2nd Annual Bolt Award
What you may not be aware of is that in addition to all of that, she is one of the hardest working people you could ever meet. But hard work is not what she is all about. She is about compassion, love, joy and happiness. Quick retorts, unicorns and making everyone feel welcome are some of the other admirable traits one can find in this year's winner.
And who is this person? Well, if you guessed $Heidi then go pat your mom on the back because you are right!
Congratulations $Heidi for making dA that much better by being a part of it!
If there is a "Your Mom" joke to be made, she will find it and exploit it.
$Heidi Rule #2: She doesn't care for explanations.
If something complicated works, it's because of Magic. If she's addicted to some Australian soap opera, its because its' Magic. Everything can be explained with Magic.
$Heidi Rule #3: Unicorns rule.
And if you ask her to explain why, you're likely to get an answer involving Magic Unicorns and Your Mom."
It's safe to say that she's the mastermind behind every funny thing that's ever been written, EVAR! And she fires me pretty much on a daily basis, definitely something to look forward to. ;)
She's everyone's favorite un-photographable Jillaroo and deserves this years Bolt award more than a prom baby deserves a small snowy cabin in the woods. One sassy gal, I tell ya.
(hrm….that wasn't funny…HEIIIIIDI!!!! HELP ME WRITE SOMETHING FUNNY!)"
Some words from those who know her best...
What we really look for is the fit between a new person and our current culture. How will this person fit in? Will they change the culture or improve the culture? What will they be adding besides just their skills?
Chris Bolt (the namesake of this award) is 1/2 of the secret to deviantART's successful company culture. Heidi Chambers is the other 1/2. And this is the brief story of why.
$Heidi joined deviantART right out of DMusic and was our second official employee. When deviantART was still headquartered in my bedroom, she sat on a medium sized blue exercise ball as a chair. Her desk where she put her laptop was on my bed, and I sat at the only desk in the room. Her filing cabinet for hosting facility contracts and bandwidth arrangements was the nightstand that my bedroom television sat on. And at around noon every day we looked forward to the obnoxious sound of a megaphone strapped to a vehicle that would pass outside carrying snacks. $Heidi would bounce up; "FRUIT TRUCK!!!" (which eventually had an associated hand gesture). It was hilarious.
Point #1. $Heidi builds culture wherever she is. She finds what's neat and interesting about a place or its surroundings and she makes you keenly aware of why it's ... fun. If it were just me, that horn would have just been annoying and I'd hardly have stopped working on deviantART to go get some watermelon. But she nurtured culture, and she made working at deviantART more fun.
Later, the first American Idol to ever air came on television and $Heidi was buzzing about it. And from the very first moment she saw one particular candidate she was already dead set on who was going to win even though there was still an entire season to go. She stayed with her choice all the way through. When it was time to start hitting the phones, she called literally 100 times a night to vote for Kelly. Kelly this, Kelly that. She'd talk about Kelly all day long, and she'd intensely state Kelly's case as winner if you remotely indicated interest in anyone else. As we now know, Kelly Clarkson won, and is largely responsible for proving the concept of that show and therefore much of its massive success.
Fast forward a bit: $Heidi knows which shirt is going to be the best seller in a new deviantWEAR series almost every time. She states it early, she sticks with it, rarely wavers and is often very accurate.
Point #2. $Heidi has confidence in her instinct and she continually challenges herself to prove that instinct. This is a trait I admire greatly about her, and this is a trait I seek in others.
In all the years I've known $Heidi, her single favorite thing outside of her flashlight collection is to receive physical mail. Now for the net rat that she is, this strikes me as particularly humorous. Much to $Heidi's great dissatisfaction, not many people physically mail things anymore. So what she does is she gives to others the thing she loves most. If she goes to Minnesota to visit her grand parents? EVERYONE is getting a post card. You, your mom, your friends that she met once. EVERYONE. She sends you a birthday card in the mail, even though she sees you every day and could hand it to you. She sends you a valentines day card in addition to the birthday card, because your birthday is on Valentine's Day. (err at least mine is. lol) You get the idea.
Many of you have purchased deviantWEAR and if you have, some of you have received little stick figure cartoon drawings with little bubble messages on the side. $Heidi literally goes down to the mail room sometimes and draws on the packages going out to deviants so that they'll be packed with a little bit more love than they otherwise would. No one has ever asked her to do this.
Point #3. $Heidi is nice. $Heidi is kind. $Heidi is all love. And to work at the worlds most emotional destination on the web, where the number 1 search term is the word LOVE (a little known fact), it's very important that you be sensitive to the way that people feel and to proactively work towards making peoples lives better.
It shouldn't surprise you that she's responsible for deviantART's Holiday Card Project where we send deviant-designed Christmas cards to hospital patients all over Southern California.
And now that you've read a bit about $Heidi it shouldn't surprise you that she's the recipient of the 2008 Bolt Award and also the second person other than Chris Bolt to receive it. But I bet you're wondering why she's the other 1/2 to the secret of deviantART's culture.
To date, I've had a say in some way shape or form in every addition to the deviantART team. Once a person is established as having the correct skill and all the right components to join our staff, I ask myself two questions.
1. Would Chris Bolt like this person?
2. Would Heidi Chambers like this person?
If either is a no, then I say no. And it is this way that I've kept a common bond within our staff and built the culture that we have.
Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
As for $Heidi, to know her is to love her. That's just the way it is.
Now let me tell you a thing or two about her mom..."