Our Trip To The Democratic National Convention

Back in 2015, the team running the bid to host the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia turned to BSD to help build support, and in 2016 the convention committee itself made use of BSD’s technology services.

But beyond the work to pull off a successful event, more than 20 BSD employees made a special trip to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia as spectators on Wednesday to hear Senator Kaine, Vice President Biden, and President Obama speak.

Many BSDers had worked for the Obama for America campaign, but others had never seen the president in person. Here are some reflections on the experience:

Ryan Seggel
Global Managing Director
I’ve worked at BSD for over seven years and have never seen the President speak in person, so it was a big first for me (not that working here means you get to see POTUS, but hey it certainly increases the odds). I felt a lot of pride and appreciation for the President, VP, and his whole staff, their families, all of it. But as a relatively new parent, I was also overwhelmed at times hearing other parents speaking about the loss of their children and hearing children speaking about lost parents, missed opportunities, and often avoidable tragedy. It was a little more of a tear jerking experience than I was expecting, but it gave me fresh perspective on the seriousness of choosing leadership and also a reminder to appreciate whatever blessings come your way.

Katy Rose Glickman
Director of Community
I am very lucky to have had the privilege of seeing President Obama speak to a large crowd on a handful of occasions—but almost never just as a guest. Rather, I was most commonly there as a campaign organizer (on and offline!), and more focused on event logistics than actually listening to him speak. So the opportunity to get to see him pass the baton in person, to hear him remind us of why our work in the progressive movement matters, was a really special moment for me. It was a beautiful, fun, unexpected and emotional bookend to this incredible presidency—made even better by getting to experience his farewell with my new colleagues (whom also happen to be some of my lifelong friends) who I never would have met if it wasn’t for him, and this big movement he inspired.

Andrew Paryzer
Managing Director, Business Development
The night’s speeches were incredible—Biden, Kaine, Obama and especially the gold star mother that introduced the President. One thing that struck me was the convention’s theme of “when they go low, we go high.” That’s how the Obamas try to conduct themselves, and in a way, the bedrock of BSD’s work: we believe in delivering content and experiences that are meaningful, respectful, inspiring and never appealing to the lowest common denominator. I’ve worked at BSD for seven years, but I don’t think I fully grasped the similarities between our ethos and the President’s governing approach.

Jack Steadman
Executive Director, Technology & Products
My now-wife, Rachel, and I met while working at Obama HQ in Chicago in 2012. We both jumped at the chance to see him speak one last time as president. There’s just no one like him: brilliant, funny, and deeply and honestly committed to progress. He and VP Biden will be missed.

Ellen Yusti
Product Manager
I first saw Obama speak at a rally in Philly in 2008. Hillary was still in the race and the message was about “Change” and the rallying call was “Yes we can.” It’s crazy to think back over the years of “Change” and “Hope” and then get to see him talk about the future at the DNC. For me, it was a wonderful bookend to an amazing presidency.