Kontera San Francisco: Taking Another Swing at Piñata Fridays


February 15, 2013

What better way to welcome new employees than to get them dizzy, cover their eyes, and let them beat up a SpongeBob replica? That’s exactly what the latest additions to Kontera’s San Francisco office did this past Friday.

No one in the office seems to remember where the idea of “Piñata Fridays” originated, but the widely celebrated event has been going on for at least three years, with a shark, an over-sized San Francisco Giants baseball, the classic donkey piñata, and even Batman among the victims!

Keeping tradition alive, the latest Kontera employees to practice their hand to not eye coordination was a blindfolded Austin Allen, Campaign Manager on the Ad Operations team; Rinchen Lama, Production Manager for the Creative Team; Stephanie Ma, Campaign Manager on the Ad Ops team; and Jessie Nguy, Sales Planner on the Sales Support team. While all took their swings, ultimately it was Jessie, drawing upon her childhood softball skills who made it rain.

Everyone celebrated Jessie’s victory by of course eating a lot of candy. We may not know who began the tradition of Piñata Fridays, but we can certainly do our best to maintain it. Welcome to the Kontera family Austin, Rinchen, Stephanie, and Jessie!

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Categories: Inside Kontera

Kontera Holiday Celebration Spans Three Continents


December 31, 2012

Here at Kontera we love the holidays, and the fact that our offices are spread out across five different locations, means we got to spread five times the amount of holiday cheer! Here’s how the various Kontera offices celebrated:

 The New York office got the party started with their annual “Yankee Swap” of gifts. There were some real gems in the gift pile this year, including an oversized, nineties-style cell phone case and a Santa toilet seat cover. Next, they had a delicious, family style meal at Il Cortile in Little Italy and wrapped up the night with some friendly competition at a pool hall down the street.

Meanwhile in England, The EU office kicked off their holiday party with Secret Santa, a game of catch phrase and darts in their new office. Managing Director Nitzan Yaniv, who received a wig from his Secret Santa, even announced he’d wear it all evening long contingent upon receiving £100 for his charity (he held up his end of the bargain). They then went to a new steakhouse that just opened in London, called STK. After drinks and a lovely dinner, the evening concluded with an outing to the casino.

In the Israel office, there was so much to celebrate; the festivities were broken up over two days. On the last weekday of Chanukah, everyone gathered to light the seventh candle, along with eat potato latkes and donuts. Below are some gratuitous photos of food. There must be 40,000 calories combined in those donuts, but don’t worry – Israelis have great health care coverage.

 

The next week, the Israel office reconvened after work at Mike’s Place, a famous bar around the corner for dinner and karaoke. After everyone grabbing a quick meal, Office Manager Dorin Lipschitz bribed coaxed volunteers onstage to perform. The R&D team serenaded the bar with a variety of hits, ranging to from Hebrew language classics to Tears for Fears and a lot of David Bowie. The night even closed out with a special quartet performance from the executive team.

Back on the American side of the pond, the Chicago team celebrated by sharing a wonderful Christmas dinner at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. In attendance was Kontera President Hal Muchnick, along with Karen Johnson, Denise Clemetson, Jeff Callahan, Kelly Arnet and Celina Kwolek.

Finally, the San Francisco team marked the holidays with a wine tasting at The Bubble Lounge, which is renowned for their champagne. Among the beverages sampled were Les Deux Rives Corbieres Rouge 2010 from the South of France, and the locally produced Mumm Napa Valley Brut Prestige.

A great time was had by all!

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Categories: Inside Kontera

Kontera presents at The International Ruby On Rails Conference


December 17, 2012

As one of the leaders in the Israeli developer community, Kontera was proud to both sponsor and speak at the inaugural International Ruby On Rails Conference in Tel Aviv. The one day event was a chance for Ruby developers from all over the world to share their insights and experiences working within the Ruby ecosystem.

Among the speakers was Kontera’s own Eran Barak Levi who gave a talk on Agile DevOps.

Kontera’s platform is distributed, very dynamic, large scale and composed of diverse state-of-the-art technologies. Such characteristics impose operating challenges that couldn’t be solved with “off-the-shelf” solutions. Eran presented an in-depth technical talk, sharing Kontera’s holistic approach for solving these operative challenges.

The presentation covered the full development life cycle: from the development stage through deployment up to real-time monitoring in the production environment. The technologies mentioned included Ruby, Rails, MCollective, Graphite, and many more.

The conference was a lot of fun, and proved a great opportunity to both exchange ideas and to show off all the fantastic work Kontera R&D does behind the scenes.

For programmers who speak Hebrew, you can watch Eran’s entire presentation here.

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Categories: Conferences & Events

Kontera at the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable


November 26, 2012

 

Over 1,200 digital automotive marketers were at this year’s J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable in Las Vegas, Nevada; including Kontera’s Kristin Socha, Cat Davenport, Tracy Hughes, Hal Muchnick and Ammiel Kamon. With technology developing at such a rapid pace, we were proud to be a sponsor of this event where attendees were invited to take a deeper look at how the latest digital advertising trends are affecting the automotive industry.

J.D. Power Research showed that 4 in 5 new vehicle buyers use the internet during shopping, millennials are using social twice as actively in shopping for a new vehicle, and that 20% of in-market shoppers are using multiple platforms. These insights are crucial to take into consideration when developing a successful marketing campaign for an automotive client. The advertising industry is changing and the top automotive brands are quick to adjust.

Industry leaders took the stage to discuss exactly how to best capitalize on the latest digital trends to ultimately engage better with consumers and sell more vehicles. The agenda included sessions involving segments on engaging consumers, multi-screen consumption, the consumer path to purchase, and big data. Ryan Mocan, Group Search Director at Mediacom (and a client of Kontera’s) participated in “Deconstructing the Mobile Sound Byte”.  As mobile remains the fastest growing platform in digital advertising, he discussed the 121% growth in mobile consumption since 2010 and how important it is for automotive marketers to take advantage of that growth.

Some successful industry leaders are clearly learning and improving from these new digital trends. For example, VW was a Stevie Award Gold Winner for Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year, a campaign that Kontera is proud to have been part of. Additionally, Cadillac was also was recently awarded “Most Improved Luxury Brand”. Successful automotive brands are keeping up with developing trends in technology by integrating more digital and mobile advertising into their campaign strategies…and it’s working.

Overall it was an extremely informative event and a great opportunity to exchange ideas with other leaders in the growing digital automotive field.

See everyone again in the desert next year!

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Categories: Conferences & Events

Kontera at the 2012 Savvy Blogging Summit in Atlanta


November 19, 2012

The following is a special dispatch from Kontera’s Senior Business Development Manager, Laura Rodziewicz. The article first appeared on the Savvy Blogging website

For the second consecutive year, Kontera was a proud sponsor of the Savvy Blogging Summit, held October 4-6  2012 in Atlanta. While Kontera was at last year’s Summit, personally it was my first time, and from the moment Alice and I arrived at the hotel and met the Savvy Blogging Team, we knew we were in for something special. The community is full of courageous and smart entrepreneurs, women who have figured out how to turn their blogging into a business.  I was really inspired listening to their stories, and learning how these “savvy” professionals built their audience.

The Flash Mob was also a real treat! I wish Alice and I could dance as synchronized as you ladies! What a wonderful performance. I loved the FB video recap.

Alice and I had a fantastic time and want to give a big thank you to the Savvy Blogging Summit organizers – Crystal, ErinAndrea and Toni. Also a big congratulation to Laura of Wheel n Deal Mama who won our iPad raffle!

It was a super fun and productive weekend, and we look forward to keeping in touch with our Savvy blogger friends and to helping them monetize their sites with Kontera!

 

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Categories: Conferences & Events

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