Happy Workiversary to Rob Merritt

Jennifer MurphyEcosystem, Our Team

On August 12th, our Director of Communications, Rob Merritt celebrated one year with NewBoCo. 

And what a year it has been!  As our Chief Relationship Officer, David Tominsky shared, “Rob chose 2020 as his breakout year. He’s hit the big time writing reviews of big-screen musicals, parodies of rock classics, and recently made his debut as a citizen journalist on Inside Edition. I think it sucks that we still have 4 more months of 2020, but in a strange way I can’t wait to see what else this dumpster fire of a year inspires Rob to create.”  

Rob jumped into the NewBoCo team and immediately made an impact.  A master storyteller, Rob documented an entire cohort’s experience in DeltaV from day one to graduation; really getting to know the students and presenting them as authentically as possible.  He has a “why not? let’s try it!” spirit that allows him to push boundaries and help NewBoCo shine in so many ways.  He has achieved a true balance of goofy and wise which we simply adore! 

The NewBoCo team wanted to share a few of their favorite memories and traits to celebrate a year of Rob Merrit.  

When it comes to favorite work-related memories, there are a few, ranging from sincere help to outright insanity! 

  • When Rob helped me better phrase a FB post for DV.
  • Has to be the dumpster fire 2020 song.
  • My favorite event has to be the dumpster fire video.
  • Rob is responsible for the only time I’ve ever heard this in a staff meeting:  “Please tell me if I have blood in my ear.” To be fair, he was performing in a horror play in the evenings at the time.
  • Dancing with insane abandon side by side with his lovely bride at the hockey game NewBoCo and Vault members attended.
  • Rob joined our team only a month before our Annual Meeting, jumped in mid-end of the planning process and he still managed to create some of the best video content ever for our Annual Meeting.
  • It was an absolute joy having Rob document the DeltaV experience of our first 2020 cohort. The students enjoyed the process, and I’ve been able to get a new perspective on what they go through.
  • I love Rob’s geekiness and his passion and talent in conveying ideas through media. He’s obviously super talented. I haven’t worked with him much, but the biggest thing I can say is that he’s produced a video with me in it that didn’t make me cringe to watch. Nobody has done that before. He’s awesome.
  • Rob joined the team with a job description that spanned across multiple NewBoCo programs, and his role has taken multiple twists and turns due to all the 2020 craziness! Despite this constant change in pace, he’s always eager to jump in wherever he is needed…with a smile on his face and a head full of ideas. He’s been adaptable in every sense of the word oh and….his cat stories, CATS recap, and home movies keep us all on our toes!
  • It was fun to have Rob in DeltaV, documenting and dogfooding the class.
  • Very recent memory, but I’ve been incredibly impressed by Rob’s documentation of the derecho and devastation in Cedar Rapids.

And Rob has so many traits that make him a joy to work with: 

  • He is a master at his craft and that is inspiring to watch…
  • His intelligence coupled with his goofiness.
  • Super creative, always coming up with fun solutions and spearheading cool ideas.
  • Rob is extremely creative and always willing to try new ways of doing things. I love the creative brainstorming meetings we have!
  • Rob just brings a positive attitude to everything he touches, and it makes the subjects of his work more comfortable.
  • The one trait is he’s always thoughtful, helpful, and creative.  Never, ever grumpy or negative.  
  • Rob is a master at catching great moments in pictures and videos. He had so much from our Future City competition and I never saw him in the same place the whole day!
  • Rob is such a talented storyteller. He is super personable and funny, which makes it easy for people to open up to him. That, combined with his talent in video, makes for compelling stories that can really draw people into our nonprofit’s mission. We are very fortunate to have Rob on our team!
  • Rob leaping into the many communications tasks this organization has faced and coming up with creative ways to tell our story and the stories of our founders, teachers, students and collaborators in compelling ways
  • Rob is very interested in whatever he’s working on and strives to make engaging content about it.
  • I appreciate Rob’s positive outlook. He is always willing to help and ready to share ideas. I know he is busy with lots of projects, but he shows a desire to want to help.
  • Rob really has the attitude of an entrepreneur with regard to the quite varied things we throw at him at NewBoCo, that is: “let’s do it!
  • He is connected to our broader community and has great ideas to connect our mission in a relevant and relatable way.

There are two standout creative projects Rob executed this year that have captured the attention of so many across the nation and world.  One was the parody of Billy Joel’s We didn’t Start the Fire…called This Year is a Dumpster Fire and the second was his “not a review” of Cats the Musical which may or may not have spurred the insanity of 2020 (just ask him, he will tell you!)  If you haven’t seen them, they are worth the time! These projects showcase the talents he brings to the mission at NewBoCo every single day. 

Congratulations on your first year with NewBoCo, we can’t wait to see what you create next Rob! 

Learn more about the mission of NewBoCo at newbo.co


Also published on Medium.