Ignition 2013: “Blazing Saddles” Wild West Party

Grand Finale- Blazing Saddles Landing Page

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Sporting Our Team Colors

By Internal Communications Editor Brian Hale

When Stream Energy and Ignite launched in 2005, it was not only the beginning of an innovative energy company, but an opportunity to be a part of something truly unique.

As Stream Energy and Ignite grew in both size and maturity, the firm adopted certain “mantras” that shaped the internal culture. The mantras encompassed an overall feeling and attitude that the firm was not just a great company, but a great family.

Although the two entities had two different logos, they both represented one company and one team with one goal.

To help make that point, Senior Director of Marketing Darryl Smith had an idea: merge the family-like atmosphere of Stream Energy with the team aspect of football into a visual representation of the firm’s support of the thousands of Ignite Associates around the country.

“Stream Energy and Ignite are a team,” Darryl said. “Supporting our Ignite Associates in the field is something every Stream Energy employee does on a daily basis. We are a very competitive group, and we have great passion and love for this firm – the same passion and love that many have for their hometown sports teams.”

“I wanted to take a symbol of that love and passion of each of our states and bring it back to the home office,” Darryl said. “It’s a symbol that we are always thinking about our IAs in all these areas, and a little piece of them is always represented in our office.”

Stream Energy and Ignite’s history can be seen in a unique visual timeline along one wall inside Stream Energy’s corporate office.

Each jersey represents when Stream Energy and Ignite entered a certain state or area. Each jersey has a number on the back of it which represents when we entered that particular state:

  • Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans – the founding of the firm in Texas in 2005.
  • Atlanta Falcons – Stream Energy’s first expansion efforts reached Georgia in 2008.
  • Philadelphia Eagles – the firm first entered the Pennsylvania market in the Philadelphia area in 2010.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers – the firm expanded their Pennsylvania service to the Pittsburgh area in 2011.
  • Baltimore Ravens – Stream Energy began offering service in Maryland also in 2011.

“As a lifelong, die-hard Cowboys fan, my office sits between the Eagles and the Steelers,” Darryl said smiling. “It’s not easy looking at those colors every day.”

Near the end of 2011, Stream Energy and Ignite expanded to a fifth state in the Northeast. To avoid confusion (and also because he just couldn’t bear hanging any blue and white jersey other than the Cowboys) Darryl decided to utilize a different sport to represent Stream Energy’s latest market.

  •  New Jersey Devils – the entrance into Stream Energy’s fifth state in 2011.

But what comes after New Jersey? An empty spot resides next to New Jersey’s colors. We are anxiously awaiting a jersey to represent the loyal Associates in a brand new Stream Energy market.

“I don’t know what we’ll do if we ever go to Montana,” Darryl said jokingly.

The next jersey may be unknown, but what is certain is that Stream Energy and Ignite will continue to achieve huge long-term success as long as we work together as one team.

Posted in Company Culture, Energy Deregulation / Regulations, Energy Network Marketing, Georgia Natural Gas, Maryland Energy, New Jersey Energy, Pennsylvania Energy, Texas Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Preparedness

By Internal Communications Editor Brian Hale

The annual Spring Equinox officially marks the end of winter and the beginning of a new season, although Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (that is, the Groundhog) commonly has his own opinion.

Snow begins to melt, temperatures begin to climb and Mother Nature begins producing some of her most ferocious fury. Thunderstorms producing massive hail, damaging winds and tornadoes can fire up without notice, especially in Texas which sits in the heart of Tornado Alley.

Being prepared for spring’s unpredictable weather can provide many potential life-saving advantages for yourself and your family. Being prepared and having a plan of what to do during a severe thunderstorm can offer peace of mind, save valuable time in finding shelter, and keep your family safe and healthy during power outages.

One of the best things you can do is to have a family plan of action. This may include where to go in your home during severe weather and what to have with you. The best places to congregate during a storm are in a basement, storm shelter or an interior room in your house as far away from windows as possible.

Should severe weather create tornadoes in your area, it is a good idea to have supplies on hand that can keep your family safe and healthy for many days. These items include plenty of bottled water and canned food, flashlights, extra batteries, a crank- or battery-powered radio, blankets, first aid supplies, dust masks, kennels for family pets, a two-way radio or walkie-talkie, and local emergency telephone numbers.

Keeping an updated supply of these items can offer peace of mind should severe weather suddenly occur without warning.

Although Texas frequently sees severe weather, other states are not immune to severe weather which can occur anywhere at any time during the spring and summer months. Residents living in the northeast do not experience tornadoes as often as residents in Tornado Alley, hurricanes can cause damaging winds and flooding rain that can warrant a need for shelter. Also, northeast residents commonly see severe weather during the winter months with blizzards and heavy snow.

Regardless of where you reside, severe weather is something to be taken seriously. A list of emergency contact information can be helpful throughout the year, whether dealing with tornadoes, hurricanes or blizzards.

Check out these websites which provide a lot of great information for staying prepared for severe weather during the spring and throughout the year:


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Life’s Surprise Announcements

By Stream Energy Internal Communications Editor Brian Hale

Last weekend, Ignite held its seventh annual Ignition convention. During each convention, Ignite delivers many great new programs to help Associates better their lives and their businesses. For this year’s event, Ignite witnessed a special surprise announcement that came as a first in the seven years the company has been hosting Ignition.

Presidential Director Brian Lucia emceed this year’s General Session on Saturday and periodically went into the audience to interview Associates who shared their life-changing stories with the thousands of other in attendance.

As the General Session cranked up after lunch, Lucia ventured back into the audience and introduced New Jersey Managing Director Patrick Franklin and Patrick’s girlfriend, Director Kristin Kane.

Patrick began sharing his story when Lucia smiled and asked: “Is there a defining moment that you’d like to share with us?”

Patrick smiled and replied, “Actually, I thought today would be a great time to make a defining moment.”

As Patrick turned to his girlfriend, excitement and anticipation made its way around the arena. Patrick knelt down in front of Kristin, and cheers and applause resonated throughout the arena. Lucia held a microphone for the heartfelt marriage proposal heard by roughly 7,500 witnesses. 

As the proposal ended and the new sparkles donned Kristin’s finger, Patrick hugged and kissed his new fiancée to the roar of the arena’s approval. Lucia then presented the newly-engaged couple with an envelope that contained a special gift on behalf of the Stream Energy executive management team. The couple was given a gift certificate for an elegant dinner at a location of their choosing upon arrival back home in New Jersey.

As an Ignition first, how could the moment get any sweeter?

A few days after the couple arrived home, Patrick sent an email to Senior Director of Field Development, Darryl Smith, expressing his gratitude for the assistance Ignite provided in the proposal. Patrick expressed his love of Ignite and said how proud he was to be a part of such a great family and company.

Patrick wrote: “Kristin and I realized that we would like to keep the gift going forward to help someone less fortunate and were wondering if you would instead make a donation to Captain Hope’s Kids on our behalf.”

(Captain Hope’s Kids has been on hand at Ignition the past two years, and Stream Energy and its Ignite Associates have donated thousands of dollars to help support Dallas-area homeless children. For 2012, the company is donating $5,000.)

To honor the couple’s generosity, Stream Energy donated an additional $200 to Captain Hope’s Kids on behalf of Patrick Franklin and Kristin Kane. With the additional donations made by other Associates at Ignition, the charity will receive a total of $6,458.

This year’s Ignition was geared towards helping Associates turn their lives around financially and bettering their families’ futures. Thanks to the generosity of the Associates in attendance at Ignition 2012, thousands of homeless children in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex can look forward to a brighter future.

The generous spirit of the Ignite family is seen in our business on a daily basis during business meetings and presentations; from Presidential Directors to new recruits. And thanks to Patrick and Kristin, it can be found during even the most personal and memorable of life experiences.


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Behind the Scenes of Big D NYE 2012

By Internal Communications Editor Brian Hale

For the second consecutive year, Stream Energy partnered with WFAA to sponsor the Big D NYE Fireworks Spectacular. Big D NYE is a huge outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration in Dallas that provides partygoers an experience similar to the famous atmosphere in Times Square in New York City. This past New Year’s Eve, the event was broadcast to over 6.6 million homes in areas across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Kansas.

Two Stream Energy employees were on hand to take in this special night and to start the fireworks celebration in style. Office Manager Jessica Vitela and Receptionist Gayrelyn Miller recently told us about their experience at Big D NYE 2012.

1. How did you learn you were selected to represent Stream Energy at Big D NYE and how did you respond to the offer?

JV: I was at home on vacation when I got the call. When I heard what the opportunity was, there were no words that came out of my mouth—I just screamed in excitement. I didn’t say one word. Once it was mentioned that Gayrelyn was going to be joining me, I got even more excited and screamed even more. I was so thankful and words couldn’t express how excited I was.

GM: I was here at work by myself since Jessica was on vacation. When I was asked if I had plans for New Years Eve and if I would like to push the button to begin the fireworks show, I was so excited, proud and overwhelmed.

What did you do while at the event?

JV: I arrived at the about same time the Dallas Stars game ended so traffic was crazy. There were so many people and I panicked a little bit because I was worried I wouldn’t make it to where I needed to be. I finally made it through the crowds and met Gayrelyn inside the WFAA studios where they were having a private party for the WFAA employees. We were able to stay and enjoy the party with them. We met a lot of great people, including contestants participating in different contests that night. Our Chairman, Rob Snyder, sent me a text message that said: “Don’t shame us” in a playful tone to wish us well. About 30 minutes before midnight, we were escorted to an area behind the stage where we were going to push the button. We were able to enjoy the music backstage until they escorted us onstage to get the crowd excited with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. We were in shock at the thousands of people in attendance.

GM: When I first got into the WFAA studios, the first thing that struck me was how extremely welcoming everyone was. It was a laidback party atmosphere, and it was really nice. We stayed inside the studios and enjoyed the party until it was time to go out on the stage with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. I got really excited when it was time to push the button to start the fireworks show. It was such a great experience. It was an opportunity and an experience that I will never forget.

3. Describe the moments just before midnight.

JV: When the countdown got down to 10 seconds, we began counting down with the rest of the crowd. Once it got to zero the crowd went wild and crazy, and we pushed the button with Jeanne Reyer from Captain Hope’s Kids. It truly was an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

GM: We were on stage yelling and cheering with the thousands of people in the crowd. We pushed the button, and the fireworks started going off above us. We were hugging the cheerleaders and were watching everyone in the crowd celebrate. My eyes welled up when I realized how thankful I was to make it to another year and to do it such a great fashion.

4. What was your favorite part of the night?

JV: For me, my favorite part was being onstage right before midnight and feeling the energy from the crowd. The sea of thousands of people were cheering, yelling and celebrating all together. It was really neat. 

GM: I agree with Jessica. My favorite part was being onstage, pushing the button, seeing the fireworks and seeing how happy and joyous everyone in the crowd was. It was really amazing to see people of different color, gender, size and shape all celebrating and being happy together. To experience that with everyone was amazing.

5. How did you spend the rest of the evening after starting the Stream Energy Fireworks Spectacular?

JV: After the fireworks were over, we went backstage and mingled with people we had never met. We just had a great time. Everyone was so happy and excited. We got to meet some really neat WFAA personalities and other local celebrities who were there. I brought my mom to the event with me, and she also had a great time. I had to go find my mom on the dance floor dancing the night away inside the WFAA studios after the fireworks show!

GM: We stayed and watched the fireworks and then partied the night away with everyone. I left about an hour after midnight, but we had such a great time. Our boss texted both Jessica and I, and she thanked us for representing Stream Energy so well at the Big D NYE.

Both Jessica Vitela and Gayrelyn Miller are incredibly thankful and grateful to have been chosen to represent Stream Energy on such a grand stage. They would like to thank WFAA for the great hospitality and Stream Energy for the opportunity to represent the firm in front of thousands of people on the streets in Dallas and millions of others watching on television.

The two both said they would love to return to the stage next year to help ring in 2013 but said it was such a great and memorable experience that they hope other dedicated Stream Energy employees will have the opportunity to experience the once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Mutual Gratitude

By Internal Communications Editor Brian Hale

About eight years ago, a small group of people led by Rob Snyder and Pierre Koshakji put into action a ground-breaking business plan. The idea was to adopt a multi-level network marketing approach similar to those used by extremely successful direct-selling companies like Avon and Mary Kay, and apply that strategy to the recently deregulated energy market in Texas.

As details began to take shape, new investors committed to the idea; a PUC license was obtained; and a small amount of office space was leased in one of the most recognizable buildings in Dallas – the INFOMART. As a basic framework became operational, Stream Energy and Ignite were born.

In the more than seven years since Stream Energy was awarded a PUC license to operate in the state of Texas, Stream Energy has grown to over half a million customers in five states (Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey), employed hundreds of exceptional people at the headquarters in Dallas, and allowed thousands of Independent Associates the opportunity to seize control of their financial future and build relationships that can last a lifetime.

Along this journey, Rob, along with the executive staff and more than 260 Stream Energy employees, has been graciously thanked countless times by IAs who appreciate the vision, dedication and commitment to the plan first conceived in 2004.

While Stream Energy and Ignite have enjoyed record success in our short time, none of it could have been possible without the hard work and dedication of thousands who have worked to ensure our success.

The Stream Energy headquarters in Dallas employs more than 260 employees on a daily basis. When needed, these employees have worked weekends, overnight and incredibly long hours to ensure the success of Stream Energy and Ignite. They believe in this business—in helping people succeed. To the employees of Stream Energy: thank YOU.

Thousands of IAs bought into the idea of warm marketing and asking friends and family for their business. They have done so with such success that Stream Energy is in the record books as one of the fastest-growing companies in American business history. The success of this firm and the employment of over 260 Stream Energy employees would not have been possible without the hard work of our thousands of dedicated Associates. To the Ignite Independent Associates: thank YOU.

As most people know, the success or failure of a company hinges on its customers. Stream Energy and Ignite are in the business of helping our customers save money on one of life’s necessary commodities (energy) and doing it with a successful business model. With variety of different service providers offering energy service, customers in deregulated service areas are free to choose any service provider they like. To the loyal customers who continue to choose Stream Energy as their service provider of choice: thank YOU.

The hundreds of thousands of IAs who have joined us along the way, have attended at least one business presentation in a variety of venues to get more information on Ignite’s award-winning success model. Managers and owners of restaurants, hotels and motels have opened their doors to Ignite. Homeowners have opened their homes to new and prospective Associates. To all those who allowed the Ignite Opportunity and the Stream Energy story to be told: thank YOU.

There are countless people who have contributed in some form or fashion to the success of our business. To anyone who has contributed to this business; to anyone who has positively affected our firm; to everyone who remains loyal, committed and dedicated to the continued success of Stream Energy and Ignite: thank YOU.  

Although our achievements and successes are exciting, inspirational and motivational, Stream Energy and Ignite still have a lot of unfinished work. With over a half-million customers in five states, Stream Energy has proven it is a powerful and permanent force in the deregulated energy market.

What began as a simple business plan eight years ago has emerged into a business that has changed and bettered the lives of so many. With our spectacular team, Stream Energy is primed to continue our national expansion for a long time come.

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We’re on a Highway to Health

By Senior Human Resources Generalist Stephanie Strong

Stream Energy, one of the largest energy retailers in the state of Texas, launched its employee wellness initiative called Highway to HEALTH in mid-August 2010. This program – available at no cost to its employees – promotes a full range of activities and services that are being offered as a tangible demonstration of Stream Energy’s commitment to our employees overall well-being.

The Highway to HEALTH initiative is a comprehensive program that features a wellness assessment, quarterly seminars, quarterly wellness challenges, preventive screenings and personal health coaching. Highway to HEALTH also includes a range of interactive wellness activities available to employees as well as related efforts focused upon helping those with specific health conditions.

As part of this program, all employees are incentivized to attain wellness points throughout the calendar, by participating in wellness seminars and exercise programs. By reaching a certain point total in the year, employees are eligible for sizeable discounts on their health insurance programs for the subsequent calendar year.

On Stream Energy’s online wellness portal, the company offers resources such as health calculators, medical dictionaries, prescription drug information, and personalized information about a variety of topics ranging from physical to emotional to financial wellbeing.

In 2011, Stream Energy offered a variety of programs such as:

  • Money Management seminar
  • BBVA Compass bankers onsite to answer questions and help employees open checking/savings accounts
  •  Gym representative onsite to provide discounted gym memberships to employees
  • Weekly onsite yoga classes
  • Onsite self defense/kickboxing class
  • Opportunities to register for charity run/walk events
  • Punt/Pass/Kick contest for employees
  • Mo-vember participation for cancer awareness
  • Fresh fruit provided in the office for employees every other week
  • Healthy eating cookbook created from recipes sent in by employees
  • Healthy eating potluck
  • Flu shots
  • Onsite blood donation
  • A “Biggest Loser” weight-loss challenge
  • Annual Wellness Assessment and Preventative Screenings onsite

At Stream Energy, we believe it is vitally important to take care of the people who take care of our customers and Associates.

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