Sunday, February 21, 2010

travel since the founding…has fallen into three categories

Travel from place to place has been one of the rewards within the brand business.

gordongroup has acted in the interests of clients who have stakeholders in distant lands and require our specialized expertise to be deployed to those locations to get the story.

This has been an upside of the business an aspect of the enterprise that has led to many experiences, expanding my understanding and appreciation of the world. Individuals looking to pursue career opportunities in the brand business may have to step up and accept travel as a required activity in the role they perform.

My retrospect of travel since the founding…has fallen into three categories.
Our primary travel driver has been adventures for Aboriginal Organizations.
Federal Recruitment brand building and thirdly travel focused on Investment Management and branding of Real Estate Development.

In summary we launched a ‘Stay in School’ campaign for the Cree School Board in the early years. These timeless products can be seen at Cree Grand Council Montreal Headquarters adorning the walls still on display today. Fred Cattroll and I were sent to all the Cree Northern Communities in Quebec to enshrine visuals of Elders and Leaders with Cree Children. I’ve been back to Northern Quebec on numerous occasions that first excursion triggered many successive travel opportunities.

Aboriginal Business Canada deployed us to travel nationally to cities across Canada to shoot Aboriginal business leaders. The clients at ABC saw the Cree “Stay in School” Posters based partly on that we were engaged to represent the Federal Governments support to private aboriginally run organizations. We captured stories about enterprise's led by aboriginal people. Yellowknife, Rigolet, Hobbema, North Vancouver and most of Canada’s major cities from coast to coast were visited on tours to enshrine successful profiles of aboriginal business leadership.

We developed national campaigns recruiting officers for work in Federal prisons. These tours involved stopping at Kingston Ontario entering Millhaven, Collins Bay and Frontenac institutions and other prisons. Contracted by Correctional Service Canada we met people gathered their stories and staged photo documentation. We built compelling and authentic recruitment campaigns to attract people into Canada’s prison system. We journeyed to federal prisons in the west including Edmontons MAX prison we stopped at that provinces women’s prison and the Hobbema aboriginal minimum security. While in the Hobbema prison we took part in a sweat lodge with inmates and an elder. Each of these trips extended experiences around the core objective. I could not have known about the sweat lodge event prior to getting to the prison grounds.
Some of the faces of people locked up inside the prisons etched memories that to this day I recall. I remember departing from Collins Bay depressed from the experience. The extreme contrast of a world where freedom is taken away took time to shrug off. I gained a profound respect for the people who make their living and career working within these environments.
(my deceased father "Bill" Charles William Chitty ran Collins Bay and Joyceville as director concurrently)

The Leadership Network a Federal Agency deployed gordongroup experts to profile people across Canada who came from a myriad or career roles dealing in innovation and unique jobs in support of the federal governments operations and programs. This successful campaign led to the Department of Justice producing a comparable outreach campaign in support of their recruitment strategies. We photographed and wrote extensively stories about successful lawyers nationally. Often one job leads to another.

In the last decade gordongroup’s leadership in building brands and executing campaigns for real estate or developments had us traveling and stopping at cities across Canada profiling residential buildings (assets) for Pension Funds investment. These engagements included tours across Canada from Halifax to Victoria and most cities in between. Alje Kamminga used our brand leadership “identity framework” to profile and script the stories about these assets. He experienced the Helicopter trip with me from Bentall Investment Management’s back yard at Burrad Inlet Vancouver British Columbia.

Vancouver Residential Asset

Upon our night return from Victoria to Vancouver aboard the helicopter we witnessed a clear sky over Vancouver hovering and spiraling down into an ocean of brilliant city lights across the horizon and up the mountain side of North Vancouver descending into this illuminated sea onto the heli pad. A remarkable sensory experience forged into memory as a great opportunity and supported by our client who extended their trust making it possible. Today the client is leveraging our stories and visual content from those travels. The web solutions online stand as contributing to the assets stability and growing investments nationally.

“The Big Island” Research for Doctor Tom Eshelmans book Kona Diaries led us to Hawaii. A remarkable example of far reaching opportunities in the Brand and design business. We spent ten days researching a fiction novel loosely based on our clients family connections to Hawaii. The trip included our principle writer Andrew Muir and our web developer Gary Roberts.
Gary our IT guy at the time used remarkable charm and persuasion skills to some how manage to join the excursion to Hawaii. The experience to that hemisphere brought great understanding of history of Polynesian culture within an American State.
Dr. Eshelman extended good will in support of his quest for a romance novel.

United Arab Emirates, Dubai came onto our radar since we had successfully branded real estate assets across Canada. We were behind two of the largest real estate transactions in the National Capital Region NCR. Those deals included the Bentall Investment Management Limited acquisition of the Luxury tower 50 Laurier from a Montreal Developer on the residential side. We also worked under engagement with Oxford branding Constitution Square III. A commercial tower in Ottawa that had not been built but was planned to go up once a covenant was signed. Both properties used gordon know how to eventual successful completion. With all the bench expertise in Canada we developed relations with Arabic speaking agents in the UAE . This opened the door to travels to that part of the world. The market timing was off for any measurable upside but we have been witness to many benefits pursuing that international market.

Brand building, storytelling and travel. Building partnerships while providing integrated value for clients who want growth in their unique investments.

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