Four Generations at Nectar

Celebrating what Makes us Different

By grouping people into generations, we have improved our ability to measure social and cultural change. Unfortunately, it has also led to over-generalizations and divisive rhetoric. What would happen if, instead of focusing on the stereotypes, we celebrated the wisdom gained from experiencing a time different from our own? At Nectar, our small team spans four generations, and we aim to do just that every day. Jump in as we share memories, advice, and celebrate the magic of a multi-generational team. You might just realize we aren’t so different from one another after all.


DIANA BOVEN: Baby Boomer

What model of computer were you using in college?
None! After college I started freelancing and was introduced in 1988 to one of the first MacIntosh computers! Yep – the first mac on the market. Steve Jobs had come out with the Apple Lisa, then Apples I, II & III, but it wasn’t until 1984 that the first personal computer called a Mac was introduced. It was revolutionary to say the least. The learning curve was steep and for the next decade I would use both traditional graphic design tools and a Mac.

What piece of technology has changed your life the most drastically?
The Mac. I had been a traditional graphic artist, drawing with pen and ink, making “keylines” for the printing companies, which consisted of adhering typeset galleys and graphics to rigid boards with overlays for color separations. The printer would then photograph those boards and create plates for the printing press. Check out these articles to learn more about how we designers created before computers: How Did Graphic Design Work Before Computers? Design Before Computers Ruled the Universe

What do you think is the most promising thing about members of the upcoming generations?
Their ability to adapt rapidly to changing technologies.

What is a big challenge you think they will face?
Staying connected to their co-workers and maintaining interpersonal work relationships which can add valuable insight to a project. In my opinion, nothing can replace the creative energy ignited when people are physically in a room together brainstorming.

If you have one piece of advice for the generation below you, what is it?
Don’t allow technology to think for you.

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
New ideas. Energy. Cross pollination of how things used to be done and how we can think of new ways to do them now.


CHRIS DEBAUN: Baby Boomer

Tell us a memory of your youth involving the hottest tech of that time
Seeing (and playing with) my first Texas Instruments Calculator in 1973. I was a “tween”, and the dad of my best friend Mark at the time had one. We were forbidden to touch it, so of course we touched it. At $400 (inflation figure for 2018 would be $2,532), this was a LOT of money back then. It had a 1k memory system. As an eleven year old, we loved the glowy display.

What piece of technology has changed your life the most drastically?
Digital photography, hands down. After years of film shooting, I was SUPER PSYCHED when digital was born. I bought one of the first Sony Mavicas (wish I had kept it) that took 3.5 floppys in 1993. Each floppy held exactly 3 photos at 1024 x 768, so I’d travel around with a backpack that held 300+ floppys, and yes – I still have all of my old Mavica photos.

What do you think is the most promising thing about members of the upcoming generations?
Resilience, social consciousness, connectiveness.

If you have one piece of advice for the generation below you, what is it?
Unplug. Go see the ocean, and look at it. Stare at that horizon and know that the world is a huge place. Travel. See the world before it shrinks further. Make a difference. Use technology for good things that benefit those with less than us.

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
Being able to tease the youngsters that know less than I do, and asking them to get off my goddamn lawn.


JEFF DOBROW: Gen-X

What model of computer were you using in college?
For that brief period, an Osbourne portable running CPM. Heavy beast. CPM was a popular environment at the time and the Osborne and Kaypro were some portables available. I do believe I traded some programming work for it.

What do you think is the most promising thing about members of the upcoming generations?
Their ability to connect on simple threads and sustain relationships on ‘little’ as opposed to focusing on differences and needing to have ‘a lot’ in order to connect.

If you have one piece of advice for the generation below you, what is it?
Measure yourself on your own terms, not those handed down to you. Follow the path that is yours, not the path you are told to follow. Global communication and immediacy dictate a never resting world that has a place for you, if you create it and not look for it.

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
Access to a pool of diverse persepctives based on unique, individual lives from different cultures and periods.


VICKI BROTHERS: Gen-X

Tell us a memory from your youth involving the hottest tech of that time
An unexpected assignment going from a pencil sketch to a box/CPU that is my most applicable memory. In my second year of college, my professor told the communication graphics department we’d need to do a few projects using a Macintosh Computer. I started my graphic design course using pencil and paper so hearing about this new and required tool was unnerving and not exciting to me—as it really should have been. (In retrospect, I was scared.) The first project was a Peter Paul Rubins after study. I was completely hooked. Fast forward to 2018. I fall in love with my Mac daily for one reason or another. Working inside any design program helps quiet the chaos we all have to navigate/conquer/champion/engage in this changing advertising landscape. Forefront is my gratitude for that first Macintosh project in college and the simplicity, the magic, and wonder I felt having to use it for the first time.

If you have one piece of advice for the generation below you, what is it?
Get a cat. And then get a cat for your cat. They are so popular on YouTube.

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
Exposure. Vitality. Education. Diversity. Energy. Enthusiasm. Eagerness. Appreciation. (But then our cast is phenomenal.)


TOMMY TERRELL: Millennial

Tell us a memory of your youth involving the hottest tech of that time
We didn’t get too fancy with tech in my house, but I carried my Walkman CD player around with me EVERYWHERE. All of my jewel cases were crushed to pieces because I carried them in a backpack all summer while biking around the neighborhood and working at the local pool. My CD’s at that point were mostly 80’s Thrash Metal classics (Early Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer) though it was mid-2000’s by then.

What piece of technology has changed your life the most drastically?
For Christmas, my mother-in-law bought my wife and I a dog camera. I thought it was a ridiculous waste of money at first, but now I really enjoy checking in on my boys and throwing them the occasional treat via remote. I do fear, however, that the FBI agent monitoring my devices may be watching us sleep…

What do you think is the most promising thing about members of the upcoming generations?
I hope the younger generation will be able to untangle the complex issues we’ve got here and see beyond the nostalgia for a pre-connected world. They grew up post-internet, so they’re the first generation without an “Analog Eden” baked into their brains, making them hopefully a little less cynical. Scary, but maybe our nostalgia is holding us back from streamlining this big messy, connected, world. Though I also think that one of their challenges, which is really a challenge for all of us already, will be to find balance and still care for and nurture the physical world and our physical selves. I hope they are healthier than my generation both mentally and physically, and aren’t bogged down by technology’s influence.

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
We see it from all sides. We speak a common tongue, but we all have different dialects and that makes our end products robust, mature, and ALIVE.


GEOFF ROGERS: Millennial

Tell us a memory of your youth involving the hottest tech of that time
I remember going to Blockbuster (!) with my dad to rent movies and begging him to let me go and play the demo Nintendo 64. I just couldn’t believe that there were games with 3D graphics!

What new piece of technology has changed your life the most drastically?
I was late to the world of smartphones, holding onto my flip phone until late 2014 when I got a Nexus 5 that at the time ran Android 4.4 KitKat. Within a week I couldn’t believe I had held out for so long, and within two weeks was completely obsessed with it. It’s hardly a new thought, but I don’t think there are many technologies in recent memory that have so completely changed how we all live our lives and interact with each other. Whether it’s directing me to my Airbnb in a foreign country, or drip-feeding me an unending feed of new Reddit posts, I can’t imagine life without it. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about the dangers of social media these days, but I think it’s important to remember the incredibly positive ways in which smartphones have connected all of us.

If you have one piece of advice for the generation below you, what is it?
Focus on finding the few things in your life that are really important to you, and take up some kind of mindfulness practice etc. for your mental well-being. We’re all increasingly pulled in a million directions at once in our digital, work, and social lives, and it’s more important now than ever to find time for silence. Words of wisdom from a past coworker: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and everything is small stuff”.

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
Everyone talks about diversity of gender and ethnicity, and while that is important, diversity of age deserves as much if not more attention. Working with people representing a wide range of ages benefits everyone and provides a much needed widening of perspectives in a company. I think new, young additions to a company can provide an often needed infusion of energy and new ideas, while working with older individuals can provide much needed perspective regarding priorities. They can counter the “newness bias” favoring a focus on what consistently provides value rather than on the latest and greatest thing. Not to mention that cultivating friendships of all ages both keeps you young, and gives you access to a trove of life wisdom that would otherwise be unavailable to you.

As culture progresses at an increasingly rapid pace, breaking down the barriers between generations is more important than ever. With technological differences making the details of each generation’s lives more and more different, it’s important to focus on the human elements of our lives that tie us together and that we all share.


TAYLOR MARROW: Millennial/ iGen

I was born in 1995, so what generation I fall under depends on who you ask. Most say I am either the last year of the millenials or the first year of iGen. Sounds like an identity crisis to me.

Tell us a memory of your youth involving the hottest tech of that time
Between the karaoke machine and boombox, my house had Backstreet Boys blasting 24/7. (Runner ups were Nsync, Hilary Duff, and honestly way too much Boyz II Men for my age). Toss in a disco ball, and my house became well known on the block for our basement dance parties.

If you have one piece of advice for the generation below you, what is it?
Statistically, you will be the most diverse and accepting generation yet. Leverage this. Empathy and love are two of the greatest gifts you can give, and our world is in desperate need of them both. But most importantly, refuse to take today for granted. Embrace the fragility and brevity of life instead of fearing it. Allow your mortality keep you in-touch with your humanity and your place in the world. Let it drive out pride with humility, apathy with empathy, bitterness with forgiveness, and intolerance with love.

Also, Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing. -Ron Swanson

What are some benefits to working with a multi-generational team like Nectar?
I learn so much from everyone on a daily basis, and I am constantly challenging myself to see things through the eyes of my co-workers. Everyone brings their own unique talents and personalities to the table. It’s like we are all a different piece of a puzzle- we complement each other and fit together to make something beautiful!

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