From Volunteer to Board Member
by Nicole Denil
I’m Nicole Denil, General Manager Worldwide of Internet of Things at Microsoft. I first became involved with Shake-A-Leg in October 2015, when Microsoft Latin America Headquarters, based in South Florida, hosted a “Day of Caring”, where about 100 Microsoft employees and their families came to donate time on beach cleanup, painting, mentoring, technology sessions. I fell in love with Shake-A-Leg that day. Since then, my family and I have been involved with Shake-A-Leg in several capacities – summer camps, volunteering, advising…I even got married at Shake-A-Leg! Over the years, I’ve been advising Shake-A-Leg on technology, and most recently have been focused on how to set up the right infrastructure and software to help Harry and team deliver amazing experiences every day, but also how to reach more people online, bringing the beauty of the Biscayne Bay to those beyond South Florida!
Fast forward six years to October 2021! Every October is “Giving Month” at Microsoft, where employees rally around their causes to raise funds for different organizations around the world, with Microsoft matching the proceeds! Unfortunately, we could not do a physical event this year, so Microsoft hosted two events to benefit Shake-A-Leg. Total donations from Microsoft $40k in October! The two events we hosted with Microsoft employee participation:
- Virtual Poker Night is sponsored by the Microsoft Internet of Things organization (my org). We had roughly 60 players whose bets all went to benefit Shake-A-Leg. It was really fun and we will do that again! I learned that people will continue to bet when they are losing money, regardless of where the money is going! Unlike Vegas, nobody walks away with any cash, as it is all going to a great cause! Yet the competitive nature takes over regardless!
- Virtual Online Auction, hosted by Microsoft South Florida, where employees were able to bid on experiences donated by Shake-A-Leg and Royal Caribbean. “Bid on a tropical vacation out of Miami, FL (shake off that chilly winter)! Royal Caribbean, Shake-A-Leg, and local 4-star hotels are offering experiences such as Royal Caribbean Cruises, sailing, kayaking, lessons, weekend, getaway, sunset party cruise, or summer camp for your kids in lovely Coconut Grove, minutes away from South Beach and downtown Miami. Bid on these and many other items at our South Florida silent auction.”
Most recently, I was honored to be named to Shake-A-Leg’s board of directors! With a Master’s degree in business and a career in technology, I am looking forward to contributing to the very bright future ahead of us!