Our annual growthfest and reset button. Once a year we all grow away together. That’s right, we head out into the great unknown (or staycation right here in our office) to learn, share and celebrate—just the 60-something of us. We raise our pencils and notebooks to the year behind us, the year ahead, and most importantly, to the learnings we bring to the new year.
This year we got growing right here in Germantown. With a diverse mix of inspiring speakers and immersive experiences, we explored both our neighborhood and our inner creativity. Our lineup of learnings this year included everything from activating our green thumbs to getting smart on interplanetary design 101. Here’s this year’s roster of guests:
Victoria Eady Butler Uncle Nearest Whiskey
Victoria Eady Butler proves that whiskey knows no race and no gender. She’s been breaking the glass bottle—I mean ceiling—since her very first blended batch dominated awards ceremonies. Butler is a descendent of Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former slave who mentored Jack Daniel in the innovative “Lincoln County” method of whiskey distilling—so you might say innovation (and a little bit of whiskey) is in her blood. Butler now serves as the first Black woman to hold the role of Master Blender for a whiskey company where she continues to push industry boundaries. No less, it’s a company named after her ancestor himself: Uncle Nearest.
Jon Vio Interplanetary Design
Interplanetary design is a service offering on Jon Vio’s design portfolio. The logo designer of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, Jon is proof that a great idea can reach farther than you can imagine (yes, even farther than Detroit, where Jon is originally from). And that’s just scraping the surface. As a digital artist, Jon’s portfolio also includes 3D room designs for a virtual gallery—as well as helping create some of the design tools we might use within our walls right here at redpepper.
Mark Pollard Sweathead
An industry legend, Mark Pollard has perfected the art of identifying and strategizing against human problems. Even more? He’s figured out how to teach his expertise to strategists everywhere through his Sweathead curriculum. Mark took us through a variety of strategic exercises to help us grow in our own practices under the unifying mantra: “everyone is a strategist.”
Mary Sobon M2 Consulting
redpepper has been lucky enough to partner with Mary for the past 15 years and we owe so much of our growth minded cultural initiatives to her including DiSC training, Feedback and emotional intelligence. Mary has supported performance development in more than 200 organizations, with a focus on professional services and technology, since she started m2 in 2003 after leaving the corporate world. She has served as strategic coach and consultant for the Nashville Entrepreneurs’ Organization for the last 16 years, where she also has been developing senior leaders through Level Up, a proprietary program specifically designed to optimize the relationship between CEOs and their most senior leaders.
Jason & Malcolm Boone Boone Brothers
Brothers Malcolm and Jason Boone started their careers playing professional basketball and haven’t stopped moving and growing since then. From tech startups to developing young minds, the Boone brothers believe in pursuing passions to their fullest. And one of their shared passions? Practicing mindfulness to keep themselves grounded along the way. Malcolm and Jason led our team through a series of mindful breath exercises to help center ourselves in the face of any situation—a tool we believe will serve us for years to come.
Steve Keller Studio Resonate
Steve Kelleris Sonic Strategy Director for Studio Resonate, SXM Media’s in-house, audio-first creative consultancy, offering support to brands that advertise on the Pandora, SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Soundcloud platforms. He is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in the field of sonic strategy, blending art and science into award winning sonic strategies and creative content for a variety of global agencies and brands. With a degree in psychology and over 30 years of experience in the music and advertising industries, Steve’s work explores the ways music and sound impact consumer perception and behavior. Steve presented to our team the valuable learnings of his research around the relationship between sonic branding and DE&I in the advertsing industry.
Nate Bain Tennessee TitansSocial Team
Nate is in his sixth season in the NFL and third with the Titans in 2019. He joined the Titans in 2017 after three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where he was the team’s digital media manager. As social media director, he is responsible for all the club’s social media accounts, strategy and content ideation. We were lucky enough to pick Nate’s brain on all things social—from running socials for brands with passionate (and sometimes angry) sports fan bases to planning content strategies for live events, we’re excited to apply our learnings from the NFL to our own work.
Cecilia Kremer Empathy & Leadership Coach
Cecilia Kremer is an empathy coach, a doctor in human/computer interaction, and a former UX consultant. Her mission is to empower individuals to relate more skillfully, and teams to strengthen their social fabric. Her interventions offer psychologically safe spaces for deep human connection. They foster the co-creation of meaningful relational experiences. She has brought empathy to the daily grind of multinational companies like Globant, Pepsico, LATAM Airlines, the Brazilian Stock Market and Equinix. And this year, she joined us to help us intentionally active empathetic relationships in the workplace.
Rebecca Gale HAUM Nashville
Rebecca founded sound bath speakeasy, HAUM, in 2012. Having completed extensive training, growing up around family paving the way in mental health, heavy corporate world tidings and international travels including living in India, she cultivated a unique practice which combines all the senses and many healing modalities for ultimate anxiety and stress relief as well as adventure and growth. She searched the globe for healing practices and brought every glorious nugget back to us here in Nashville. We were lucky enough to explore the mindful sound bath experience with Rebecca’s guidance.
Kelly Savoca Cotton & Moss
After having worked in the fashion industry for 10 years, Kelly came to realize the many issues that come along with designing and manufacturing, both environmentally and ethically. With this knowledge, accompanied with her love of gardening, she began to realize how symbiotic the relationship is between farming and fashion. This is how Cotton & Moss was born, a garden lifestyle brand that provides special product launches, stories, and engaging experiences. Kelly taught our team the art of Kokedama, a Japanese tradition of exposing the roots of a plant in gardening.
Read our team’s most valuable learnings from Pepperpalooza 2022 here. And to all of our speakers and special guests who shared their knowledge and talents with us: thank you. You’ve inspired new ways of thinking and helped us grow forth.
Check out our archives from paloozas of years past: