CEE Community Support Team!

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For one moment, a brief instance in time, they were all in one spot- at one time. The annual Community Engagement & Events (CEE) team meeting concludes today and it’s time for me to get back to the United States. Thank you to the LEGO fan community for inspiring and driving the Community Support Team to push even harder to support all the wonderful activites you drive which promote the LEGO hobby, brand, and experience.

Keith David Severson, Senior Manager – Community Support
Jan Beyer, Community Operations Manager – EU/ASIA
Kevin Hinkle, Senior Community Coordinator – AMS
Kim Ellekj├Žr Thomsen, Community Coordinator – EU

CEE Full Teammeeting

Over the past 2 1/2 days we had the annual full CEE Teammeeting happening at an off site place in Denmark.
We had variouse discussions about roles, responsibilities and tasks within the team and also worked on the new Business plan for our area.

As a medium to facilitate this we used of course LEGO bricks and a method called Seriouse Play.

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Of course there where not only meetings and workshops but also some team building activities

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and some other fun evening activities ­čÖé

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So today we wrap up the meeting and try to get as much as possible from the learnings and outcome incorporated in our daily work lifes.

The LEGO Castle Anniversary Competition! IV

The members of the CEE (Community Engagement & Events) team are always on the lookout for unique and interesting opportunities to support the fan community. Working closely with the North American LEGO Castle marketing team we are happy to continue our yearlong competition celebrating the anniversary and return of LEGO Castle in 2013! We have partnered with the 9 large fan conventions taking place in North America in 2013 (BrickFair: Alabama, Bricks Cascade, BrickFair: New England, Brickworld: Chicago, Brick Fiesta, Brickfête, BrickFair: Virginia, Bricks by the Bay and BrickCon) as well as with our colleagues on ReBrick to offer up an opportunity to win an entire collection of the new 2013 Castle product line.

As each convention already offers up a castle themed section for MOCs, as well as some form of ÔÇťbest ofÔÇŁ category at the event, we have agreed that the winner chosen at each event will become a semi-finalist in our competition. This individual will be rewarded with an entire collection of the 2013 Castle product line once available, as well as enter into a final round amongst the winners chosen at each of the other conventions to compete for a secret grand prize. We understand that not everyone is able to attend these events; as such, we have opened up the competition online as well with our colleagues at ReBrick. The competition details have already been posted and can be seen here so anyone, anywhere, has a chance to enter!

We have found our fourth semi-finalist! Sharon Vance, from Dexter, Michigan came out and showcased her trully fantastic castle themed mosiac at Brickworld: Chicago. Her MOC was selected as the ÔÇťBest of CastleÔÇŁ at the event and as such she will be receiving an entire collection of the 2013 LEGO Castle product line! Her MOC will now move forward and compete against the 8 other North American fan conventions as well as the online winner selected on ReBrick! Congrats Sharon!

BWC

Hello Community

Keith Severson

Hello community!

My name is Keith Severson, and I am the newest member of the community support team in CEE. My role is senior manager, thus I am the manager of Kevin, Jan and Kim, and I am reporting to Tormod Askildsen. My job is to provide support and leadership for the community support team. Hopefully I can make their lives a bit easier, so they can provide even more support to the community!

I am an American citizen, but I am based out of the Billund office. I have been living in Denmark since 2007; my wife and I moved over here, not because of LEGO, but due to work at my previous company, which was in wind energy. I grew up in northern Minnesota, and I studied industrial technology/engineering at the University of North Dakota. We also have a 1.5-year old son, who is now very speedy around the house and speaks more Danish than me!

Family picture from Christmas 2012.  Keith, Anna, Micah, Luna (Dog), Puss in boots (cat).
Family picture from Christmas 2012. Keith, Anna, Micah, Luna (Dog), Puss in boots (cat).

I worked in North Dakota and Denmark in the wind industry until 2011, at which time I moved into LEGO as a project manager in the R&D engineering area. There, I worked with both molding and decoration manufacturing across the LEGO factories. From June 2012 until May 2013, I worked in the trade marketing department of LEGO, implementing new store solutions. And now I am a part of a really amazing group of people who have a pretty awesome job!

Keith Severson in idaho on top of a 1.5 Megawatt wind turbine!
Keith Severson in idaho on top of a 1.5 Megawatt wind turbine!

I am incredibly happy to be a part of this organization, and I am humbled by what Kevin, Jan, and Kim do everyday. I am truly inspired to see the amazing work and activity that fans do around the world! I can already tell this will be a lot of fun!

Where in the World is… Kevin Hinkle?

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This weekend I will be heading out to the birthplace of The LEGO Group: Billund, Denmark. The entire LEGO Community Engagement & Events (CEE) department will be together in one spot for our annual team meeting. We have several days planned to discuss a variety of current topics as well as overall strategy and team development. If you’d like a visual, just imagine the council of Elrond from the Lord of the Rings. We just need to decide who is going to take the ring to mordor.

Paris visit day 2

Today I visited the International Air Show at Paris Le Bourget for some meetings. I had great meetings and the show is a blast – lots of A
airplanes on the ground and flying!

Airbus A400 M (it looks bulky but can almost make a looping!)

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Airbus A380 on the ground and flying (the silent giant)

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Me in front of a GE turbine for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (yes, it is big)

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Close to the planes

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A model of the Kourou mission room at CNES exhibition built by AFOL Damien Labrousse (great MOC and a very nice guy)

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In the evening some AFOLs and me visited the LEGO Store in Paris.

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And we had a very nice dinner together (including a Czech AFOL who was around for Business in Paris)

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Closing the day with a little roundtrip in Paris by night!

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Thanks to FreeLUG and especial Daniela and Sylvain for being so nice hosts. It was a great trip!

EVENT RECAP: Brickworld: Chicago 2013

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the US LEGO fan convention Brickworld: Chicago 2013! Although this was the 7th annual Brickworld: Chicago, this was the first year in a brand new venue at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center & Hotel. Although I had quite the rough travel experience out to this event from Hartford (I arrived 7 hours later than scheduled), I had a fantastic time once my fate was out of the hands of United.

I arrived in Schaumburg, Illinois late Thursday evening around 11:00pm, however based on the number of folks still setting up MOCs and displays around the show floor you could have convinced me it was earlier. My colleagues had already arrived earlier and had already settled in. It was also a pleasant surprise to see the new LEGO Legends of Chima marketing booth fully set-up. We have been working for several weeks on transitioning ownership of the traditional LEGO community booth to the marketing team and itÔÇÖs great to see this engagement tool still utilized and reach its full potential by the folks that are the best at it! During the course of the weekend the booth offered a hands-on activity for both fans and public attendees to build, and test out the new Legends of Chima Speedorz. Each day there was a competition for the high score and everyone who participated received a free Chima starter set!

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Friday morning started early with a brief breakfast meeting with my colleagues Keith Severson (Senior Manager ÔÇô Community Support) and Peter Espersen (Head of Community Co-Creation) discussing the schedule for the day. I held two back-to-back sessions right after lunch: ÔÇťExpectations from LEGO,ÔÇŁ with the help of my new boss Keith. After a presentation outlining the LEGO Community Engagement & Events (CEE) team as well as providing the attendees with a history of my time at LEGO and how I support the fan community, we dove straight into questions and discussion. We got lots of great feedback to take into consideration as we continue to strengthen our collaborative opportunities. The only down side was that I forgot my bag of Minifigure business cards- sorry guys!┬á­čśŽ Can I blame United again? I joined Peter for his session on LEGO Cuusoo and we got to meet the builder of Purdue Pete! After a long day of speaking with hundreds of fans, we began preparations for the exclusive LEGO set unveiling(s). Turns out we had two as Peter had brought something with him as well!

Keith, Peter and I unveiled the new 10234 Sydney Opera House as well as the next LEGO Cuusoo set: Mars Curiosity Rover during the charity auction to much fan fare. We even got to go through it a second time for our friends filming a documentary on-site. The day was filled with many conversations and I finally made it back to my room around midnight with no voice left.

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Saturday morning came around and it was time for more fun! There were no sessions or activities planned to take my attention away so the entire day was devoted to community engagement. I had a lot of really great discussions about a variety of topics. The public was let in and it was wonderful to see the large new venue fill up with excited families. Keith and Peter headed for the airport (back to Billund, Denmark) around lunch time; after we shared our good-byes, I joined the Beyond the Brick crew for a lunch meeting. Every moment between then and dinner was filled with conversation. I was invited to attend the Brickworld VIP dinner to engage with the coordinators and organizers of the event, which I happily obliged. Afterwards I caught up with David Pagano and David Pickett as they hosted the 2nd annual Brickworld Film Festival. Late Saturday evening I utilized my skills in community support and helped BroLUG recruit a few new members (of course, permitting they pass the tests).

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I canÔÇÖt even begin to fully recap everything that took place over my quick visit to Chicagoland. It was another great event and IÔÇÖve very happy that the event has moved into a new larger venue. I think this will really help them grow for many more years to come.

My full set of photos can be found in my Flickr photostream here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinhink/sets/72157634196193181/