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Encore, a CoverMyMeds Employee Talent Show
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CoverMyMeds’ Got Talent: Employees Showcase Music Skills for a Cause

By Michael A. Bukach2022-02-15

CoverMyMeds recently celebrated Encore, a virtual employee talent show fundraiser. For 90 minutes on Jan. 24, 2022, singers, musicians, songbirds and instrumentalists came together to jam out, while also raising money for an important cause — Angels for Change.

One benefit of cultivating a diverse workforce is getting to know some cool things about your coworkers. At CoverMyMeds, we don’t all look, think or act the same, and our interests widely vary outside of work. One hobby that unites many of us, however, is a passion for music.

On Jan. 24, 2022, that passion was on full display during Encore, our first company-wide event since CoverMyMeds, RelayHealth, RxCrossroads by McKesson and McKesson Prescription Automation unified as one team under the CoverMyMeds brand.

Stephanie Tripi, program manager at CoverMyMeds, helped plan the event.

“Encore’s aim was to bring together CoverMyMeds employees from across the country to celebrate our talented team members,” Stephanie said. “During the live showing, you could feel the energy and excitement from the hundreds of people who tuned in.”

A purpose behind the performances

Encore provided an opportunity for musicians, songbirds and instrumentalists at CoverMyMeds to cut loose and jam out together in a virtual environment, but it also had a deeper purpose: to raise money and awareness for Angels for Change.

Angels for Change is a volunteer-run organization on a mission to end drug shortages through advocacy, awareness and a resilient supply chain. McKesson — and by extension, CoverMyMeds — has supported them since 2019.

The employee-driven goal of Encore was to raise $2,000 for Angels for Change. To date, we’ve raised nearly $4,300 from a combination of direct employee donations and branded apparel purchases.

It’s exciting to bond with people who share your passion for music … it feels good to see people shine their light.

Chantal Bradleyanalytics manager at CoverMyMeds

An evening to honor employee talent

Encore was emceed by three of CoverMyMeds’ finest — Dante Lovell, account coordinator, Derrick Brown, technical program manager, and Katy Dilts, account coordinator. The trio kicked off Encore by highlighting our long-standing support of Angels for Change.

Then, they welcomed Analytics Managers Chantal Bradley and Jake Barry and Senior Business Insights Analyst Jonathan Flores to the virtual stage. The trio described their musical style as “a little bit of Amy Winehouse mixed with Nina Simone and Beyoncé.”

“I’m just a small woman with a big voice,” Chantal said. “I was approached by some team members who know I love karaoke, and we decided to collaborate for Encore. It’s exciting to bond with people who share your passion for music … it feels good to see people shine their light.”

After their rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” performances by Nikita Patton, Trace Thompson and Paula Mangum followed. Paula, who sang “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes, is a business systems analyst by day, soulful folk singer by night.

“It was a pleasure to see how many talented people we have in the CoverMyMeds family,” Paula said. “I enjoyed sharing my talents with everyone, since many have heard me talk about being a musician but had never seen me perform.”

I’ve missed performing musical theater during quarantine, and it was so much fun to sing for other people again.

Kate Shivelyaccount coordinator at CoverMyMeds

Likewise, Kate and Jenna Shively — a married couple who are expecting a baby this March — also jumped at the opportunity. Together, they sang ABBA’s “I Have a Dream.”

“Jenna and I met during a production of ‘Ragtime,’ and we love to harmonize together at home,” Kate said. “I’ve missed performing musical theater during quarantine, and it was so much fun to sing for other people again.”

Events like Encore, she said, provide a unique space for CoverMyMeds employees to express themselves.

Se Yeon Hwang, software engineer, followed Kate and Jenna’s duet with a heartwarming string performance alongside his two children.

“My wife and I were trying to find a good way for our four-year-old son to get the right tempo with his cello, but it wasn’t easy,” Se Yeon said. “We had so much fun preparing for this event, and we want to try to play some music together every month.”

Sierra Stevens, Deandra Gipson, Crystal Winfrey-Ellington and Suzanne Green followed, much to the delight of virtual viewers. Indeed, the event’s chat box buzzed with 1,727 exclamations of admiration throughout the night, including:

Real chats from CoverMyMeds employees

- Who knew we had so many talented team members?

- Is this what it feels like to see something before it goes viral? CHILLS.

- I have never felt this un-talented in my life. OMG.

Employee engagement is what makes CoverMyMeds different from other companies … it makes us feel connected to each other.

Ciarra Taylorcase manager at CoverMyMeds

Celebrating lifetimes of musical accomplishments

Next on the roster was Ciarra Taylor, case manager at CoverMyMeds. When she was nine, Ciarra joined Cleveland’s Singing Angels — a nonprofit dedicated to youth development through artistic achievement in the performing arts. She continued to pursue her love of music throughout grade school, high school and college, performing in The Ohio State University's premier co-ed a cappella group, Ohio State of Mind.

For Encore, she sang a rendition of Rihanna’s song “Stay” alongside her friend, Shane.

“I love the events CoverMyMeds plans for employees — they make work feel less like work,” Ciarra said. “Employee engagement is what makes CoverMyMeds different from other companies … it makes us feel connected to each other.”

After Ciarra and Shane came Dan Ellis and his wife, who performed “Two Different Roads” by Michael Nesmith. Dan, quality manager at CoverMyMeds, was raised on classic rock radio stations and loves to play songs that make him happy.

“I’ve never seen another company do something like Encore,” Dan said. “Events like this solidify the CoverMyMeds culture — they create an electric environment to work in.”

Zach Thomas, cyber security analyst, shares Dan’s love of classic rock. For Encore, he played an original song he wrote a few years ago.

“I was the lead guitarist and one of the singers in a classic rock cover band for a couple of years,” Zach said. “Guitar has solidified itself as a mental and physical exercise as I learn new techniques and integrate them into songs that I occasionally write.”

One of Zach’s life dreams is to write and produce music for a video game — colliding his fascination with guitar and career with technology.

Bringing people together after hours to hang out in a virtual environment was much appreciated.

Ryan Francis aka “Huge Euge"account coordinator at CoverMyMeds

Another original performance to end the night

Following Zach’s performance were three more acts: Clarissa Cochran, intake specialist, Jessica Darby, case manager, and Travis Jones, VP of finance. Finally, was account coordinator Ryan Francis — or “Huge Euge.” The stage name, he says, is a play on his middle name, Eugene.

“I played drums in a punk band from ’01 to ’09 ... we toured regionally and played some big shows at Warped Tour ’05, ’06 and Riot Fest ’08,” Ryan said. “Then, the adult bug bit and we went our separate ways. I didn't want to start all over with a band, so I played some prearranged beats on my laptop and wrote words that rhymed.”

Ryan performed “Hoopin' for Days,” an ode to the art of hula hooping. Of note, he’ll be performing the original song live on March 22 at Rumba Café in Columbus.

“Times have changed, and we don't have face time with colleagues as much anymore,” Ryan said. “Bringing people together after hours to hang out in a virtual environment was much appreciated, and I look forward to more events like this.”

Looking forward to more employee events

In total, over 300 CoverMyMeds employees tuned in to watch 20 of their coworkers — plus a few friends and family members — provide 90 minutes of entertainment on Jan. 24, 2022. And collectively, we more than doubled our fundraising goal for Angels for Change.

2022 began with all employees working from home due to the omicron variant, and Encore provided a much-needed outlet for celebration. Looking ahead, we’re eager to continue cultivating that feeling of togetherness. A few upcoming events include Black History Month activities in February and our second annual BeWell Bingo initiative in March.

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