Thursday, March 1, 2007

Dave Lawrence, award-winning graphic designer

So today I got good news.

I won a credit union industry graphic design award, first place. I won $1,000 toward the trip to pick the award up. And I get to head to Orlando for a four-day weekend on the company.

Yes friends, things are looking up today.

It all started back in July of last year, when we kicked off our Visa Gold campaign. We spent a lot of time preparing for the launch, and I thought I did a decent job of preparing all the promotional materials: posters, postcards, web site, newsletter articles, etc.

Every year we head to a Visa conference in Florida, where we learn about all the latest and greatest. When my boss, Kristi, and I received info on this year's conference, they included information about a marketing award. All you had to do was submit your recent Visa campaign, so I gathered all the materials and bought a nice binder (I learned a lot about award entries in college, when I entered all the journalism categories during my College World days), and sent everything off. Kristi and I had a good feeling about the whole thing: she felt the campaign was a successful one, and I felt good about all the pieces I had designed.

Today, when I got the mail, I saw the envelope from CSCU, the company that held the contest.

And you know that feeling you got when you opened your college admissions letter and found out whether they had accepted you or not?

That's what I felt today.

I climbed the stairs back to our office, tearing at the envelope, and lifted the letter out far enough so I could see the results.

And I screamed.

I showed the letter to my co-worker, Liz, and she gave me a big hug. It must have been good timing, because our president walked out of his office, and I showed him too. Handshakes and hugs all around.

Tears in my eyes, I called Kristi to tell her the good news.

"So do you want to go to Orlando to accept the award?" she asked me.

With the award, CSCU sends you $1,000 toward the trip - registration, airfare, the whole thing.

I hesitated, because the trip is April 12-15, which means I'd miss the Tragically Hip concert I've been looking forward to since 2004, and I'd miss a big event at work. Plus I'd for sure miss Founder's Day.

But you know what? It's $1,000 and a trip to Florida for a long weekend. How the heck could I say no?

I remember a story about Harry Truman, when he won his re-election bid for Senate after a hard-fought campaign. When he returned to Washington the following January, he received a standing ovation from all of Congress on his accomplishment. When an interviewer asked him about it later, the former president started crying.

That's kind of the feeling I have about this whole thing. It's like my hard work, after almost four years of being at American 1, has finally paid off.

The things I've learned and the friendships I've made their are worth their weight in gold, but to have something that I can call my own, something that I've earned...

Well, let's just say I was a wreck at work today.

I have two big things I've always held up as my big accomplishments in life. One is winning the student body president election sophomore year at Adrian after a helluva campaign. Two was winning the Outstanding Senior award a month before graduation, and Dr. Renner giving a speech about my college academic career.

This can be number three.

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