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That’s Our Story… Rave Reviews blog series, “That’s Our Story and We’re Sticking
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Rave Reviews blog series, “That’s Our Story and We’re Sticking To It.”

This series recounts some great stories of our fondest memories of having helped customers communicate, connect, and improve employee well-being. The four elements of well-being: physical, career/social, community and financial are represented throughout the series. We hope this helps you better understand how our unique solutions for your unique communication needs help employees make positive changes that outlast the workplace.

In the Beginning Was Ravioli:

 

​What do ravioli, tap-dancing, and entrepreneurship have in common? The answer is Sharon Allison, owner of Rave Reviews. Sharon more or less stumbled into her success as a communication expert by combining, and capitalizing on her passions. The unusual combination above, and others like it, make explaining exactly what Rave Reviews does an ongoing challenge. Rave Reviews is in the business of humanizing corporations and their leadership. Helping people to connect, communicate, and congratulate–sometimes to cook together, golf together, give back together, or dance together–sometimes none of these things and sometimes all of these things.

Still not clear about what Rave Reviews does? You’re not alone. We want you to understand who we are and what we do because for over twenty years, by improving communication, increasing productivity, and rebooting employee attitudes, we’ve helped businesses bolster the overall well-being of their employees.

This is the first in a series of blogs we’ll post about how bringing people together in the most human of ways, positively impacts success in the most corporate of ways. After all, corporations, large and small, are made up of people and their stories–and we get that.

We’ll share stories about reviving a patient at deaths door, a Chicago gangster who threatened customers into attending a convention, how an Italian chef got 500 computer geeks to tap dance, and how a hundred chemical engineers became filmmakers.

This first story is our own. The story of our beginnings will help us explain why our solutions for your challenges spring from unique and creative roots. The story begins long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Actually, it was 1990 right here in our own galaxy. A talented actress was looking for work. You may have already guessed that her name is Sharon. Sharon worked as a stage actress and as voice over talent for hundreds of commercials and industrial videos. The expression, “starving actor” comes from a very real place. Actors are perpetually in the position of looking for work. This driving motivation breeds creativity. It’s not unusual to hear a group of actors at an audition, or a gig, brainstorming about how to make more money and not give up their creative ambitions in the process.

That’s what happened to Sharon and a fellow struggling performer. They began to brainstorm ways to make money doing what they loved. After a series of serendipitous events–a request to tap dance for a birthday party, and receiving a pasta machine for Christmas, the two cooked up the idea of a class called, Mama Pascucci’s Ravioli and Tap Dance Lesson. A friend dared Sharon to offer the class at Colorado Free University, and she did.

The unique title got the attention of reporters from the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News food sections, where they each did a full-page article on Sharon and her class. People attended a daylong seminar making ravioli, cooking the sauce, and learning a tap routine. At the end of the day the routine was performed using wooden spoons and wearing homemade hats. The attendees had a great time and went home with a new recipe, a new routine, a new hat, and a new attitude.

A week later Sharon got a call from a representative from IBM who was in need of something to energize his people for a United Way campaign. Someone at IBM had suggested a ventriloquist, which didn’t seem to him like a very inspired idea. Sharon offered to write a customized show about the organization and the people collecting the pledges. The show was written, rehearsed, and presented resulting in $275,000 raised for United Way. This was vastly more than the original set goal and quite a sum of money in the early nineties. At that point Sharon knew she had stumbled on to something powerful. Participant buy-in was high, the event was memorable, and the goal was exceeded. Reaching and moving people by tapping into emotion, proved more effective than the more typical speeches and PowerPoint.

Today, current research has confirmed what Rave Reviews understood then and has always understood, that employee wellbeing is fundamental to success. A recent Gallup study confirms that there are four essential elements of wellbeing – physical, career/social, community and financial. This event effectively encouraged both social well-being and community well-being.

She decided to make her new career path official. She put out a press kit. The press kit generated a radio interview. The interview caught the attention of the HR director of Rose Hospital. Rose Hospital brought Rave Reviews in to help them honor the recipients at their annual service awards, and the ball was rolling for Rave Reviews. Not only was it the beginning of a unique company with creative solutions, it was the beginning of many stories about humans connecting with humans. Stories we’ll share with you in the upcoming weeks.

Do you have a need to memorably inspire participation, boost employee wellbeing, and shatter goals? If so, Rave Reviews is here to help. Feel free to comment and to share similar stories of your own. We'd love your feedback.

Scroll to the end of this blog and click COMMENT to post your success stories and remarks. Help us create a dialogue that inspires communication, connection and workplace well-being.

Rave Reviews is comprised of a team of communication experts. We have been creating effective events, meetings, and team building activities since 1990. We are committed to developing programs that engage and empower people to understand how to become more productive in their interactions with each other and improve employee wellbeing. We listen to exactly what you need and deliver precisely what you want. Our specialty is seamlessly connecting business needs with dynamic solutions.

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