Long before McGrath/Power became recognized as a leader in technology communications and integrated marketing, our agency specialized in and excelled at working for consumer brands in highly diverse market segments. Our lineage extends back to arenas, such as athletic footwear (Reebok), marine conservation (Jacques Cousteau Society), bucket list-level adventures (Mountain Travel) and artificial blood (Green Cross Corporation). What we really look for in a client has less to do with the market and far more to do with innovation. So, when we had opportunities to work with three highly innovative organizations that spanned our past, present and future, we jumped at them.

The M/P team is excited to welcome a trio of organizations to our client base from the medical cannabis, education and data center technology market segments. Not only are each of these organizations doing fascinating work, all of them have a gripping storyline to work with. We’re also in love with great stories and live to tell them.

In our three decades of communicating for brands large and small, we’ve rarely come across a story that rivals that of Constance Finley, founder and CEO of Constance Therapeutics, a medical technology innovator that produces medical cannabis oil. A former executive for a financial services company, Finley was, in her own words, “prejudiced” against cannabis considering the plant the domain of unmotivated “stoners.” Then she fell ill. After nearly dying from the prescription medication prescribed to help alleviate the pain and inflammation caused by a rare autoimmune disease, Finley, turned to medical cannabis as a last resort. She quickly became fascinated with the science behind the medicinal benefits of cannabis and immersed herself in research. Soon she learned of the link between the phytocannabinoids found in cannabis and the human body’s own endocannabinoid system. After beginning her own research out of the basement in her Bay Area home, Finley discovered a process to make a new type of cannabis oil that she envisioned could offer great potential for the treatment of cancer and other debilitating diseases. To achieve her goal, Finley worked with numerous laboratories and scientists to develop a stringent science-informed, patent-pending methodology for oil extraction using food-grade, organic ethanol to ensure standardized products of the highest quality, purity and potency. Constance Therapeutics now works in conjunction with physicians and medical professionals to incorporate medicinal cannabis into the traditional medical toolbox, enabling patients to have access to the best possible treatment options, whether that be western, eastern or alternative medicine.

Unlike Finley, Ellen Moir wasn’t ill but she was sickened by the attrition rate of teachers new to the workforce. A former teacher herself, Moir had a long career in education, but felt that the system so critical to teaching our kids was at risk if it couldn’t stem the consistent departures of young teachers from the profession. These new teachers would often receive the most challenging assignments when they entered the profession. Often, the pressure of entering a new career and starting a new job in underperforming schools would push new teachers out of the profession within their first two years. Moir set out to reverse that alarming trend by founding New Teacher Center (NTC). This national non-profit organization is dedicated to improving student learning by architecting the next generation of educators. Founded in 1998, NTC works in conjunction with school districts, state policymakers and educators across the country to increase the effectiveness of school leaders and teachers at all levels through teacher induction programs, mentoring and ongoing coaching. These programs are built upon researched-based principles that are proven to accelerate teacher effectiveness, reduce teacher churn and improve student achievement. NTC has made it their mission to overcome challenges students and teachers face by providing all educators with the support and resources necessary to succeed from their first day to their last. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, NTC now supports more than 8,500 mentors or coaches and 31,600 teachers, and is improving the learning of more than 2.2 million students across the country.

David Wang wanted to teach the data center a thing or two when he founded Wave2Wave Solution in 2003. Wave2Wave doesn’t make technology that consumers can touch, but without its innovative network connectivity technology, consumers and businesses wouldn’t be able to readily “touch” their information on social networks, company servers or Internet destinations. Wave2Wave creates critical connections for the world’s largest data centers that are relied upon by consumers, businesses and communications service providers. Wave2Wave’s patented optical networking and robotic switching solutions create critical links within the data center, enabling information to be exchanged between servers at light speed. This, in turn, helps smooth out and direct huge volumes of data that flow through data centers, across countries and continents and power our daily lives.

Working with this trio of innovators will provide our team with the opportunity to draw from our agency’s rich tradition of aligning strategic communications programs with business goals for diverse organizations in important markets. The work these companies are doing has the potential to touch our lives or the lives of loved ones, both directly and indirectly. What more can we ask for?