If gratitude determines attitude and attitude determines altitude, we’re on cloud nine right now when it comes to how we feel about our tribe. Amidst the conditions in 2020, Designzillas is finding the light and feeling grateful to be celebrating some incredible Zillaversaries!

What's a Zillaversary?

At Designzillas, a Zillaversary is what we call our work anniversaries. It’s an important milestone we celebrate every year for every team member. It gives us a chance to recognize one another and celebrate personal growth throughout the past year.

Zillaversaries also means we do a little thang, so to speak. That’s right, we sing a “Bom-Bom” anthem in a bongo parade, resulting in a surprise ambush on the lucky celebrant. Did we mention it includes a tasty treat and meaningful words on a card expressing how awesome you are?! Did we also mention it may include a Nerf gun attack? Not too shabby.

“I’ve learned SO much from our Zilla family, throughout the years. The biggest lesson, though, is how important it is to show up every single day. Showing up at our best, means that we're prepared to serve the team and our collective vision, and that includes physical, emotional, relational, and mental self-care.” - Gina Lockwood, Director of Production 

graphic showing 15 years of team tenure at designzillas

Here’s a Sneak Peek Inside These Ferocious 5-Year Zillas!

Gina Lockwood

You’ve probably met Gina, our Director of Production. She has a tremendous love for animals, sushi and art, but did you know she used to box? Sure did, in the featherweight category! 

With a disciplined mind and a hunger for learning, it’s no wonder she’s been able to lead our team into an agile production team. She’s passionate, hard-working, analytical and 💚s math! She goes the extra mile and deeply cares about the team’s well being.

Gina Lockwood Director of Production

Fast Facts on Gina

Do you have any specific rituals/routines as you go about your day?

I do my best to set my body and mind up right in the morning and calibrate where needed during the day. First things first, it's water then stretching. Pet the pets and tend the plants. Grab a cup of coffee and sit down to make two lists: a to-do list for the day, and a to-do list for myself. Snag breakfast and crank up some tunes, and I'm ready to rock n’ roll. 

Favorite local lunch spot by the office?

This is a toughie! Downtown Orlando has some really great vegan lunch spots. If I had to choose, I really enjoy À LA CART, the food truck court/craft beer bar. There are tons of different food options to choose from so it's great to go as a group or solo.

Favorite childhood movie?

“My Neighbor Totoro.” I can't even count how many times I watched this movie growing up!

Best place you’ve ever traveled to?

Nikko, Japan. It's a small town tucked away in the mountains just a couple hours north of Tokyo. It's surrounded by a national park and is full of ancient Japanese History as early as the 600s. If you ever visit Japan, I highly recommend giving Nikko a visit!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I think the key to staying inspired lies fully in your surroundings. I try to surround my creative space with the things that inspire me: nature, art by my friends and favorite artists and pictures of my pets. At the office, it's hard not to stay inspired. Between the playfulness of the space and the incredibly talented people that make up DZ, it's a constant think tank for new ideas and concepts.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I spend a lot of time in my creative spaces working on music, drawing and painting or building electronics in the garage. There's always something creative going on in this house! I can also be found tending to my many plants, or finding a smooth empty parking lot to roller skate.

How are you adapting to life during COVID-19?

When the stay-at-home orders happened, I knew that I needed to use this unique time to my benefit. There are so many things we stash away into the back of our minds that we'd love to do "when we have the time.” And now that we do, I'm learning new cooking recipes, new roller skating tricks, working on new music, taking online courses on a variety of subjects and have multiple creative projects in motion that previously felt too big or daunting to start. 

I also try to spend extra time checking in on family and friends. It's easy to let those relationships fall apart when we can't be physically connected, but we need each other right now. The world offers many distractions and we may never have as much time to focus on ourselves, our loved ones and our own improvement as we do right now. I’m determined to come out of this stronger, healthier and more skilled than I did going in. That has motivated me to stay positive through this challenging time!

Gina and her dog Ripley

Jonathon Eicher

A man of more pixels and fewer words, Jonathon, our Creative Lead is celebrating 5 ferocious years designing with excellence. A slight obsession with hockey and creating the ultimate UX for our clients, he’s done a phenomenal job capturing the essence of brand voice and taking our partners next-level when it comes to online. With a couple ADDY Awards under his belt, he’s certainly hit some career highs over the years.

Eicher sitting in the DZ office lobby
Eicher standing outside of the old DZ office with a trophy

Fast Facts on Jonathon

Favorite Childhood Movie: The Last Action Hero

Favorite Sports Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

First lunch spot he’ll return to after COVID-19: Bento

What’s something the team has taught you? 

Don’t design for other designers, your boss or yourself; design for your client’s users.

Where do you gain the most fulfillment in your role? 

Seeing our clients reach success due to our team effort.

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

Music, comics and the Zilla design team.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Spending time with my wife, Amy, and my two dogs, Tucker and Lucy. I also love playing video games and reading comics too! 😉

What’s one of your favorite designs from this past year? 

There are so many but the first that comes to mind is GadgetGone.

Eicher with his dogs, Tucker and Lucy

Danielle Irigoyen

She’s a woman of well-written words. Danielle, our marketing lead and queen of quality content is celebrating half a decade. The impact she’s made for our clients behind the scenes is immeasurable. 

As a data-driven digital marketer, her efforts measure off the charts! When it comes to digital, the devil’s in the details—but that’s no match for D. She’s organized, a deep thinker and, hands-down, a reliable team player

Danielle working at her desk in the DZ office
Danielle working in the conference room at the old DZ office

Fun Facts on D

What’s the best thing about working at DZ? 

Seeing great results from a campaign or website launch is awesome, but what's even more fulfilling to me is seeing how our work is actually affecting our partners' businesses. Nothing means more to me than knowing we're helping them truly grow and succeed in their respective industries.

First lunch spot she’ll return to after COVID-19: 

It’s a tie between Gringos Locos and Black Bean Deli!

Where do you get the most fulfillment in your role? 

My favorite part about my role is helping our incredible marketing team gain traction toward our department goals. I love seeing how our small but mighty team can move mountains together toward improved processes, better tools and smarter strategies.

Where do you draw inspiration from? 

For SEO, I really enjoy learning and getting renewed inspiration from Greg Gifford's courses at SEMrush Academy. He has a way of simplifying complex topics so they're actually fun and exciting to learn. 

For content, I often refer back to a book my Chief Zilla got for me a couple of years ago called “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller, which talks about the seven universal story points all humans gravitate toward, the real reason people make purchases and how to simplify your message to start making people fall in love with your brand. 

Are there any tools you’ve used to adjust during COVID-19? 

Something I've been using to relieve stress and help with stretching and core strengthening is watching videos on the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel. (She's awesome—check her out!)

Danielle with her cat Meeko

What’s Designzillas' best-kept secret? 

We’re definitely a group of professionals, but we’re truly a family. I know many companies say that, but after five years at Designzillas, I know it's the real deal here. Each one of us brings something unique to the table and works through good times and bad to get to the finish line—together. I know that I can rely on my Zilla family at any time and that's an awesome feeling.

“When it comes to recruiting new team members at DZ, you could be the smartest, most talented person in our industry, but I will always value someone who's true to their moral compass and transparent to clients and coworkers much more. For DZ, integrity is believing wholeheartedly in the services we sell, the culture we create and the partners we design for.” - Danielle Irigoyen, Marketing Lead

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Designzillas office

5+5+5

That’s 15 years of fantasticness! The work environment is different these days, but we’re sure grateful our tribe is bringing their best every day for every client.

If you're curious about other Zilla traditions we do to promote unity and show gratitude for each other check out our peer-to-peer recognition tool.

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Author

Kat Hughes

Director of Client Partnerships at Designzillas, Kat develops dynamic user experience strategies that allow businesses to be more effective with engaging with their customers online!

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