Salesforce Celebrates MLK Day in Chicago with City Year

Salesforce Celebrates MLK Day in Chicago with City Year

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the morning of January 21st, Salesforce partnered with City Year at Deneen Elementary School alongside several community officials, organizations, and volunteers to do more than just service work. They came to make a difference by both revitalizing the hallways of this area Chicago school, and engage a conversation about the Chicago community, education, civil rights, and moving the City of Chicago forward.

Salesforce helps kick off City Year's MLK Day event in Chicago's Deneen Elementary School.
Salesforce was proud to announce the start of the day alongside Chicago community officials, and leaders in education.
Community leaders in Chicago, including former Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

Volunteers, including volunteers from Salesforce, were greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, newly elected governor JB Pritzker, and Janice K. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago education leaders team up with Salesforce and Chicago city leaders before service activities on MLK Day in Chicago.

Salesforce team members worked together to beautify the hallways at the school, with fresh paint and detailed murals.

A Salesforce team member helps beautify the hallways of Deneen Elementary School on MLK Day in Chicago.
A Salesforce team member details paint above lockers at Deneen Elementary School on MLK Day in Chicago.

Gold Grid Studios, Chicago commercial photography studio, was thrilled to join the Salesforce team on a mission to create a new look for this anchor in the Chicago community. We joined the Salesforce team in enjoying some delicious donuts and coffee for that perfect energy kick, and then got to work!

Salesforce team members on MLK Day pose with a T-shirt that reads, "Equality, Justice, For All".
Salesforce Team members support each other with Chicago community members on MLK Day on a break from painting Deneen Elementary School.
A Salesforce team member smiles during her community service work at Deneen Elementary School in Chicago.
A Salesforce team member laughs amongst her colleagues as they encourage each other's service work on MLK Day in Chicago.

After the City Year event, Salesforce hosted an afternoon of professional development. Salesforce invited area Chicago students for a series of presentations by Salesforce team members, and offered an interactive Q&A session at their downtown Chicago corporate office. Salesforce team members responded to questions about job interviews, client-interfacing, networking, and finding the right work that fuels your motivation, and then staying motivated.

Salesforce hosts an information session, motivating youth members of the Chicago community to learn about their work at Salesforce.

Participants in the Salesforce presentation engaged simulated client-to-professional interactions, spent time with Salesforce team members one-on-one to ask questions, and learned about the history and mission of Salesforce.

Gold Grid Studios, a corporate photography studio in the Chicago area, loves working with the individuals, companies, and organizations who aim to make change happen.

A presentation from an elevator pitch activity at the Salesforce Chicago office.
A woman listens to the information session at Salesforce's Chicago office.
A Salesforce team member gives a presentation to Chicago youth at their Chicago office.
A Salesforce team member smiles as Chicago youth attending their session deliver their presentations.

Gold Grid Studios has partnered several times with Salesforce to create beautiful corporate photography that depicts the quality of work they do, the quality of people who form the team at Salesforce, and the pride they take in every aspect of their goals and results. Having the opportunity to spend time with the company at corporate events, conferences, summer picnics, and events that directly reach out to the Chicago community like this one, we understand the impact our commercial photography has made on their company. From email communications, to outward-reaching editorials, to community partnerships, we’ve experienced the impact of our work with Salesforce and their team has influenced us.

Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Their cloud-based, CRM applications for sales, service, marketing, make it easy to connect with customers by strengthening customer relationships through managing customer interactions and information.

Chicago youth engage motivating discussions at the Salesforce Chicago office on MLK Day.

Commercial photography should show the stories behind the relationships, the conversations that lend a new idea, ask a different question, and push boundaries. Working alongside Salesforce, we knew we had to share their story on MLK Day, and we look forward to sharing yours.

How does your company reached out in the community? If you’d like to partner with Gold Grid Studios to share your story, let’s connect!

A group photo with Salesforce team members and Chicago youth visitors on MLK Day.

Allerton Wedding: Emily & Brandon

Allerton Wedding: Emily & Brandon

“That’s Amore.” The words that defined Emily & Brandon’s wedding all started on a gorgeous terrace in Italy, as they enjoyed a glass of wine as a newly engaged couple. In that state of relaxation, taking it all in, they looked to the future together.

Honestly, if you could combine the whimsy, romance, and elegance of an Italian vista with the history, culture, and built environment of Chicago, that would describe their day. Old World meets New World. It was so important to Emily and Brandon to visit several locations, including the Adler Planetarium, the LaSalle bridge, the Lurie Gardens, the Lyric Opera building, and finally landing at the historic Warwick Allerton Hotel.

But the day would not be complete without a dance to “That’s Amore”, the continuation of the spirit of that perfect evening in Italy, and the friends and family that surround the day with love and support.

We were amazed by the Allerton’s new remodel, with golden details, warm lighting, and massive windows pouring in light while revealing the surrounding Chicago architecture along the Magnificent Mile. The gorgeous ballroom set the stage for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and following reception. The hotel, originally built in 1924 is now a Chicago Landmark. The classic “Tip-Top-Tap” neon sign is iconic – you can see it walking along Michigan Avenue! Emily and Brandon knew they wanted to brave the heights together for a photograph under the sign (you wouldn’t believe what it’s actually like up there)!. But one of our favorite moments was the view of the city from the outside of The Allerton. Completely breathtaking.

We hope you enjoy this Italy-meets-Chicago-meets…well, you know, the things that matter most… adventure with us. Congratulations, Emily and Brandon!



The Wedding Day Team


Venue: The Warwick Allerton Hotel | Printing: Minted | Bridal Gown: Watters | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom, Groomsmen Clothing: The Groomsman Suit | Hair & Makeup: Blush & Burgundy | Floral: Flowers for Dreams | Caterer: The Warwick Allerton Hotel | Cake: Vanille Patisserie | DJ: Mike Staff Productions | Transportation: Windy City Limo

Newberry Wedding: Julie & Michael

Newberry Wedding: Julie & Michael

It all starts with a stellar first look! Julie & Michael’s emotional moment set the tone for a warm, inviting wedding day at the Newberry Library. It was a day full of laughter, tears, and the kind of hugs you only get on a special occasion like this. One of the (many) reasons we love Newberry Library is the great mix of indoor and outdoor spots. Give us all of the classic architecture next to romantic gardens — it’s a photographer’s dream.

So much of wedding day success comes down to to the WHERE. With the Hilton, St. Vincent DePaul, and Newberry Library — Julie & Michael made all of the right choices! We talked to Julie a bit about what made her fall in love with these spaces, the perfect backdrops to a gorgeous day.

Without further ado — let’s dive right in! Enjoy!



Tell us about your connection to your ceremony venue…

St. Vincent DePaul Church is a beautiful Catholic Church in Lincoln Park.  Julie, an alumnus of DePaul University for undergrad, attended church here throughout her college days. After deciding to get married through the Catholic Church, we selected St. Vincent DePaul because of Julie’s fond memories of the church community here in college and its lovely Lincoln Park setting.



And Newberry Library. What’s your favorite part? 

When Michael and I decided on a Chicago wedding, we knew we wanted a venue that would show off the city’s beauty and life. We met in Chicago and both lived there for 6+ years and are excited to add our wedding to our list of memories in this place. We decided on the Newberry Library because of its beautiful event space and its location in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Michael and I both love the green space and architecture of the Newberry and its surroundings. Additionally, the Newberry Library itself has been a long standing part of Chicago’s history. It is an independent research library established in 1887; we are excited for our guests to visit this downtown landmark. 


The Wedding Day Team

Getting Ready Venue: Hilton Garden Inn | Ceremony Venue: St. Vincent DePaul Church | Reception Venue: Newberry Library | Printing: Minted | Bridal Gown: Hayley Paige | Bridesmaid’s Clothing: Amasale | Hair: Pin Me Up Chicago | Floral: Blumgarten Floral | Caterer: Jordan’s Food of Distinction | DJ: Toast & Jam DJs | Cake: Sweet Mandy B’s | Transportation: Echo Limo

Lincoln Park Engagement Session: Amy & Eamon

Lincoln Park Engagement Session: Amy & Eamon

Alright, if you’re a #2018bride, #2019bride, or a Chicago #bridetobe — get ready for this Lincoln Park engagement session! Amy & Eamon prove that Chicago is photo ready any time of year!

Let’s be honest, our weather has been anything but predictable. One day it’s sunny and summer, the next is misty and cold. It makes it hard to plan for your engagement photos. Do you bring a jacket? Will a sundress be appropriate? Amy & Eamon are firm believers in the fashion mantra that classy NEVER goes out of style. Call it chic, call it elegant, call in plain good taste! Since we didn’t know whether it was going to be moody and gray or bursting with sunshine — tasteful neutrals were the obvious choice.

It was the romantic, soft pink of Amy’s first dress. It was the dapper navy blazer that Eamon wore. Every accessory was perfect for telling the story of this stylish couple in Lincoln Park. They’re hip Chicagoans who would look at home at a wine bar in Wicker Park, or strolling along the Riverwalk! The skyline was a great backdrop, and the chilly day was an excellent excuse for lots of cuddles!

Enjoy, friends! And congrats to Amy & Eamon on their engagement!


Lincoln Park Chicago Engagement Session


Want more Lincoln Park engagement sessions? Sure, you do!

River Roast Wedding: Catherine & Kristopher

River Roast Wedding: Catherine & Kristopher

One the best parts of the wedding day is that you get to share your story with all of your loved ones. You get to create little details that are unique to you, and show off the part of the city you love. For Catherine & Kristopher, it was a Chicago-centric day at St. Alphonsus Church and River Roast. But the Windy City love didn’t stop there! We hope you’re ready for the Lincoln Park skyline and Chicago River silhouettes!

According to Catherine, it was the architecture of these spaces that made the difference. All of the beautiful details at St. Alphonsus combined with the terrace view and exposed brick of River Roast — the perfect mix of class & romance!

We love the rich navy blues and soft pinks that accented the day, with just a hint of glitz and bling to make everything sparkle. Speaking of sparkle — Catherine & Kristopher’s smiles were the envy of the day!

Congrats, you two! Cheers to an instant Chicago classic wedding day!


The Wedding Day Team

Wedding Day Planner: Ohana Events  |  Ceremony Venue: St. Alphonsus  |  Reception Venue/Caterer: River Roast  |  DJ: Toast & Jam  |  Florist: Trablume  |  Photo Booth: Alfresco Photobooth  | Hair Stylist: Emily Lauf  |  Makeup Artist: Melanie Larson  |  Bakery: Urban Icing  |  Trolley: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker  |  Getting Ready: Hyatt Place River North