People Matter Campaign

May 9, 2023

Michael Mendenhall, Senior Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer / Chief Communications Officer hears stories from the customers who participated in TriNet’s brand campaign including Dr. Harvey Karp of Happiest Baby, Dr. Brook Parker-Bello of More Too Life, José Quiñonez of Mission Asset Fund, and Jaime Robinson and Lisa Clunie of JOAN Creative.

Michael Mendenhall: So now we're going to get into our customers and their stories and you're going to see a bit of an inside look into them and why they started these companies and a little bit of what they do with us at TriNet.
So it's my pleasure to bring up Dr. Harvey Karp, founder and CEO of Happiest Baby. They've been with TriNet for four years.
Awesome. So I don't know if you watch this…
Dr. Harvey Karp: No, I was going to say you had me first because I have the earliest bedtime I think.
Michael: No, no. This guy is renowned. If you are a parent, a mother, you know of this guy. He is the foremost leading pediatrician in the country, maybe of the world. And you have the number one bestselling books. And so just I could go on with the accolades that people give you. You're also a professor at USC and foremost in children's rights.
And so I want to talk about quickly, how did you get into that? You were a pediatrician and you've decided to progress and grow and then build this company.
Dr. Karp: I think it's like. Dr. Adler, you see the need. And for my wife, Nina and I, we saw children dying. 3,500 babies die every year in bed, healthy babies. And we felt we could do something about that. And so we came out of retirement and we're not techies. We're not robots.
Michael: So I didn't realize you came out of retirement.
Dr. Karp: Yeah, I was lecturing and writing, and I was kind of out of out of the game of seeing children every day. But it was that sense that we could do something that no one else was doing. And in fact, we're really so proud just two days ago, we got in…
Michael: This is this is important. This is really big news that just came out from the FDA.
Dr. Karp: Yeah. Just came out that SNOO is the first FDA-approved baby bed that keeps babies safely on the back so parents don't have to go to bed… You know what? It's really weird. You cannot drive three minutes in the car without securing a baby in a car seat. You wouldn't drive. I mean, you're not going to get in a car accident, but you wouldn't perch them on the front seat and drive.
And yet we put babies for 12 or 14 hours a night in bed, hoping that they don't roll over, which can be, you know, a terrible, terrible, tragic situation.
And so now parents have the opportunity to put babies in SNOO where it adds an hour to the sleep and it sleep trains them and it reduces crying, but most importantly, gives people that peace of mind that their baby is going to be safe in the morning.
Michael: Now, that's terrific. But you've done that. But you also have books on, you know, parenting and child raising. Talk a little bit about those because they are hugely popular.
Dr. Karp: Well, so there's a book about babies, a book about toddlers. And we have a couple million people come through the website every month just for free content, because our goal and so many of the companies here, we're not a company with a mission. We're mission with the company. We're mission forward and with our people. And our people are the extended people, not just our team partners like TriNet as well as all of the families that come to get information from us.
Michael: Perfect. Perfect. Why don't we show that behind the scenes? Galen Summer's piece on your company, Happiest Baby.
Dr. Karp: There's been lots of stressors on the American family over the last 20, 30, 40 years. Parents are struggling.
I'm Harvey Karp. I'm a pediatrician and child developmentalist. grandfather and author and CEO of our company, Happiest Baby. And I'm particularly proud to be the inventor of our SNOO bed, which is our baby bed.
If you look at the issue of SIDS, 3,500 healthy babies every year roll over and die. My wife and I put our heads together and we decided that we were going to commit ourselves to starting a company that not only built a bed that would rock and shush babies and help them sleep, but also that would secure babies so they couldn't roll to an unsafe position.
To build a world class company that is solving a worldwide problem that takes a really special team. When people are coming to a new company, of course they want a mission. Of course they want to be feeling like their work is going to have impact. But everyone's got families. They need to have good benefits, good medical care and dental care. And we're very happy to be working with TriNet. They've been a fantastic partner for us.
I have to say, I've been a fan of Annie Leibovitz's work for a long, long time, and I felt like she recognized this was about how we present an image of caring for children.
Annie Leibovitz: To see him actually hold the baby and whisper to the baby, it's remarkable. I prefer natural light if I can have it with the light flooding in. It was really nice to work that way. I'm a lucky person to be there in these moments when they should be so proud of what they're doing.
Dr. Karp: Our goal is always to have everyone get a free SNOO. Ultimately, we hope and believe this will be used around the world, even in the most at-risk and impoverished nations. And we think that that's going to make a difference in this next generation.
Michael: Now, before before Harvey goes. We have to bring it up. Nina.
Dr. Karp: Oh, my God, my love.
Michael: This is this is a partnership. And I thought we have to bring you up because you're a big part of this. I just wanted to ask before we have to end. How does this work? Husband and wife, with building something like this. You know, at times, you always sort of feel like with co-founders, there can be friction. Have you had disagreements?
Nina Montée Karp: Of course. I think that the most important thing that it works in our partnership is the fact that we have different skill set. So he's the pretty face in the company. He actually goes on television and he does interviews. You know, he's there with the press. I mean, of course, I'm kidding. And I raise the money and I go to China and deal with the factory workers, engine nerds, as I call them. Jokes aside, it's really as Harvey said earlier, “We don't have company with a mission. We have mission with a company.”
And this took everything we had to actually get approval and to have less anxiety. What it is is the most important time for parents. They think this is they're going to have a baby and it's going to be all rosy. And then they start not sleeping and baby issues and anxiety is baby's going to roll over.
So our workers, it's incredibly rewarding what we do. Our employees are all committed and they're all working hard and it's seldom, seldomly you can say, I work for a company that saves babies lives. So that is very fulfilling and it's easier to work for us. We have been together for 30 some years.
Michael: Oh, congrats.
Nina: A lot of people think we're newlyweds, thanks to Harvey. And how respectful he is always to all of us and all the women actually who work in our company.
Michael: Well, thank you for being a customer.
Nina: Thank you. And thank you, TriNet.Thank you so much for being this amazing partner so that we can do our job easier and better.
Dr. Karp: Thank you.
Michael: The next that the next customer I want to break up is Brook Parker-Bello. She's the founder and CEO of More Too Life. This is a nonprofit customer of ours, fairly new. So we have some that have been here 12 years that are in the campaign. She is new.
Her story is unique, insightful, at times tough. And so I'm going to hopefully get through this interview. So, Brook, come on up.
What an amazing journey you have had.
Dr. Brook Parker-Bello: Yes.
Michael: And again, you know, so many accolades, you know, throughout your trajectory in your career. Awarded a lifetime achievement award by President Obama, rightfully so. And but a hard, tough subject.
And I want to go back to how this started with you and what led you on your mission and your purpose as an organization. I think it's tough yet beautiful what you've done and continue to do. And so let's start at the beginning.
Dr. Bello: Thank you for asking. And I'm really glad to be here and talk to you. I love your glasses.
Michael: Thank you.
Dr. Bello: As a young girl, really quickly, I was abused by a mother who very educated family, but had her issues. And straight-A student, revealed athlete, I ran hurdles, played basketball, I pitched, but I was violently raped at the age of 11 and that I was a young virgin. I hadn't had a boyfriend yet or anything like that. I was in sixth grade and I, eventually I ran away from home because of the challenges and the issues that I faced.
And I was kidnaped off the street by human traffickers. And so I was repeatedly raped and trafficked for a while until I was rescued. And it's amazing how resilient children are. But my dream was never to start a company like More Too Life. My dream was to be a scientist, an actor and a writer. To have three dogs.
Michael: And you've done some of that?
Dr. Bello: Yeah, but when I became an actor, for a while, I saw issues all over and I had triggers that I hadn't dealt with. And I said that there's got to be more to life. And so I left a dream that I was really passionate about that possibly saved my life because of doing scene study. And I started to rescue victims of trafficking in Hollywood with, I won't namedrop, but with one lone actress and friends of mine and staying at my apartment in Hancock Park and eventually knew I had to incorporate.
When you're a nonprofit, you're always raising money and you know you're making sure you pay your staff first. And so actuality more til I started 19 years ago and through all the work and rescue over 10,000 victims globally in the United States, mostly under 17, youngest is four years old.
We came across TriNet about a year and a half ago and made it our goal to ease the burden and of the onboarding processes. We’re growing. Now we're creating models that will be global. And a team member of mine, my chief managing director, found you and I was so excited and it's just been epic because as a founder and a survivor of human trafficking, like the word survivor, I like to say champion and victim to survivor, survivor to thriver, thriver to champion, and being a mother of many, but not being able to have my own children because of the repeated rapes, I'm happily married to a beautiful Italian, so we would have had beautiful babies. But it was really important to connect with the company that really kind of understood.
And Elizabeth right there in Sarasota, where one of our offices is. And then Denise, I think she lives in Chicago. They were so extraordinary with our staff, with the onboarding process, with being a part of TriNet. Just who knew that such a load could be lifted.
And we have survivor mentors, so we have educated victims of human trafficking, former victims that provide services as mentors. We have therapists and clinicians, we have regional advocates, we have enrichments, some as specialists. And now they get to choose from like a plethora of insurances. They get like discounts and fun, wonky stuff, and they’re like, “Oh my God, we love this.”
So it's that and it's also all the other aspects. And we feel a part of something really important and that connected with our new gaming and the new VR tech company that we're a part of. I just couldn't be happier to be connected to TriNet.
Michael: Who was once the youngest person you've saved?
Dr. Bello: Four years old.
Michael: Why don't we take a look at the video?
Dr. Bello: My name is Dr. Brooke Parker-Bello, founder and CEO of More Too Life, an anti-human trafficking organization. The youngest victim in over 10,000 victims that we've rescued is around four years old.
I got into this work because I had to save my own life at the age of 11 as a human trafficking overcomer. Our services really focus on mental health, identity, discovery, safe housing. It's not just going out and doing a bunch of volunteer work to rescue victims. It's very coordinated. And to have coordination, you have to have strong staff. I don't want our staff to care so much for others and neglect our own care, which is why I love working with TriNet. It makes it easier on CEOs like me and it makes the staff feel like “You really thought about us.”
I consider myself a new type of CEO, one that has been on the ground and understands the work that needs to be done. When you're in leadership and you're running a company, it's important to know when you're on the right path. Annie saw me and saw through me.
Annie Leibovitz: When she walked into that room, she sat down and I sat opposite her as if I was one of the people that she helped and everything just flooded back to her about being in that room and how important it was talking to all the people that she had helped. It was just such a beautiful little jewel of a shoot.
Dr. Bello: Taking the photos helped me to remind myself that the work that we do really matters.
Michael: I want to say if you want to donate, it's You know, please contribute to this mission. It's so wonderful to have you as a customer. You're a beautiful person.
Dr. Bello:Thank you. I wanted to say one thing. When I was an actor, I actually told myself with a bunch of a group of actors that, “I'll know, I've made it as an actor when Annie Leibovitz takes my photo.”
Michael: Yeah. That was awesome. What a beautiful career.
So the next customer also has doing amazing work in the financial services sector. José Quiñonez, he's the founder and CEO of Mission Asset Fund out of San Francisco. And as Andy said, really a true hero in what he does. Please come on up.
He here we are.
José Quiñonez: Well, thanks for having me.
Michael: Oh, you're welcome. Thank you for coming from, probably San Francisco? Well, that was awesome.
You've been in the financial community in a major way, actually, with, you know, I think it was the San Francisco Reserve Bank to major, major what we say “banks too big to fail” today. And you started this idea, I want you to talk about why you did this, where you saw the need with the underprivileged and giving them access to capital.
José: Well, one, thank you so much for allowing us to tell our story once again. I mean, every time I have the stage to share the map story and really remember why we have to do this, which is it's all about our clients.
It's about the people that we serve. I believe that immigrants, people of color, people that always pushed to the side, people that are forced to live in the shadows, also deserve the best of technology. They all deserve the best of finance. And so that's what we do. We are putting the best finance technology into the service of poor people.
And so and so that's really what I've done is found ways of actually making that happen and doing it in a way that is actually dignified, that uplifts what is good in their lives so that it can actually work for them. So instead of working with or talking to people as if they're broken or as if they just don't know enough, or that we're here to come and save them for some reason, no it's like they're doing phenomenal already. So we want to like lift that up through our programs.
Michael: And it's not just for businesses, it's individuals, right?
José: It's all about individuals. I mean, we really focus on people that are what I call now credit invisible people that have no credit score or people that have no checking accounts. And is that folks that don't have access to the most basic financial tools. And so we actually target them when other other financial services actually avoid them. And so they're left, you know, wandering without any anybody servicing in their needs.
So through math, we're actually creating products to actually help them, you know, realize their full financial potential.
Michael: And how long have you been in existence with this idea?
José: Yeah, you know, we've been working for 15 years. We just celebrated our quinceañera.
Michael: You've been with TriNet for a period of time too.
José: Yeah, that's right. When we started working with TriNet that was because that's when we were on our growth spurt. And so we needed to have that infrastructure that, you know, the services, the benefits to really attract the best talent. So that that way we can put that in the service of poor people.
Michael: Great. Let's take a look at Galen Summer’s piece on your company.
José: Traditionally, society thinks how poor people are just ignorant. They're dumb. They're doing everything wrong. That never really squared with my reality.
My name is José Quiñonez. I'm the founder and CEO of the Mission Asset Fund. What we're trying to do is to help improve the financial lives of low-income immigrant families, so that they can get a loan to buy a car, a mortgage, they can get a loan to start business.
As an immigrant myself, came to this country when I was nine. I came here undocumented, so I know what the reality is like to be in the shadows. With the small business owners, for example, they have very limited access to capital. And all they want is just an opportunity.
When we started the Mission Asset Fund over 15 years ago now, we were clear about our mission. The question was like how to do that? So we brought a team together of young people. Putting the best technology in the service of poor people. We're constantly innovating. We're constantly changing. Going from a local organization rooted in the Mission District in San Francisco to being a national player. It is quite the leap. We were able to sort of expand at a blink of an eye because we have the support of TriNet.
We've now served more than 90,000 people with emergency grants, with credit building loans. I kind of feel like we're just getting started.
Annie Leibovitz: José, he's really like a hero. He's an amazing man.
I knew these were going to be in environmental portraits. I really thought about how important it is to find the place that will resonate. It was a decision I made that the table was really his tool. And there right out that window is people walking by the bus. You know, it's the Mission district. I just felt like he was on the street. You know?
José: For a person like myself who's been at the margins of the world to get that type of attention of somebody like her, to be her muse for a half a day, I'm just a completely in awe. This is a moment that we have been working towards. We’re trying to make the invisible visible.
Michael: Hopefully tonight we've made you very visible.
José: Yes, indeed. Thank you so much.
Michael: But I want to know. Is the table your workplace?
José: Well, I have an office with a different team. It looks the same.
Michael: All right. Thank you.
José: Thank you.
Michael: So our final and fifth customer is Lisa Clunie and Jaime Robinson, the founders and co-CEOs of Joan Creative. So please welcome them up. This will be a fun interview.
So as Annie said, is this Mad Men? Are you guys in the Mad Men world?
Lisa Clunie: We are.
Jaime Robinson: We're definitely mad, for sure.
Michael: So, amazing though that you both started this company. You both had illustrious careers in advertising. You actually stayed in this field doing something different.
It’d be interesting, we have time here, why you left and then did this, thinking this is better than that in sort of big enterprises. You started your own probably because you wanted to drive your own ideas and not be you know, not squash the sort of creative and the ideas that can happen in a larger company.
But I want to start with you, Jaime, because of your name.
Jaime: Jaime or Joan?
Michael: Well, now we're going to start Jaime, because Joan's a part of that, right?
Jaime: Yes.
Michael: So it's interesting. You were named after very strong women, no?
Jaime: Yes.
Michael: Why don't you talk a little bit about that before we get into the two of you with a women-driven company that's strong as well?
Jaime: Well, my name is Jaime. And it's spelled J-A-I-M-E, which is a strange name. It’s a strange way to spell a girl's name. It's actually the way you spell “Jaime” in Spanish. And everyone wants to know why I'm called that. And the reason why is my mother was looking for names through the TV Guide. If you guys can remember the TV Guide and she landed upon a hot new show that was coming out called Bionic Woman. and the lead character was called Jaime Sommers. Spelled this weird way, Jaime. And she said, “That is what I'm going to name my child because I want her to be strong and bionic.” So my, actually my social handles are “BionicRobinson.”
And now the Joan story is when Lisa and I first founded the company, you can name it anything you want. And most people in advertising name it after the founders and most of them are men. We're one of the very few agencies still to this day founded by women. And so for us, we could have named it Clunie Robinson or Robinson Clunie. And that would have been kind of cool because not a whole lot of lady-named agencies, but we wanted it to be about something that was bigger than ourselves.
So we started talking about the people that really inspired Lisa and I. And it was really weird because so many of them were called Joan. And so many of them were women who had gone into male dominated fields and really made a difference and brought their point of view.
And there was Joan Rivers who was able to tell what her experience was like as a as a woman and it was raunchy and was not like any other lady that was in showbiz. And we love that about her, her fearlessness. And Joan Jett. They told Joan Jett, they said, “You got to play violin because you're a girl.” And she said, “I want to play guitar.” And her parents said, okay. And like Joan Baez and Joan Armatrading and Joan of Arc. And like, even like there's a great Spanish artist Joan Miró. And we're like, “Holy crap, all of these people are called Joan,” so let's…
Lisa: Joan Didion.
Jaime: So we're like, “Oh my God, all of these amazing people called Joan. So could we actually call our agency something that was that inspiring.
Michael: That's awesome, but very creative. Wow. I can't wait to see some some of these campaigns you've done with Facebook and everyone else. Are they as equally as creative as naming your company?
Lisa: I would hope so. Yes.
Michael: That's awesome. Well, I was like, Oh God, I'm going to interview people in a branding company. We're launching a new brand. What's your opinion? Might as well get it out there now.
Lisa: Well, first of all, we love a good concept, right? And the idea that this is a people-oriented company that is obsessed with customer stories is so right. It's so true. And then to find the preeminent photographer who can capture the soul of what that really means, not on its face, but in its heart. You know, I think that that is stunning. I really do.
Jaime: Yeah. And I'll say, one other kind of anecdote. When Annie came to photograph us, it was on International Women's Day and she came in and she said just by happenstance, she said, “Happy International Women's Day.” And for Lisa and I to be photographed in like our corner office on Wall Street by Annie Leibovitz, it was like this is amazing.
Michael: Well, and you had amazing light.
Jaime: And the light cooperated.
Michael: Well, let's take a look at the Galen Summers piece.
Lisa: What an unbelievable privilege it was to be able to be with Annie.
Jaime: Usually we're the ones making the creative decisions. So to give yourself over wholly to someone, I guess it better be Annie Leibovitz.
Lisa: There are some inflection points over the years; signing our first lease, growing out of a space, winning agency of the year. Our image taken by Annie. This is another point of stop and take a look at what you've done. Take a look what you've built.
Jaime: As a creative agency, we are charged by our clients to help them develop brands, to create communications and creative ideas that helps their brands grow.
Lisa: I love building brands and I love doing it with people who represent the best of what we've got in this country.
Jaime: The magic sauce of what makes Joan Joan is the people.
Lisa: In the past couple of years, we've actually accelerated our growth quite a lot and it has been a really great partner for us as we're scaling to help us really kind of level up.
Annie Leibovitz: I love Jaime and Lisa. Two women running their own agency. The day before I had seen the Edward Hopper show at the Whitney. And I walked into that conference room and the light kind of had a Hopper-esque feel, but also was telling the story. We were supposed to work in an hour or two and I saw the light and I grabbed Lisa said, “Come on, right now. Right now.”
You know, I love how they support each other. Help each other are so different from each other. It was a very proud moment.
Jaime: Here we are shooting in our office on Wall Street with like the best photographer in the world.
Humans connecting with other humans. That is the essence of what we do. That is essence of what makes us special. And that's all based around people.
Michael: There is a story with Annie. And I was with her and we were in an office that we were going to photograph one of our customers and she starts pacing and I thought, “What?” She's distracted. So I go, “What's going on?” And she goes, “The light’s shifting. The light’s shifting.” And I'm like, “What?” She goes, “The light’s shifting.” I couldn't even see it. And she was like, all annoyed. And I was like, “Oh God.” So knowing that she plopped you down fast, like, now's the moment. I'm not surprised.
It has been really wonderful having you as a part of the campaign and as a customer. We enjoyed it and we're pleased to have you and I want to thank you for coming.
Lisa: Thank you.
Jaime: Thank you so much for having us.
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