Business Is Personal

In Business,
Everything Is Personal

When Spotify announced a pet adoption initiative in Munich called Adoptify, we thought it was a funny coincidence, because it shares the same name as our Adoptify, a gamified change adoption platform. When we received a web request for a dog, we were a little surprised. Who would get our Adoptify mixed up with a pet adoption initiative?

Random web request

In an age of bot accounts and trolls, people have learned to be wary about the messages and comments they receive, and we often shrug off the more unusual requests that can wind up in our inbox. At first, the dog request was a funny distraction for some of us at TiER1. Did you hear? Someone asked us for a dog.

Luckily, our CEO, Greg Harmeyer, looked at the request not as a distraction, but instead as an opportunity to make a difference. He made the (radical) suggestion that TiER1 should actually get this boy a puppy.

“At the end of the day, the most important measure of our success is the impact we have on people,” Greg explains. “As we continue to grow as a company, I hope we never get too big to keep doing the little things that can make a big difference for someone.”

A happy mistake.

Who is this boy? That was the question in mind as Sarah Ehrnschwender, Director of Marketing, called the phone number listed on the web request.

“Usually the requests we get from our website are related to needing help with organizational culture or employee engagement and training, so receiving a request for a dog was definitely a first for us!” Sarah shares.

But as Sarah chatted with AJ’s grandmother on the phone, we learned more about AJ—and how adopting a dog could have a huge impact on his life.

AJ is ten years old. Due to a medical issue, AJ’s doctor recommended that he adopt a pet to help reduce his symptoms and stress. So, AJ began saving up money for a dog. Then he heard about Adoptify (Spotify’s version). When he searched online for Adoptify, however, our website came up. That’s how AJ found TiER1.

News quickly spread among TiER1ers that we were going to help AJ find a dog. Across the company, employees offered to send supplies and search online listings to find the perfect dog for AJ. Some TiER1ers helped coordinate with family members and other contacts in the Seattle area to make it as easy as possible to get the dog to AJ’s house.

A boy and his dog.

Ultimately, we were able to partner with the Regional Animal Services of King County to find the right dog, Lola Bear, to fit AJ’s needs. (AJ chose Laila as her new name and is thrilled with his new best friend.) Our employees leveraged an Amazon wish list to send puppy supplies and make sure AJ and Laila were off to a great start.

A photo collage of a boy and his pet dog

“Sometimes we get caught up in our day to day focus. This has been a great reminder that small acts of service can have the greatest impact” Sarah says. “It’s been awesome to see our employees, the Regional Animal Services of King County, and our contacts from Washington come together to make this happen.”

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