May 13th 2016

A Monster Help Day Message from Verizon Communications CEO, Lowell McAdam

Happy Monster Help Day!

Today is the day! Thousands of AOLers around the globe are currently out serving their communities at 150 projects in 47 cities covering a range of needs, from teaching kids to code, to helping victims of domestic violence with confidence building and career readiness.

This year marks our 7th annual Monster Help Day, an important part of the AOL global culture. Read more about what this day means to us in a message from Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Communications.

Follow the team's impact at #AOLGivesback and http://monsterhelp.aol.com/.

May 11th 2016

Happy Birthday BUILD!

BUILD Originals, a live interview series powered by AOL and Verizon, turns 2 years old this month, and the whole BUILD team is excited to celebrate this special milestone!

BUILD is an interview series unlike any other, and brings conversations with some of today's biggest names in entertainment, tech, fashion and business to you. The interviews yield insights, inspiration, and plenty of surprises! It all happens several times a day from the AOL studios in New York City at 770 Broadway.

In celebration of BUILD's anniversary, we're sharing our five favorite moments from the BUILD stage.

Michael Strahan Duets With Gabrielle Union
Talk show host and former NFL Linebacker Michael Strahan surprised everybody in the studio when he showed up unannounced for Gabrielle Union's interview. The "Live With Kelly and Michael" star is a fan of "Being Mary Jane," and is friends with the leading lady's significant other, Dwyane Wade. The Ex-New York Giant sat in on grabbed a microphone during the Q & A segment of the show, and asked Union who her "favorite two karaoke guys" were, to which she responded with a spontaneous duet with Strahan.




The Cast of Spectre: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, and Monica Bellucci of Spectre
In one of the most anticipated movies of the year, the all-star cast assembled on the AOL BUILD stage to discuss the latest installment in the Bond Franchise, in one of the most anticipated AOL BUILD interviews of the year. Craig shared how he was thrilled to be part of the creative process and contribute to the development of the character throughout the movies.




Anthony Mackie and Casey Affleck Invite A Fan Up To The Stage
Anthony Mackie and Casey Affleck stopped by AOL Build to promote their movie together, "Triple 9." The two costars proceeded to make one lucky fan's day when they invited her to join them on stage, mid-interview. The girl even got a chance to ask her heroes a few questions from the moderator's chair, proving there is never a dull moment at AOL BUILD.




Little Mix at 30 Rock
The international girl-group and pop sensation, celebrated their four-year anniversary in front of a crowd of adoring fans in an interview with Hoda Kotb at 30 Rock, for AOL BUILD. The four discussed how they got their start on "The X-factor," and talked about their inspirations and unbreakable bond. The group also demonstrated their appreciation for their fans by giving away free concert tickets to two unsuspecting fans in the audience.




Reggie Watts Beatboxing
Former bandleader of the "fake" talk show, "Comedy Band Bang" (on IFC), and current, actual bandleader of the real talk show, "The Late Late Show with James Corden," multitalented musician and comedian Reggie Watts, talked about his musical style and tastes, delighted us with a few jokes, and even treated us to a surprise, beat-box rendition of "Skinny Puppy," live at AOL BUILD.




Here's to many more years of laughter, surprises, and stars on the BUILD stage! Check out this week's schedule and tune into your favorites by streaming them live at aol.com/build and keep up to date by signing up for the newsletter and following @AOLBUILD on Twitter.

May 10th 2016

AOL and Cornell Tech Are Disrupting Digital



Cornell Tech develops pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age bringing together faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and students in an environment to produce results that will reinvent the way we live. At AOL, our mission is to connect consumers and creators through open marketplaces and data-driven innovations in mobile and video. Together, we aim to reinvent digital media experiences for consumers.

In November 2014, an AOL gift launched a four-year partnership with Cornell Tech which created the Connected Experiences Lab. The lab was founded to explore and create technologies at the forefront of the digital ecosystem – including analytical techniques that fuse diverse personal data streams into actionable insights; content personalization that works across delivery platforms; and connectivity tools that deepen and sustain engagement within families and communities.

The first technology to emerge from the lab tackles the issue of the "cold-start problem," solving for how to engage users with relevant content when they first start using a platform. If viewers don't like what they see from the outset, their chances of returning are low, which is a problem many content platforms struggle with. Called "Immersive Recommendations," this technology allows a user to opt in to a tool that translates personal digital traces from one platform into content recommendations in another.

"Capturing signals across as many channels as possible leads to better targeting and syndication of content, especially in mobile settings," said AOL CTO Bill Pence. "We're interested in how these techniques can be applied to create more relevant and 'immersive' ad experiences, specifically in video and in VR."

As part of the continued partnership, AOL mentors Cornell Tech students as they develop groundbreaking technology. Often the students come by the AOL offices to present their work and get feedback from peers. A recent lunchtime mentoring event focused on using 3D printing technology to help blind people read.



This summer, AOL will host five Cornell Tech students working as developers and project management interns. We'll chronicle their journeys on @AOL_Inc. For more information on engineering life at AOL, visit https://engineering.aol.com.

May 10th 2016

AOL Appoints Head of Americas and New Canadian Managing Director

As AOL continues to grow globally, the business has announced two new executive appointments in the Americas. AOL opened its first LatAm office in Sao Paulo in October 2015 and this week it will officially launch the AOL proposition in Brazil. In growing the organization and by carving out regional leadership in both Brazil and Canada, AOL continues to expand and invest in its talent globally.

Joe Strolz, who formerly led AOL Canada and was the Partner Integration lead for Microsoft Advertising, has been appointed as Head of Americas for AOL. In his new role, Joe will continue to oversee the strategy for the Americas region outside of the US with a focus on building AOL's footprint in Latin America. Joe will report to Graham Moysey, Head of International, AOL. In addition, Brad Cressman will take on the role of Managing Director of AOL Canada, stepping up from his previous role as Head of Business Operations.

Graham Moysey, Head of International, AOL said: "AOL has been laser focused on growing its presence globally and in the last year we have seen our global footprint grow substantially through organic growth, acquisition and partnerships. Canada has been a strong catalyst for our international growth, and with Brazil officially launching this week, we are doubling down on the opportunity in the Americas. Under Joe and Brad's leadership AOL will be focused on accelerating our market presence in the Americas through our global portfolio of brands, and our advertising and publisher platforms."

Since joining AOL in 2013, Joe has been an incredibly strong leader, driving the growth of the Canadian business in video, programmatic, and original content, as well as leading the successful integration of Microsoft's advertising business globally across the US, Canada, UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Japan. Under Joe's leadership, AOL Canada ranked on the list of Canada's 100 best workplaces and was also named one of North America's 50 most engaged workplaces.

Brad Cressman will be tasked with defining the local strategy for AOL in Canada based on the company's global objectives and will continue to run operations of all aspects of the Canadian business. In over five years at AOL, Brad has played a key role in the launch of HuffPost Canada, the evolution of AOL's content and brands platforms including, AOL's foray into original video content, and most recently leading the day-to-day business as Head of Business Operations.

May 9th 2016

#MeaningfulMonday Monster Help Day Volunteer Lead Spotlight: Adam Lauer-Brown

Last week we shared our first in a series of blog posts this month we're calling #MeaningfulMondays. Each week we are spotlighting a Monster Help Day site lead. Monster Help Day is AOL's company-wide day of service, when we get out of the office and give back to our local communities.

Why do we keep talking about Monster Help Day? Because it's huge, and awesome. Last year, 3,000 employees in 27 cities volunteered 11,000 hours of their time to support 63 non-profit organizations, and this year, we're going even bigger with 150 projects in 47 cities! These projects cover a range of needs, from teaching kids to code, to helping victims of domestic violence with confidence building and career readiness, there are hundreds of projects employees choose to participate in based on their skills and interests. AOLers worldwide unleash their talents to do something meaningful. See, watch, and read more at http://monsterhelp.aol.com.

Site leads are AOLers who go above and beyond committing their time to not only making Monster Help Day a success, but also to giving back to their communities on their own time. This week we're spending time with Adam Lauer-Brown, Principal Marketing Manager, AOL Core, Volunteer Lead for Washington DC's Only Make Believe project.



Q: Hey Adam! Can you tell us more about your Monster Help Day project?
This year I chose Only Make Believe, an organization that creates and performs interactive theater for children in hospitals and care facilities. For Monster Help Day, we are transforming one of our DC conference rooms into a workshop to make costumes for the shows.

Q: What is your favorite part of Monster Help Day?
My favorite part is interacting with people. I'm a people person so I like being in contact with the community. I was at an agency prior to joining AOL, there wasn't a real focus on giving back, so I love that we do this at AOL. It shows the type of culture we have here.

Q: Why is participating in Monster Help Day so important to you?
I think we tend to get so caught up in our daily lives, that our time is consumed. We forget about giving back and the impact we can make. I would encourage everyone to participate in their communities.

AOL Monster Help Day is May 13th this year, and you can see all the great work employees are doing on that day by following AOL CSR on Twitter and the hashtag #AOLGivesBack.

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