Every year, we give YOU the chance to nominate a deserving Designer who should be recognized with an O2 Culture Award for going above and beyond and exemplifying the heart of Origami Owl®.
We’re thrilled to share how this year’s O2 Culture Award recipients felt when they were recognized at Convention.
Here’s what this year’s Culture Award recipients said about receiving these extra-special awards.
Heart of O2 Award: Vicki Matzen, Senior Director
“As I was listening to Chrissy describe the recipient of the Heart of O2 Award, I was mentally guessing who might receive this honor. I was in the front row with my dear friend, Wendy Korfel, and we were just musing about who that person might be. At one point, I heard screaming in the back and thought, ‘Someone’s team knows who it is!’ Then, I heard my name. I didn’t react right away – it seemed surreal. In fact, I didn’t move out of my seat until Wendy told me it was me and gave me a gentle push. I was trying not to sob uncontrollably as I made my way to the stage. I’m still in shock! It’s such an honor. Such a loving, supportive company of people who encourage us and make it possible for us all to succeed. Our amazing Founders are an example for all of us. They cheer me on in my business. I have an incredible team of women walking beside me on this journey. Such a blessing from God. Thank you all!”
Love, Inspire, Motivate Award: Tiffany and Jonathan Gin, Senior Team Manager
“It’s hard for us to put into words what this Culture Award truly means to us. Knowing that our colleagues and team sent in submissions on our behalf is incredibly humbling. All we’ve ever wanted to do was make people feel accepted, loved and respected. As leaders, our greatest joy is watching a fellow Designer discover self-confidence, growth and truly feel seen and welcomed. Both Jonathan and I are motivated by servant leadership, so when our team was called, it was incredibly emotional. We have been shown so much love that I think we’re still processing the emotions. Together, we feel that this award inspires and motivates us to reach even further and do even more. This Culture Award for us truly is about our Owl-hana and the culture we have collectively built together. So this Heart Award may have our name on it, but it belongs to our team!”
Force For Good® Award: Barbara Gomes, Senior Team Manager
“When Tyson first started reading, I looked around the room to see who it could be. I knew that many Designers were helpful during the tragic California fires. As he kept reading, I realized he was talking about me. I was both shocked and humbled. I started ugly crying and couldn’t stop. I never expect to be recognized for the acts of kindness I do because I just want to help and be part of the change this world needs. The gift of giving is so rewarding to me. My father told me many years ago to collect smiles so that I would have them to look back on when I was having a bad day. However, in order to collect smiles, you must first create them. Truly, there are so many Designers who helped with many projects. I feel they each deserve a part of this award. For alone, I am but one; together, we are a force. I am very grateful and honored to receive such an amazing award from Origami Owl. Thank you to everyone who felt I deserved this recognition. This has fueled my fire to do more!”
Force For Good Award: Wendy Corso-Ruud, Senior Team Leader
“It was such an honour and a shock when my name was called! Such a shock that I ran up without shoes on! I nearly died giving birth to my first daughter. The fact that I didn’t, made me realize that I am still here for a reason – a mission from God, if you may. Our mission statement is what made me decide to join O2 in the first place because I strive to be a Force For Good every day. I believe I live a charmed and favoured life, so all the good I give out comes back to me. Most of what I do is totally behind-the-scenes, anonymously, because I don’t do it for the accolades; I do it from my heart and genuinely want to help others. To be recognized by the Founders and presented the award on stage with my team sister cheering me on was priceless! I felt incredible, awesome, wonderful, excited, nervous – all the feels!”
Owlette Force For Good Award: Marlowe Kemp, Senior Designer
“Honestly, I was pretty shocked when I heard them reading out the nomination. As soon as Bella read the word ‘Ziploc bags,’ my team knew it was me. I started shaking and crying in my seat; I could not believe that I could earn something so valuable at only my second Convention! The whole experience was unreal! Walking up on that stage, through the Locket, and hearing everyone in the room cheer and yell out my name was insane! I felt so loved! Receiving this award has helped open my eyes to see myself as others do. It means so much to me because I never thought that I, one 17-year-old girl, could make such an impact on others. Hearing people’s stories of what I’ve done for them really blows my mind! I am so thankful for the many opportunities Origami Owl has already blessed me with. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Most Inspiring Owlette Award: Kelsea Whiting, Senior Team Leader
“While sitting in the crowd listening to the Founders award Designers with Culture Awards, I never in a million years thought that my name would be called. I am a girl from a tiny town in Northern California, so things like this don’t happen very often. When Bella started reading the nomination, it took me quite a while to realize they were talking about me! It was when she said that I run the business with my grandma that it hit me. When I realized this, I immediately burst into tears and could not contain the amount of joy and gratitude I felt. It was a dream come true and a moment I will forever cherish. Since that night, I have watched the video of this happening so many times because I still cannot believe that it actually happened. I am so thankful for Origami Owl and the many amazing opportunities it has given me!”
Most Inspiring Owlette Team Award: Laura + Kami Scheele, Director
“It was so surreal when the Most Inspiring Owlette Team story was being read. I kept thinking, ‘That sounds an awful lot like us, but it can’t be.’ Then, as soon as I knew it had to be us, I started crying. Kami was wondering what was wrong, so I explained that they were talking about us. I can’t get over what an honor this is for us – to be selected by the Founders is a huge deal. We’re from a very rural area, our closest neighbor is three miles away, and we never expected anything like this to happen to us. We really do live by the Golden Rule and try to encourage others and mentor like we would want to be mentored. We never expect anything back, but this award is very exciting when we consider that we don’t feel like we’ve done anything beyond how we normally live our lives – by the Origami Owl mission statement and our faith. I asked Kami what she thought of the award and she replies, ‘It was a little scary standing in front of everyone, but I was so encouraged. I just want to live up to this award every year and be a positive role model for all Owlettes and BROs.’ We love being an Owlette team; it has brought us so much closer. We can talk about anything, and she likes spending time with me. I hear about how other girls her age don’t understand the value of money or time – it’s just not that way for Kami. I hope those things never change!”