It all started when I was doing a voice-over gig at Studio Soren, a local Denver recording studio. Soren introduced me to his friend from IBM who needed someone to come into a meeting and get his very serious group of about 300 besuited IBMers to loosen up.
My new client had tried everything to get the attention of his audience…laser shows, marching bands, standup comedians…nothing seemed to work. Crazy as it sounds, our gimmick was to hand out wooden spoons and teach them a tap dance routine to That’s Amore. It doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you know about Mama Pascucci’s Ravioli and Tap Dance Lesson® but my client thought it would be fun. To our delight, the audience rose to the challenge hitting the tables and each other with the spoons and once the music started…rhythmically waving their spoons and dancing their way into lunch. IBM was thrilled with this amazing corporate team experience and hired us again to help them kick-off their United Way fundraising campaign.
Getting people to buy-in to donating money is a challenge. Rave Reviews, Inc. created a high-energy corporate kick-off that inspired IBM’s employees to get into the spirit of giving. With our help, they far exceeded their financial goals and Rave Reviews, Inc. was officially born.
We really took off when my friend, Doatsy Peifer, decided that I should send out a press kit and we were, all of a sudden, on morning drive radio and the front page of The Denver Business Journal. Another friend, Graig Weisbart, suggested that to be a professional, I needed brochures and cards. So he wrote me a check to cover the costs. I was horrified that I wouldn’t be able to pay him back. He said not to worry. It was an investment not a loan. (Still gives me chills.) By the way, I did repay him with money and all the ravioli he could eat.
The frosting on the cake came when my dearest friend, Shanti Chacko, Graig’s wife, decided to become my partner. Now we were three Shanti, Graig and me.
We’ve been together 25 years and along the way have made many more friends who helped create and recreate Rave Reviews. Our amazing clients trusted us with their corporate meetings and took us all over the United States to honor their employees, build their teams and communicate their messages.
Our outstanding and talented staff has kept our standards high. Without Rob Costigan who has been our right and left hand man for the past 16 years, we wouldn’t have survived. He’s indispensable. Bill Berry who co-created Mama Pascucci’s Ravioli and Tap Dance Lesson…Heather Rubald who sang, danced, sewed and painted…Susan Draus who moved us from the piano to tracked music…Julie Payne who has written show upon show…Sam Lancaster, Mitch Samu, the aforementioned Susan Draus and Donna Debreceni our fabulous musical directors who played, tracked and arranged our music and all the wonderful actors and facilitators who have worked with us over the years…Shelley and Paul Southwell, Dave Johnson, LuAnne Cassidy, Sheila McIntyre, Robin Meirbachtol, Randy and Susan St. Pierre, Greg Johnson, Claudia Carson, Brenda Faatz, Natalie Oliver Atherton, Jodi Kimura, Gregg Price, Mark Rubald, Drew Frady, Marcus and Jan Waterman, Kristin Samu, Nancy Flannigan, Cody Alexander and so many more.
Rave Reviews is really a company about people and our relationships with them. Be they clients, writers, actors, musicians, facilitators, Rave Reviews is a company of people working for people to enrich each other’s lives and businesses. We are who we are because of the people we have worked with ‘cause, as the song says, “Yes! You Gotta Have Friends.”