You need thick-skin to be a Community Manager nowadays. Thankfully, being a Community Manager at AMD has its perks, especially when managing our Advocacy Program, the mighty Red Team Plus. And being a member of Red Team Plus has even greater perks, like the annual teambuilding event at our facilities in Austin.

 

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It’s been almost two years since the launch of the AMD Advocate Program. And for the second time, we’ve held another successful event called “The Gathering”. I can confidently say that this year’s event was by far the highlight of the program for both the AMD staff and the members of Red Team Plus:

 

“It was great to actually have a little session with Dr. Lisa Su. I gathered great insight on why she is a great fit as CEO of AMD and how her leadership and experience as an engineer can drive the company forward.” – Benedict C.

 

“My favorite parts were the open discussion with Lisa Su, the Tech Lab tour with Tony Salinas and having discussions with AMD folks like Robert over dinner and strictly for the fun-factor the K1 Racing” – Leonard A.

 

“The trip was excellent.  Honestly the whole package was put together perfectly from dinner on Thursday, all the meetings on Friday, and the go kart trip on Saturday.” – Keith M.

 

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Like last year’s inaugural event, all members of Red Team Plus were flown to Austin for a “red” weekend filled with activities prepared by yours truly and the “amazing” Caitlin Stewart. They toured our campus, met with some of our staff, and participated in a focus group all while experiencing “The AMD Way. Unlike last year however, they received a behind-the-scene sneak peak of our next-generation AMD Radeon™ graphics cards, including the AMD Radeon™ Fury X GPU and the AMD Radeon™ Nano graphics card by Tony Salinas and his team! Now that’s one hell of a perk!

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Speaking of perks, the team had the opportunity to get a glimpse into AMD’s future thanks to President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.  From “Carrizo” and “Zen” to her least favorite class at MIT, the team asked numerous questions, including her thoughts on our competition and marketing strategies! In the afternoon, they enjoyed lunch with our AMD gurus Robert Hallock and James Trudeau where they learned more about Microsoft DirectX® 12, AMD LiquidVR™ technology, and insight into the relationship between AMD and our partner developers. To top things off, they had a roundtable session with our CTO Mark Papermaster where he shared his vision for our next-gen CPU cores and HBM.

 

Lead by Georgeanna Liu, the team participated in a focus group where they had the opportunity to offer their valuable, objective opinions about our company and our products. Later in the afternoon, the team got a tour of our Customer Engagement Center where Brandon Page provided an overview of the various AMD powered systems on display, his dual AMD Radeon R9-295x2 gaming rig…and introduced them to our beloved Ruby!

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To close the tour, James Prior briefed the team on “Godavari”, held a Q & A, and surprised everyone with a giveaway! Two lucky members of the team received PC systems complete with AMD Freesync™ compatible displays.

 

Now I’m a huge fan of surprises. In fact, I’ve surprised the team with numerous gifts and special projects throughout the year. But nothing compared to our very own Corporate Vice President Ron Myers’ surprise. After a full day at our campus, the team had the pleasure to see Ron perform live at The Oasis on Lake Travis while drinking beers and chowing down on some good old fried-everything! My favorite part of the weekend? The following day, we took everyone go-kart racing at K1 Speed! Red Team Plus is made of overclockers, modders, system builders and gamers…but not racers I guess! I kicked their **** and took first place. I can’t tell you how gratifying this was for me since most of the team knives me in the back in Battlefield 4!

 

On behalf of Red Team Plus, thank you AMD for a great, red weekend!

 

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Sam Tehrani is Community Manager for AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.