Terakeet’s 6th Annual Marc Murray Award Recipient Is…

Maggie Farragher-Gnadt

Editor’s Note:

Terakeet as a company is built upon a rich history complete with a clear commitment to our core values – Integrity, Rapid Response, Invention, Sustainable Value, and Entrepreneurship. These values serve as the cornerstone of our culture as we know it – but it’s important to think back and reflect on the individuals who contributed to that cultural framework, which has enabled us to grow, hire and retain top talent, and secure national recognition for our workplace culture

Marc Murray was one of those key individuals, whose story has become an important part of our social fabric. Murray, one of the very first ‘Keeters, passed away in 2011 amidst complications from leukemia following a six-year battle with the disease. “Our Main Man Marc Murray” was an important driving force behind the Terakeet culture as we recognize it today, and left an indelible mark on us all – even those who were never fortunate enough to have met him. In his honor, we recognize a handful of ‘Keeters each year who best embody the qualities that made him such an integral part of our company – and select one “winner” from that outstanding bunch to receive the Marc Murray Award. (Hint: they’re all winners). 

Through this award, we recognize our colleague for whom this award is named – not just for who Marc was while he was with us, but also for his lasting legacy and contributions to our culture. This legacy is reflected in each and every award nominee since the start of this program in 2015 – and in every new ‘Keeter we bring on board. Every employee, regardless of tenure, seniority, or other qualifier, has the ability to embody and channel the spirit of Marc as they show up to work each day. It’s those folks who move the needle on our business objectives, while also creating an impact in their interpersonal relationships. 

Without further ado, we are pleased to present the nominees and the recipient of this year’s Marc Murray Award. Read below for details! 

Every year since 2015, Terakeet has given the Marc Murray Award to one standout ‘Keeter, out of a handful of other employees – all who are nominated by their peers. The nomination criteria states that each nominee must possess the following characteristics: 

  • Demonstrates our five core values
  • Exhibits the “Ultimate Company (Wo)man” Spirit
  • Exhibits a “Whatever-It-Takes” Attitude
  • Gracefully Manages Adversity
  • Exhibits traits of being Genuine & Optimistic

Past recipients include Sr. VP of Operations Chris Loman and Director of Terakeet Labs Keith McComb (2015), Sr. VP of Account Services Shannon Reedy (2016), VP of Branded Search Joseph Torrillo (2017), Anthony DeMario (2018) and Director of IT James Razza (2019). 

Our nominees this year were: 

  • Carley Parsons, Digital Content Manager
  • Dan Heil, Sr. Account Manager
  • Jenni Thornton, Director of HR
  • Brittney Lee, Sr. Account Manager
  • RJ Licata, Marketing Manager

We were thrilled to award the 2020 Marc Murray award to the well-deserving Jenni Thornton, Director of HR, during a virtual ceremony that took place during our weekly all-hands Circle Up meeting this Friday.

Chris Loman presented the nominees and revealed the final votes for the winner. Marc’s parents, Jan and Marvin Murray, were in attendance virtually. Brent Scott, Director of Influencer Marketing, put together a heartwarming video of past Marc Murray Award nominees discussing Marc’s legacy and its impact on the Terakeet culture. Not a dry eye was in the audience! 

Loman also gave a thoughtful speech for our 6th annual award ceremony. He told us that since its inception, 120 different people have been nominated for the award, and 16 unique people have made the final round for the award presentation. This shows us just how far and wide the Terakeet culture has grown, and how many ‘Keeters, from the newest to the most senior, embody the qualities we look for. 

Loman commented, “Marc essentially paved the way for the Terakeet culture that we have, in more ways than one. He found a need to combine the business and social culture. He built real and lasting relationships with everyone around him.” 

Jenni added, “Being nominated—let alone receiving—the Marc Murray Award is an astounding honor.  Marc Murray has a tangible legacy at Terakeet and his remarkable character has become the heartbeat of our culture.  To be recognized by this team with this award is an absolute privilege, and it feels like a seminal moment in my life.  I will always do my best to live up to this accolade for my colleagues and in honor of Marc’s memory.  Thank you, team; I can’t stop smiling.”

Jenni thornton 2020 marc murray award winner, sitting in front of computer with terakeet logo
Jenni Thornton, Director of HR & 2020 Marc Murray Award Recipient!

It’s important to note that there really isn’t a “winner” or a “loser” in this process. It sounds cliche, but it really is an honor just to be nominated. To be in the running for this recognition means that your fellow ‘Keeters think you share the common thread of innate goodness that makes us truly great; for ourselves, for our community, and for our customers. Even those who never met Marc during his life have stated that they feel that same level of energy and presence that makes our culture so special and attracts a specific caliber of person. That kind of personality mix at scale is unique to Terakeet, and is a phenomenon that can’t be overstated.  

As part of our tradition honoring Marc’s story and remembering his life – as well as others who have passed away after battling blood cancer – we have sponsored the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk since 2015. We have loved the bonding experience walking as a company has granted us, but we are excited to attend this year’s virtual walk. The virtual walk will be held on Saturday, October 24th via Zoom. Hope to see you there!