diverse audiences.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with our work as we reach one population after another to achieve a more diverse and accepting culture.

Why are my ideas original or practical, but never both?

Have you ever spent hours brainstorming, only to find that you are unable to come up with an original idea? In contrast, when you are relaxing, have you ever had an original idea that has no practical use? If you can answer in the affirmative to either of these then you have probably put your brain into a box that you or someone else has made. This box acts like a cage that controls your creativity.


How can creativity rescue my brain from its cage?

Your brain is in a cage because you put it there to keep it tame and controlled. However, it is important to remember that these ideas are the first step toward solution. Developing original ideas is the key to offering great products and services which impact people’s lives. One really great way to rescue your brain from its captivity is by learning to be creative for the sake of being creative. This is important because it teaches us how to think differently and create something out of nothing. Cooking, singing and writing are my favorite creative outlets. After exercising our brain in these creative outlets, it becomes more natural to think of new things in every setting. When we get our creative flashes, we can’t write them off as too far-fetched or not likely to work. Instead, we need to develop them, knowing that they will not be useful until we do. This will eventually put your brain back in your control, allowing you to birth new ideas that may provide an answer.


How do I develop this idea once Ive birthed it?

Original ideas are only accepted by those who have grasped the vision of originality. The 3rd best restaurant in the world, located in Modena, Italy, is a great example of this. Inspired by modern art, Chef Massimo Bottura fuses his massive creativity with his equally massive knowledge and experience of traditional Italian cuisine. Bottura is currently accepted as being necessary to modern Italian culture, but this was not always the case. For a decade, he was so hated by the locals for changing “grandma’s kitchen,” that he nearly went out of business, only to be saved by complete chance.

Another great example is Thomas Edison, who is credited with inventing the modern lightbulb. However, the lightbulb was not his idea. Yes, you read that right. Some other scientists had the brilliant idea but did not develop its practical possibilities enough to be made a commercial success. Edison and his team took the underdeveloped lightbulb and made it practical. You, too, will need a team, which typically starts with you and one other person. This aspect of development involves sharing your ideas with others to help refine and realize your ideas. Edison’s laboratory, for example, was actually more of a factory which consisted of many scientists, workers and administrative helpers.

Can I make this happen overnight?

Unfortunately, no good thing happens overnight, but it also doesn’t have to take a decade. Being the world’s third best at something or inventing the next light bulb might not be your goal, but whatever your goal is, it will take time to develop your creativity into something practical. Use the time to your advantage though, and allow experience, knowledge, and courage to work together with your creativity. You can’t re-write the rules until you understand them, you can’t understand them until you’ve tested them, and you won’t test them if you are unsure of yourself.


Written by David Rodriguez

How to Build Relationships at Work (That Work!!)

Unless you’re a lone wolf, such as a programmer, you likely can’t get anything done without talking to at least one other person. Even for a programmer, at some point you will need to talk to someone in order to accomplish your task. This is something that everyone with experience can agree upon, especially those higher in the ranks. Any boss whose main goal is the success of his or her company knows that in order for things to work together well, the people doing the work must first have some sort of professional relationship.

This is most simply accomplished using an acronym called FORM. FORM outlines the steps you take in order to build rapport and trust with another human, in this case a coworker. The steps are as follows: Family, Occupations (which I’ve replaced with Education and Work History for obvious reasons), Recreation and, lastly, Message. Message comes in to play a bit later. It’s really quite simple, you ask about the person’s Family, i.e. where they are from, if they’ve got any children, etc. Then, ask about their Education and Work History, depending, mostly, upon their age. And finally, ask about what they like to do for fun. These steps come from the idea that nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Your Message, the last letter in FORM, is synonymous with what you need from that person. If you are that persons superior, then you are likely asking them to do something. If you are an equal or subordinate, then you are likely asking for a favor or for approval. Either way, showing that person that you care about them, will help that utilitarian aspect of the relationship run more smoothly.



Written By David Rodriguez

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