Sunday, April 7, 2013

Remembrance & Renewal: American Express After 9/11

American Express created this tribute book reflecting on the impact on their company and paying tribute, including to their employees who died.  It features a tribute dvd too.

For a company whose headquarters was across the street from the World Trade Center on September 11th, create a one year anniversary book and interactive documentary -- to help employees heal, pay homage, and capture the story of their company's experience.

The spring and summer of 2002 was a very intense time in New York City. American Express had lost eleven people in the September 11th attacks. The 4,000 employees based at their Manhattan headquarters had been transferred to a dozen office spaces across the tri-state area as their damaged building -- located directly across the street from the fallen World Trade Center -- went under reconstruction.

American Express leadership wanted to get their people back "home" by the end of the summer. They also wanted to help them deal with the complex emotions that would come with that return.

VSA worked with American Express to tell the unique stories of their employees on that fateful day: those who helped clients that were stranded abroad when the U.S. grounded flights, the engineer who would lead headquarters' reconstruction, the woman from Human Resources who was working to recover from her near-fatal injuries, those eleven Corporate Travel employees who lost their lives in the North Tower.

Safeguarding that the book content aligned with the new media piece, I attended employee interviews and helped architect the audio and visual media within the interactive documentary. I also supported client/team communications and managed the technical integration with the programming vendor.

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