The CreateAthon Clock Ticks For Waggener Edstrom

  • Written by Jenni Brennison

The next CreateAthon of the 2013 season is in full swing. Waggener Edstrom’s inaugural pro bono marathon begins today. We’re excited to see all of the great work they’ll produce in the next 24 hours. We asked Rhian Rotz, Program Director for Corporate Citizenship, to tell us how their team prepared, what local nonprofits they’ll be working with, and exactly how many pots of coffee they think they’ll need to keep their creative circuit boards buzzing.

Waggener Edstrom brings the skills-based pro bono marathon to Portland, Ore.

The lights will not go out at the end of the workday for our Waggener Edstrom office in Portland, Oregon. Why? We’re excited to host our inaugural CreateAthon event. This is an exciting opportunity for a team of 20+ employees and the following nonprofit partners we selected based on their track record in the community, their communications needs, and their business case for support.

Children’s Book Bank: seeks to get more books into the hands and homes of young children who might not otherwise have books of their own.
Friends of Baseball: offers Oregon’s economically and geographically challenged children enhanced opportunities for social interaction, academic success and physical and mental well-being through participation in youth baseball and softball team programs.
Oregon Dog Rescue: is devoted to placing dogs in the best homes and assuring the long-term success of the adoption.
Tualatin River Keepers: works to protect and restore Oregon’s Tualatin River System.

Pro bono work is central to our corporate citizenship program because it allows our employees to have an impact and add value to resource-strapped local nonprofits. CreateAthon fits squarely into our commitment to donate one percent of the agency’s total fee revenue back to the community annually. We believe being a socially responsible business is critical to both the health of our communities and the strength of our business. In the words of CEO, Melissa Waggener Zorkin, “a robust social impact program is critical to ensure businesses are responsible, competitive and resilient.”

The 20-person WE CreateAthon team is made up of professionals who are at various stages of their careers, who have experience working with Fortune 100 companies, local nonprofit organizations, and governments locally and globally. In addition to creating, brainstorming, and making a difference for the selected organizations, everyone is looking forward to meeting and working with new colleagues. We’ve met with the nonprofits at least twice, developed creative briefs and scopes of work, and have a lot of ideas to bring to life. The team is ready for action! Some team members are wondering how the team will be feeling at 2 a.m. on Friday morning. We’re counting on a strong team spirit, light entertainment, plenty of caffeine and a delicious menu of food, to carry us through. Follow our CreateAthon journey at on twitter @WE_Citizen or #CreateAthon.

We are proud to be able to help further the missions of each one of these nonprofits who are doing important work in their local communities.