Fossil Group celebrates passionate individuals who share our values and strive to make a big impact. Authenticity, grit and curiosity are all qualities that describe Ada Tsang. As the first woman from Hong Kong to climb Mount Everest, Ada embodies these values—and all with a sense of humor. Recently, Fossil Group invited Ada to its Hong Kong office to share her story.
AN INCREDIBLE GOAL
As a secondary school teacher, Ada challenged her students to set a goal and plan their journey to reach it. “When I challenged my students, they challenged me back,” she said. And so, Ada decided then and there to create the goal of conquering Mount Everest.
Ada started her journey with no experience in mountain climbing. She quickly learned she would have to go through years of high intensity training to complete her goal—starting at the beginning. “No matter how big your dream is, you need to break it into small pieces so you can achieve it,” she said.
Before she moved onto rock climbing, Ada began climbing ice, slowly going higher and higher. Her first extensive rock climbing journey took several days.
In addition to climbing, Ada knew she needed to increase her fitness level, so she began running. She added other activities, such as cycling and kayaking, into her routine as well.
A LESSON IN GRIT
In 2014, more than four years after she originally decided to climb Mount Everest, Ada’s first attempt was canceled. An avalanche claimed the lives of 16 Nepalese Sherpas and all climbing was then suspended for the remainder of the year. “In climbing”, said Ada, “the climate determines your success.” While the temptation to quit was there, Ada knew she couldn’t let her students down.
“It is human nature to give up when you face adversity, but for me, encouraging my students to pursue their dream kept me going. Promises are important to me, so that’s why I didn’t give up,” said Ada.
Over the next year, Ada continued her high intensity training, making many sacrifices to reach her goal.
Ada attempted to climb Everest again in 2015. This time, an earthquake triggered an avalanche that swept through basecamp. Her entire team was caught up in the ice slide and suffered many injuries. Ada had a fractured skull, but was fortunate to escape with her life. She joked that her memory loss from the incident actually made it easier for her to go for a third attempt. Determined to grow from the experience, Ada said, “all the failure and difficulties made me train harder and made me more focused, so I returned stronger.”
“Whenever it got difficult, I would think, ‘This is going to turn me into a bigger person if I find a way to solve the problem.’”Ada
It was at this point that Ada made the difficult decision to quit her job and put all her focus on training. To Ada, pursuing her dream was still a form of education. This level of dedication meant Ada had to ride her bike to training each day, bring her own lunch and stop spending money—all to see her dream come true.
Finally, seven years after she set her goal to climb Mount Everest, Ada Tsang made it to the top. Her students, many of whom Ada still keeps in touch with, were inspired and encouraged by her dedication. “All the difficulties, whenever it got difficult, I was just thinking, ‘This is going to turn me into a bigger person if I find a way to solve the problem.’”
Despite the adversity Ada faced throughout her journey, she never gave up. At Fossil Group, we salute fearless women like Ada who empower other women through their actions. We’re looking forward to following Ada and learning what goal she’s tackling next.
Fossil Group was proud to support social entrepreneur and #valuable champion Caroline Casey in her groundbreaking journey to raise awareness for disability inclusion. The Binc founder, who is legally blind, completed her one-month, 1,000-kilometer horseback trek through South America earlier this month, arriving in Bogota, Colombia, for the annual One Young World Summit.
That the conclusion of her journey coincided with the summit was no accident. One Young World is a movement that empowers bright young leaders to create positive change in the world. Their annual gathering is an opportunity for 1,400 young people—supported by influential figures from the worlds of politics, business, sports, entertainment and more—to debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces.
It was the perfect forum for Caroline’s call to action, seeking “daring, defiant” leaders to create a new world order on behalf of the 1.2 billion people worldwide living with a disability. She challenged those in attendance to start a global conversation about inclusion—calling on the corporations they work for and support to make this issue a priority.
“I fundamentally believe the only force on this planet to help completely reframe the way we understand disability is business,” she has said of her cause. “The 1.2 billion people with a disability, through business, could change the world pretty much for everyone.
HEEDING THE CALL
Caroline was joined onstage by 12 corporate leaders who support this important cause. Among that group was Ashley Nelson, Fossil’s senior vice president of Americas wholesale sales, who applauded Caroline and the attendees for their commitment to making the world a better place for everyone.
“Caroline challenges all of us to ‘push the boundaries of possible.’ Together, we can make her mission a reality—to champion the truth that every human being is valuable.”Ashley Nelson, S.V.P. Americas Wholesale Sales at Fossil Group
ONE #GirlsCount is a movement to help 130 million girls get access to an education.
Follow the movement at girlscount.one.org
We’re proud of our employees who come to work every day to make an impact. This story features a few of our talented engineers who are helping to pioneer the next generation of wearable tech.
Meet Shawn Spencer, Jeff Hatfield and Chris LeSage—change agents of the Connected Devices Group (CDG) from our Richardson, TX Headquarters. Coworkers turned close friends, these software engineers design application software within Android Wear for all Fossil Group touchscreen smartwatches.
When did you know engineering was your calling?
SPENCER: After seeing the original Toy Story movie in theaters, I became fascinated by computer graphics and animation software.
LESAGE: My dad actually got me interested in computers. And after years of building legos and playing video games, I became intrigued by how computers worked.
What attracted you to Fossil Group?
SPENCER: Great design, great products and great people. Not only do I get to work on products that tons of people use every day, but also I get to use the latest software and programming tools, which keeps my job really interesting.
LESAGE: I joined for the wearable tech team and for the chance to work on a new branch of Android development: Android Wear.
What engineering skills have you developed or improved upon at Fossil Group?
SPENCER: I have learned a lot more about mobile and wearable app development, gained experience with Android and other Google technologies and taken my Java and OpenGL skills to the next level here.
LESAGE: I have greatly improved in graphics and OpenGL. My skills in design and UI has also enhanced to create beautiful watch faces.
Writing code and sharing ideas that impact multiple brands helps shape how wearable tech is being implemented across Fossil Group.Chris LeSage
What was your most rewarding project?
SPENCER: My most rewarding projects have been working on the Fossil Q and Michael Kors Access smartwatches. When I’m walking around town, I see complete strangers wearing our smartwatches. It’s a great feeling to know I had a part in making them.
HATFIELD: My very first smartwatch face for the Michael Kors Access micro app was the sun and moon dial. It required a lot of new techniques in properly blending colors together to get the right day and night look. I also had to do a lot of mathematical wizardry to rotate the sun and moon around properly and get the glowing effects to look nice.
How are you making an impact by pioneering the future of wearable technology?
LESAGE: Fossil has become a frontrunner in the wearable tech race for touchscreen and hybrid smartwatches. Writing code and sharing ideas that impact multiple brands helps shape how wearable tech is being implemented across Fossil Group.
HATFIELD: We’re developing new techniques for programming watch faces and inventing shortcuts that haven’t been done or seen before.
Why should people come to work for Fossil?
LESAGE: Fossil’s work environment. There are so many people to meet and fun company events held throughout the year, like Spring Fest and the legendary Halloween celebration.
HATFIELD: The work we’re doing is really interesting. Every day is a new challenge that requires some creative and critical thinking skills. Fossil has a unique culture and group of people that are incredibly fun to be around.
Fossil Group is proud to partner with the pioneering social enterprise Binc in support of their mission of inclusivity. On behalf of the more than one billion people in the world living with a disability, Binc’s groundbreaking #valuable campaign aims to spark a new age of inclusion that positions disability on the global business agenda.
A Champion for Change
Binc’s mission is one particularly close to founder Caroline Casey’s heart. Born with a rare condition called ocular albinism, the Ireland native is legally blind, unable to see clearly beyond a range of a few inches. Caroline succeeded in spite of her obstacles, climbing the ranks of the highly competitive management-consulting industry. Yet others living with disabilities are more likely to experience lower educational achievement, reduced economic participation, and higher rates of poverty.
Determined to rewrite this narrative, Caroline left her consulting career in 2001 and has worked ever since as a champion for change. She founded Binc in 2015, intent on harnessing the power of business to inspire social transformation. Her mission with #valuable: To get 500 companies to commit to putting the issue of inclusivity on their business agenda by the end of 2018 and in turn, spark a worldwide revolution of inclusion.
Journey To Impact
To raise awareness for her cause, on September 4, Caroline will embark on a one-month, 1,000-kilometer trek through South America on horseback. The conclusion of her journey in Bogota, Colombia, will coincide with the One Young World summit, a gathering of 1,300 of the world’s most forward-thinking young leaders taking place October 4–6. Caroline will take to the stage to challenge this next generation of leaders to heed her call for “dangerous dreamers” who will “stretch the boundaries of possible.”
Fossil is proud to support Caroline’s trek, helping her spread her message of inclusivity across the globe.
“Fossil has already proven its social muscle through its pioneering work to narrow the global opportunity gap—it is a fantastic example of how business really can be a force for good in society,” Caroline said.
“Fossil has been the first business to speak out and support #valuable. Without them, this crucial campaign would not be possible.”
To Bogota and Beyond
This is just the start of Caroline’s journey—to Bogota and beyond. We’ll be tracking her trek and recapping the One Young World summit on our social channels, so be sure to follow us for all the latest updates. And to read more about the #valuable campaign, visit www.valuable.global
Fossil Group had the honor of being one of the 2017 sponsors of the Marcus Graham Project’s iCR8 (I create) boot camp, a summer-long experiential learning program that provides aspiring marketing and advertising leaders with the exposure and experience necessary to build careers within the industry.
The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is a Dallas-based nonprofit organization and a national network of diverse professionals with a mission to identify, expose, mentor and train ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the media industry.
“It has been an incredible privilege to welcome the Marcus Graham Project into our Fossil family, especially as they celebrate an important milestone with their 10th anniversary. This was our first year supporting this tremendous organization, which encourages and inspires young minds to consider careers in the fields of marketing, advertising and public relations,” said Steve Evans, Executive Vice President at Fossil.
“We challenged them to come up with a 360-degree marketing campaign to help address some of our business needs—and they delivered with outstanding results. Working with a team that promotes and models a similar value system of creativity and innovation has given us the inspiration to continue to create accessories that are relevant for the next generation.”
As part of this year’s MGP program, selected boot camp participants from all over the U.S. and Canada came together to launch a full-service advertising agency called The Kinxion. Their pop-up shop tackled a segment marketing challenge—how to speak to Fossil’s male customer (or as they called him “Fossil Gent”) and drive sales. Each MGP participant was paired with a Fossil employee to help coach and support them throughout their creative journey.
For two months, The Kinxion team worked together to research and build a complete brand campaign on the Fossil Gent. This included account planning, production, copywriting, project management, PR, art direction, design as well as interactive and social media marketing. While partnering with their Fossil mentors, each participant learned how an entire campaign is put together and, in the end, wowed the Fossil executive leadership team with their creative pitch and ideas.
Ahead, meet The Kinxion team and get their take on what it was like to be part of the Marcus Graham Project training boot camp at Fossil. Scroll down to read their favorite on-the-job moments and some of the lessons they learned. And make sure to remember their names, because we’re pretty sure they’ll be winning ad awards in no time!
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Position: Art Director
“I developed new design skills while working collectively with a team and even had the opportunity to work closely with a mentor who assisted me in honing my craft. Working with Fossil has given me the tools necessary to be successful throughout my career and even in this next phase of my life.”
James “J.R.” Adams Jr.
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Position: Art Director
“More than just being summer interns, we worked on things that would actually change the scope of how Fossil markets the products, and that’s phenomenal. I’ve learned the importance of asking questions. I wasn’t as open to doing that at my previous job.”
Darnell Gardner Jr.
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
“I’ve learned that in order to have the career I want, I have to make certain changes to my trajectory. Fossil has also instilled in me the importance of networking, and reminded me of the value of giving back once you have a little extra to give.”
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Position: Project Manager
“Whether it was working on speaking to different levels of management, shadowing a Fossil employee for the day or working on my soft skills, Rosi (my mentor) was committed to my growth as an individual. Fossil gave us a taste of the industry and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Position: Account Manager
“Working with my team has taught me that a great leader finds how he or she can be of service to the team. Knowing how you personally work and how others work is integral to success. Fossil provided us an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced people in retail and branding. This summer has been surreal. The people and experiences are something I will take away for the rest of my life.”
Anthony Williams II
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Position: Account Manager
“My time at Fossil was an unforgettable experience. I treasured the peer mentorship from so many of the Fossil team who were willing to invest in us and teach us important marketing strategies. The lessons I’ve learned are invaluable.”
Hometown: Newark, New Jersey
Position: Account Planner
“I learned a lot about professionalism and what it means to be empowered in your career. I learned presentations skills, and about how to collaborate with other people. Before, I didn’t think much about the story and impact, but now I know the importance of the little things. Those little things are important to the entire presentation.
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Position: Public Relations Specialist
“Fossil was so welcoming from the first day, everyone was so helpful and eager to help you grow as a professional. The work environment Fossil exhibits is something I’ll look forward to in my future.”
Hometown: Washington, DC Metro Area
Position: Social Media Strategist
“I felt right at home at Fossil, like I belonged. The team has been nothing but supportive, encouraging, and excited to be part of our journey through MGP. My experience cannot be summed up into one word, because Fossil embodies so much more.”