At Chello, we seek out people who are curious, kind, humble, smart, committed, and hard-working. We’ve translated this approach into four core values. These values weren’t just created to help us find people that are the right fit for the team, but also to represent how we work with each other and with our clients.
As a team, we all share a sense of pride in living and breathing these values every day. Because when we do, it brings meaning to who we are, and to the work we produce together. In celebration of this, once a year the team is asked to vote for the person that they think has exemplified one of our values exceptionally over the past year.
The last awards ceremony was carried out at The Winery during our Christmas lunch (notably, where Lindsay rocked up disguised in a full Santa suit and beard, but that’s a story for another day). Four values mean four awards, right? Incorrect because there’s a fifth, but more on that later.
During the awards ceremony, the Chello Scholarship — a supercharged version of our existing performance development opportunities — is also handed out. Spoiler: this year’s most learned Chello scholar, also happened to be an award winner.
But enough of the drum roll, here are our winners:
Award 1: Be the most curious person you know
This is Chello’s DNA. We’re huge fans of challenging the norm, and asking ‘why?’. It was not a surprise to anyone that this award went to Tevas-toting Strategy Director, David Coupland. David joined Chello just last year, and has blown everyone away with his approach. He sees it as a necessity: “As an industry we are paid to have an imagination, and this requires an attentive, ongoing curiosity to maintain new ideas and new perspectives.” With a daily 30-minutes-of-reading habit and the discipline to get away from screens, he’s a curious type willing to challenge both himself and others, relentlessly seeking out new and better ways to do things.
Award 2: Say what you mean, mean what you say
This value is all about keeping our promises. We stay true to our word, and we always treat everyone with interest and respect. The 2021 winner of this award is Design Director and dog whisperer, Natalie Wong and, well… it wasn’t exactly a surprise to those who know her. “I think I’m a pretty straight-shooter, sometimes with a filter but quite often without,” she says. And that filter-less honesty goes beyond working with the team: “As Chello tend to work with clients who parallel our own values, it is easier to be our true self with them.”
Always delivering on her promises, no matter how big or small, and supporting her team in every way possible. Everyone can count on Nat, who motivates those around her with a need for excellence and punnets of sometimes suspect raspberries.
Award 3: Stay hungry
Although Christina Knox’s lunch boxes often are cause for envy in the office, her cooking skills are not the reason she won this award. As Senior Account Director, she lives up to this value on a daily basis; a passionate go-getter that drives projects to become the best that they can be. Christina always. Wants. More. For her, staying hungry means “never settling for the bare minimum. It’s always looking for new opportunities to build and grow, whether that be for the agency, for your clients, or just for yourself.”
It’s that hunger that has seen her grow both the business and her Client Services team. Always finding solutions, be it overcoming unforeseen hurdles for clients, or giving new ways of working a go internally.
Award 4: A good company is good company
Account Director and seasoned adventurer Drou Angelides joined Chello in 2021, but we all agree it feels like she’s been a part of the team since forever. So it’s no surprise she took home the A good company is good company award, with rave reviews from clients and teammates alike. It’s a value that, to her, means “being a team player, championing our people, being involved from brainstorms to cleaning the kitchen and bringing good energy into the office.” And beyond the Chello studio? “It’s about the relationships we build with clients, acknowledging our impact and the role in making meaningful work.”
Drou embodies this value, doing good work with good people every day, as she handles any situation with grace and a contagious smile. She also happens to be our Chello Scholarship winner, seizing the opportunity to get learning in design thinking and strategic planning.
Award 5: The Excellence Award
If those are the specialists, then this final award is for the generalist who knits all our values together. Shea Bennett is our resident comedian, self-appointed “third founder” of Chello and Senior Camera Operator & Editor. What does the award mean to him? Well… “Google Dictionary defines ‘excellence’ as ‘extremely good; outstanding’, as in; ‘the lorry was in excellent condition’. I feel like that just about covers it,” he says. “But just in case it doesn’t, The Excellence Award signifies to me that I’ve somehow managed to earn a place amongst a team of immensely skilled and abhorrently talented people.”
He’s been a part of the Chello furniture from the early days, and knows how to get a laugh with his charming (if sometimes slightly out there) sense of humour. Something he expertly taps into when welcoming new team members or generally lifting the mood of any room. Our longest-standing team member continued to step it up last year, delivering some amazing projects. All completed with the signature Shea spirit and good humour.