Skip to Content
Close Icon

NewsVGM Employees Recognized for New Ideas

In 2019, VGM introduced Pitchabaloo, an exciting and friendly competition giving employee owners the chance to bring their ideas for the company to life.  

The event was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this break time, the Women in Leadership (WIL) group invested in bringing Pitchabaloo back. A committee was created, and work began on rebranding the concept. 

“This was such a great idea when initially conceived,” said Jamie Schmitz, an employee owner with VGM Insurance and a member of WIL. “Due to the pandemic, we’ve missed two years of potentially amazing ideas. Once everyone started coming back into the office, we knew we needed to bring Pitchabaloo back.” 

Some members of WIL took the role of sponsors and helped employee owners interested in pitching an idea work through the creative process. Sponsors included Paul DiMarco (Human Capital), Sarah Conger (VGM Fulfillment), Tim Brenden (Strategic Imaging), Mike Isaacson (VGM & Associates), and Cassi Price (Management Services). 

Twelve employee owners developed their concepts and presented their ideas in a preliminary round to five judges, Paul DiMarco, Linda Braden (VGM Insurance), Tera O’Hare (HOMELINK), Kelsey Burke (Human Capital), and Jay Bracken (IT). Of initial presenters, four received a “golden ticket” to move on to the finals. 

“Every single idea was incredible,” said Tera O’Hare, senior vice president of HOMELINK. “It was not easy choosing who should advance, which goes to show the great minds we have at VGM.” 

Receiving the golden ticket were Jen Gilbert, senior copywriter with Moxie, with her idea of establishing a committee for marketing and PR to get regular donations toward VGM’s Family Fund; Dax Oliviera of VGM IT for his “Code Bootcamp” to address an HR recruitment challenge for hiring developers; Sarah Weiland, business developer with Moxie, for a sales referral system across all VGM companies; and Jesse Farris, director of business technology at Forbin, for his system to connect program members to one platform he called “VGM Connect.”