Sunday, March 31, 2013

Learning From My Colleagues - Including Ultimate Frisbee - Week Two

It has been two weeks have since the start of my new job as VP, Digital Marketing at The Bozzuto Group and I can't believe how time flies. I met this enterprising young man John Moffitt who took the time to educate me on Ultimate Frisbee. Along with working at The Bozzuto Group, John is also going to college. many of my colleagues are doing this - working and also making sure they educate themselves. I love the energy and positivity that my colleagues bring to work and I am enjoying being part of the team.

Starting at the Bozzuto Group I could get familiar my work, interacting with colleagues and the company pretty quickly. Not as tough as starting at a Indo-Russian joint venture restaurant in Moscow in the early 90's. See the picture below that was in the Moscow Magazine

Shashi Bellamkonda Featured in the Moscow Magazine.

Back to the present day. The IT team at The Bozzuto Group has been fantastic, my colleagues in the marketing department have so much positive energy and I am hoping that can transfer to me as well. I have a nice place to work and is a vantage point and a lot of interaction with folks passing by which I love. I will need some advice from you all on my wardrobe which has been depleted since I left the hotel business several years ago. I need advice on trends and "what not to wear" lol ;)

. Ramon Ray would have proud of me ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thoughts of the First 7 Days at the Bozzuto Group

I began a new journey this Monday (March 17, 2013) in a new job as the VP, Digital Marketing of The Bozzuto Group. These seven days have been fascinating. Here are some of my observations from the first week. Please note these are my personal views and not the views of the company or its executives.

People : Three words to describe my first week are Happy, Human and Humor and the people I met had a lot to do with this feeling. Even though the work is fast paced, people have been going out of their way to make the new employees feel welcome. In meetings there is also a culture of giving others credit and praise.

 There are several initiatives for veterans at the Bozzuto Group, including military discounts for buying Bozzuto Homes and an effort to employ those who have served our country and their spouses. Tom Bozzuto the Chairman & CEO of The Bozzuto Group is a Vietnam veteran, as is  John Slidell, partner and co-founder. In the office we have a Gratitude wall with pictures of family members of employees who serve the country in the armed forces.

Philosophy : Starting from the CEO Tom Bozzuto,  the focus of everyone in the company seems to be on making the 'Customer/Guest" experience better. I feel like I am back in the Hotel/Hospitality business. The Bozzuto Group aspires to measure up to the best-known companies in customer service. How can we provide the best experience to the people who stay in the apartments or buy a home from us? The company has projects and managed apartments spread across the Mid-Atlantic region, very consciously within easy reach of Bozzuto headquarters.

During orientation, which was a great experience, all the new employees were given a chance to create ideas around the four core values.
  • CONCERN for the communities we touch. 
  • CREATIVITY in everything we do. 
  • PASSION in our approach to business. 
  • PERFECTION as a goal worth pursuing. 

Being a Green Company: The Bozzuto Group is very focused on the sustainable use of Earth’s resources. I was fascinated to learn - even before I joined - of some of the company’s accomplishments and projects:
  • Bozzuto Headquarters powered on 100% wind energy 
  • Built Maryland's first public electric charging stations in a residential community 
  • Company-wide partnership with car-sharing services 

As you can see, there is so much of information to absorb and I hope my enthusiasm is coming through. Stay tuned for more updates.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday, March 09, 2013

SXSW : Saturday 9th March 2013 - Swami Schedule

Posted from the Samsung Techset Blogger Lounge

1) C.C. Chapman's Amazing Things Party (sponsored by Vocus) at 11 Iron Cactus - 606 Trinity St, Austin, TX 78701
2) Community Manager High-Five FlashMob at SXSW #CMAD 12 On Intersection of Trinity and Fourth - 
3) SXSW Small Business Meetup - First Official SXSW Meetup  Proof Annex - 711 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
4) DC Tech Meetup @ SXSW  3 to 4 The Stage on Sixth - 508 East 6th Street, Austin, TX
5) Original Kings Of Technology Hilton Garden Inn 3.30
5) Open Future Private Reception with Tim Berners-Lee & Open Future Speakers  Driskill Hotel Mezzanine - 604 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701 5 to 7
6) Tech Cocktail 7 The Stage on Sixth - 508 East 6th Street, Austin, TX

Visit the GoodWill Pop-Up Shop at SXSW -315 Congress

Goodwill SXSW Pop-up Store

Yesterday I saw the preview of the first ever SXSW Goodwill pop-up store at 315, Congress Ave. Austin. It looks very much like any other store and shopping here gives the opportunity for GoodWill to train people with employable skills. I lost my shades so I snagged one and many of my friends who visited the store with me also bought some great stuff.
At #poppintags of @goodwillintl with my cool sunglasses & cool friends. Check out @dragonflytweets bag & @laurenblackdog

The shop itself will operate from March 9-11, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at 315 Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701. All the merchandise featured in the shop was donated at Goodwill locations in the Austin area, and especially selected for the sale. More details here

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Meet Tim Berners Lee at #SXSW With IEEE

SXSW 2012
One of the highlights of atteding SXSW last year was meeting Dean Kamen and Bob Metcalf at events organized by IEEE. In this picture I am with Bob Metcalf who I first met in Camden, Maine at Poptech. This year I am excited by the tech brainpower IEEE is bringing to SXSW.

Here are some that definitely caught my eye and I have added them to my schedule

Many of these events are sold out  but the organizers say that if you arrive early you still have a chance of getting in First Come First Served.

Check out all the events from IEEE at SXSW here. Must do for all geeks and other citizens of the world.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Learning Social Media with a difference, Social learning boot camp March 7-8,2013

Social Media has become a synonym for communication,Its two way nature has made information accessible, exchangeable and useful through social interactions. All businesses today expect one to use social media most effectively yielding incredible results .  
Are you in the same boat ? Do you belong to the area of Learning & Development, Talent Management, Technology-Enabled Learning, Leadership Development, Corporate University, Human Resources, Communications or IT? Are you a small to medium size business owner or someone who is really curious and wants to learn about social media? 

Then I'd suggest the Social learning boot camp is the place for you to be.They provide Practical learning, Concepts and tools that can be applied in real life scenarios. Case oriented teaching and clearing myths about social learning. Also I heard an early registration gets you an iPAD Mini. That's quiet an incentive !!!!This boot camp looks promising as it has a wide range of speakers and an interesting two day schedule.

The event will be conducted by Future Workplace and held this March 7-8, 2013 at the George Town University, Conference Center. For more details you can find them at

Friday, March 01, 2013

Social Madness is here again, Entries Open March 1st

I hope you found this video funny. Roger Hughlett, Executive producer of the Washington Business Journal announced today (March 1st 2013) Social Madness returns: Are you ready? that the contest Social Madness is back for 2013. if you do Social Media for a company or an agency doing social media for a client you should read Roger Hughlett's post.

Social Madness is a competition for companies of all sizes who can continue to engage and grow their social media activities and is tracked over a period of time to determine the winner.

Some details from  Roger's post :

Social Madness offers the opportunity to showcase your company on social media. It will also help you gain exposure as you compete for bragging rights against companies in your own size category. Additionally, there is a $10,000 charitable donation that will be made on the behalf of each of the three national winners.
The nominations phase ends May 15, and the first round of local competition begins June 3. The winners advance to a national competition in 43 American City Business Journal cities, including Washington.
This year, categories will be based on the social following at the start of the contest, rather than on the number of employees. Scoring will be based on social engagement, not growth

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