March 22, 2019

A Chat With Annie Wong, Intoucher and HackStar

Image of a woman on trip

At the end of each year, Intouch execs select a small group of Intouchers who embody our guiding principles, go above and beyond for their teams and/or clients, and truly “Hack Healthcare for the People” – no surprise, then, that the award is called a Hacky. Winners receive a stipend to use for an experience, typically a trip or activity they wouldn’t normally gift themselves. Past winners have taken parents for once-in-a-lifetime bonding adventures, traveled to other countries to volunteer their time, or even used the stipend to focus on a personal passion.

This year, Hacky Awards were presented to ten Intouchers from the KC, Chicago and New York offices. Annie Wong, an associate creative director in the New York office, was one of the winners. She took the opportunity to spend five days with her family in the Caribbean, at Nickelodeon’s resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

“We’d been thinking about going away and spending quality time as a family for some time,” said Annie. “We knew right away that Nickelodeon resort in Punta Cana was the obvious choice for us, as there are so many activities and events that are catered to young kids. And we all know that happy babies mean happy mommy and daddy.”

While there, Annie and her family met some favorite Nickelodeon characters, including Paw Patrol and Dora, the Explorer; played at the spectacular water park and lounged in the lazy river – “Mommy had a very relaxing time.” — dined at a spaceship-themed restaurant where her daughters “thought the waiters were aliens,” and swam in the Caribbean ocean and the resort’s infinity pool. The best part, Annie said, was seeing her kids meet their celebrity idols.

“My girls have been watching Dora and Paw Patrol since close to birth,” said Annie. “They wouldn’t let poor Dora go back to exploring.”

Becoming a HackStar: It Takes a Team
There’s often a story behind being nominated for a Hacky, and Annie – who has been with Intouch for a little more than two years — was quick to point out that her nomination would not have been possible without her team. She says:

“The driving force and the inspiration to do more come from every single person I work with here at Intouch. We do great work together, push each other forward, and find solutions beyond the ask as a united front. The strategic thinkers provide insights that give meaning to the creative work. The account whisperers make the work stronger, so that’s aligned with the clients’ vision. The project officers keep us all on track and on schedule. We have the perfect team synergy across multiple departments, with a single mission to build a brand for our clients, and to build it together. To save and protect it all. Yes, like a team of superheroes in a time that matters.”

“I remember … the time when the whole team woke up at 4 a.m. for a campaign photoshoot, just so we could catch the best sunlight for the photos; the time when we made our clients teary-eyed when showing her amazing work and the possibilities; the time when the team worked late nights and weekends for a month, but between the pressure and magic-making, we still found the time to laugh and enjoy each other company.

It’s these little moments in time that create a strong connection, many lasting memories, and make a difference in our work because we live it. Breathe it and believe in it, collectively and passionately. We’re all in it together.”

When asked about what it takes to even get a nomination, Annie notes humbly that she’s surrounded every day by hardworking rock stars that she already considers Hacky winners.

I think just being who you are and doing what you do is enough. People can see the passion. The contributions. The hard work. They see you and the superhero in you.

Final Thoughts
Some might say they simply enjoyed the time away from work, or the chance to soak up some sun, but for Annie, it was all about family.

“The smiles from my girls are the picture-perfect experience that means everything to me. Thank you, Intouch, for the opportunity that will last an eternity in their hearts as well as in mine.”

Interested in becoming an Intouch HackStar? Check out our current job openings – there’s something for almost everyone!