In 2010, Lakenya Rivers created F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement, a non-profit organization committed to stabilizing and empowering families in transitional living by mentoring and teaching self-worth and family values. Lakenya’s life experience past was a large reason why she decided to create F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement. As a teenager, she found herself homeless and was forced to live in a shelter while taking care of her younger siblings. This experience was an eye-opener for her and she made a pledge that if she was able to leave the shelter and achieve professional success, she would help others get back on their feet by providing the support they needed. Thus, F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement was born.
Over time, with increased success and more people calling on the organization for help Layenya knew it was time to grow the organization but in order to grow, it was necessary to raise money from corporations and foundations. That when she heard of Get Konnected! a Boston networking event that facilitated “connections” for professionals of diverse cultural backgrounds. So she started attending GetKonnected!, at one of these events she connected with both Bob Rivers the President of Eastern Bank and Nancy Stager the bank’s Executive Vice-President for Human Resources whose portfolio also included oversight of the bank’s corporate philanthropy.
After meeting Lakenya and listening to her story, both Bob and Nancy recognized that F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement’s mission was closely aligned with the mission of Eastern Bank’s Foundation. As a result of this “connection: Lakenya and F.A.M.I.L.Y Movement received a $10,000 grant from the Eastern Bank Foundation to support her work. Had it not been for GetKonnected!, she would never have been presented the opportunity to cross paths and meet Bob Rivers and Nancy Stager.
With the fast changing and growing culturally diverse demographics in Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, (BCBSMA), recognized the competitive advantage in increasing its market share and bottom line by targeting African Americans and Latinos. To this end, in 2008, Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts launched a Multicultural Marketing Initiative that included addressing Health Disparities to ensure that these targeted consumers received the proper information about healthcare.
In 2010, when the company launched its new bilingual multicultural website, it saw Get Konnected! as the perfect partner and venue to test the website amongst the target consumers. The company set up laptops at a Get Konnected! and presented attendees an opportunity to visit and experience the site. Following the Get Konnected! test launch of the website, BCBSMA experienced a 68% increase in site visits with visitors remaining on the site for more than 3 minutes.
The positive response to the multicultural website by Get Konnected! attendees sold Blue Cross Blue Shield on the importance of a long term partnership with Get Konnected! as an effective, result-driven branding and consumer engagement channel for culturally diverse consumers. The company is now one of Get Konnected’s a premier sponsor leveraging its sponsorship both from a marketing and a diversity HR perspective.