About Us


Many thanks to Paul G for taking care of the Shout & About last week so I could focus on spoiling my youngest daughter. I enjoyed his perspective on what makes Annex tick. In fact, when asked by candidates what has kept me at Annex all these years, “The People” is also a common response. I must admit it’s not always my first answer, but it’s always in the top two.

The importance of people is why we ran a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI) survey this summer, and why we are spending so much time pouring over the aggregate report we received a few days ago. I have been asked why we ran the survey, and my answer is direct and simple – we want to be sure that all employees – regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation – feel respected and supported by Annex, their managers and colleagues. If not, we are less effective as a company, and performance, engagement and teamwork will all suffer. We’d also be a lousy place to work.

To be honest, based on multiple conversations I’ve had over the past few years, I thought we were all – management and teams - doing a good job on this front. But I didn’t know it. Hence the need for data. With an 81% response rate, an excellent result according to our DEI consultants Inclusive Kind, we can be confident about what we’re getting right and identify opportunities to do better. Think of it as continual improvement.

I’ve had the opportunity to review the report from Bramm & Associates in detail and feel much more confident that we’re on the right track on this front. An extremely large majority of us feel respected by colleagues and managers, feel supported in our personal health and wellbeing, and feel that Annex is fair and supportive. Importantly, there is no discernible difference in these sentiments based on an employee’s race, gender, work location, or other background.

Aside from a general confirmation that we are on track, what’s next? Michelle and Pero will dig into the data at length, and will discuss the results and comments with Inclusive Kind in a meeting on September 11th. The latter will also be able to put the results in perspective based on their own research and work with other companies.

And we have already discussed a few opportunities emerging from the responses, opportunities that seem more like course corrections than new directions. For example, we may look at ways to run more effective meetings, where we ensure all ideas are considered. For a starter, see Michelle’s Covey Corner below. Or we may need to look at options to improve engagement with fully-remote colleagues.

It's quite simple. We can’t do good work or be good to work with unless we all have the chance to belong.

Scott Jamieson, President & COO
sjamieson@annexbusinessmedia.com; mobile: 519-410-4000

Virtual Trolls

I’ve included a bonus Shout Out this week, cus I can. If you have any to add, visit The Wall.

To Pero, for Going Beyond
From Farwa – “This is to appreciate Pero. She made my onboarding process seamless and enjoyable. She went through every little detail that I might/should know and made sure I have everything I need. She also saved me from my navigational mishaps when I was looking for parking yesterday. I felt cared for as she was concerned about my wellbeing because I was sick.”

To Amanda, for Working Together
From Leslie – “Amanda worked hard with a client on a sponsorship opportunity for a new event in Energy Manager, and after many calls and meetings they have confirmed their participation! Huge thank you Amanda.”

To Jim, for Going Beyond
From Kathryn S – “A client of MA’s hosted an evening boat cruise recently to celebrate a key milestone. They asked us to shoot/produce the event video for them. The cruise included dignitaries from Germany, and other important guests. Jim adapted to the environment and went over and above to ensure the client was happy, and he made our team look great. Thanks Jim!”

To Jennifer L, for Owning It
From Stephanie D – “Jennifer has kept up with processing and shipping the immense influx of Fire Prevention Week orders this month. In the last two weeks alone, we've shipped out over $100K worth of orders to our customers. It's our busiest time of the year, but Jennifer's efficiency keeps our customers happy and our department moving smoothly towards our goals.”

Team News

New AC support
With Kristine D entering maternity mode any week now, please join us in welcoming Farwa Siddiqui, who joins Annex as an Account Coordinator working from our Toronto office. She enjoys cooking and walking (she’s recently gotten into fitness and tries to exercise daily). A big part of her day is her son who turned one-year-old the same day she started at Annex, August 21st. She likes spending time at museums and learning about the cultures in Canada. She loves trying out new foods (Thai food is one she’s come to love) and likes that there are lots of halal options available. When she’s not working, you can find Farwa spending time with her immediate and extended family.

New content wave in aquaculture
Seyitan Moritiwon joins Annex as Associate Editor for the Aquaculture Group working from our Simcoe office. She enjoys playing board and card games (7 Wonders, Sequence, Ticket to Ride, Once Chance, Uno, etc.) and when it comes to TV, she watches game shows like The Mole. She likes to try new restaurants and watch movies with her husband. She loves the quiet life in Cambridge, going to church and spending time with friends she has in the neighborhood. She’s been married a year and her husband is a process engineer.

August showers
The account coordinators held a baby shower for Kristine D this week at GBR as she gets things organized for her maternity leave later next month… and a bigger family. Congratulations Kristine – have a great time with the little one.

What's Working

Amplified results
Amplify landed another Amplify Plus client. A new advertiser - Meridian Credit Union - is moving forward with a $30k Amplify Plus program for later this calendar year. This will allow Amplify to become a partner in Meridian’s marketing team as we create a content strategy, calendar and new content for them to enter the manufacturing sector. This relationship will also see them become new advertisers in Annex’s manufacturing brands in the coming months. As a reminder, the Amplify Plus program allows brands to partner with Amplify on long-term custom content creation by ‘cashing in’ their credits for custom content – see the sell sheet here.

The good stuff
The 2023 North American Manure Expo was held on August 9-10 in Arlington, Wisconsin. The outdoor show saw more than 1,000 attendees and demonstrated the latest in manure nutrient management technology, equipment and safety. The expo had approximately 60 exhibitors, four tours, 15+ educational sessions, seven demonstration types, and a sponsored evening BBQ. The expo generated $230k in revenue through booth sales, sponsorships and tour registrations.

My Annex Facts

Did you know that MyAnnex hosts a wide array of Salesforce training material and cheat sheets? These include info on the basics, like adding prospects or creating opportunities, to longer videos on email templates, Chatter, and Outlook for Salesforce.

Michelle’s Covey Corner

For some individuals, saying what they are thinking in a meeting can be hard. Their ideas, comments or thoughts don’t get spoken because they are hesitant to say what is on their mind. It is important to create a space where everyone is encouraged to share – that one thought could be a conversation starter that can spiral into the next great idea.

Some tactics to encourage people to share can be:
  • Gather ideas ahead of the meeting and keep them anonymous. When you gather ideas ahead of time and anonymize them, every idea has a chance to be considered equally. The group is freed up to debate each idea’s true merit without feeling like they’re passing judgment on their colleagues.
  • Use a poll system to help with decision making. Using a poll can gauge true feelings, increase participant engagement, and better steer the discussion. Instead of requiring people to pipe up of their own volition, ask everyone to share quickly and equally. Give people a way to share their individual responses without being singled out.
  • Break into pairs or small groups. When you have a large group and agenda items that require meaningful discussion, try this. Subgroups will likely help people be more honest, plus they’re efficient. When your full group reconvenes, a spokesperson from each subgroup can report on only the most interesting or actionable takeaways from their breakout sessions.
Taken from FranklinCovey “Meeting tactics to get people to say what they really think.”