The winners of the 2013 Moonshot Awards were announced on May 14th, 2013 and we are thrilled to announce that Axonify Inc. has been named as the Digital Media Globalizer of the Year. Presented by the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), the Globalizer of the Year award aims to recognize a company that demonstrates the greatest increase in international sales, investments, or other contributions to the Canadian digital media industry. We are especially proud of Axonify’s accomplishments as it was founded by Machteld Faas Xander’s very own John and Rebecca.

Based out of Waterloo, Axonify’s mission is to provide corporate education to employees in a way that is engaging, fun, and meaningful. Their software, built on principles of behavioral learning, is designed to reflect and keep up with the dynamic nature of the business world. Axonify works to help companies meet their financial goals by providing easy –to-use, personalized learning tools to employees.

Other big winners were Magnet Forensics Inc., Miovision Technologies, and Desire to Learn. This was the inaugural year of the Moonshot Awards, which were created to recognize Canadian companies contributing to Moonshot’s goal of having anyone be able to do anything online by 2017.

For more information about Axonify visit their website here.


Sunday, May 26, will mark the 25th anniversary of Arts Awards Waterloo Region. Culture and arts enthusiasts from across the Region are counting down the days until this milestone event.

This year, the ceremony and performances are being held at the Centre in the Square. Doors open at 5:45PM with the Arts Awards presentations beginning at 7:15PM. They have rolled back ticket prices to $10.00 in honour of the 25th anniversary and 1990s pricing. This remarkable steal of a deal also includes food tastings in the lobby from 8 delicious caterers.

Everyone here at Machteld Faas Xander is eagerly anticipating this memorable night and we hope to see you there!

For more information and to buy tickets, check out the Arts Awards Waterloo Region website.



They say a picture is worth a thousand words, what story does your photograph tell? We have seen some beautiful shots from this winter – and want to see more.

For the March Storytelling Contest, we want to see your winter photographs. Tweet (@MachFaasXan) or e-mail ( the photographs before March 31, 2013, to be entered into the contest. Our favourite will receive a prize of $100.00. The winner will be announced on April 3, 2013.

We will post your pictures on Pinterest and Facebook. Images that are submitted through Twitter will be retweeted and images submitted through e-mail will be tweeted. If you include your full name with your submission, we will credit you as the photographer. With your photograph, you may include a description or the story behind your photograph but it is not required.

• You must have taken the photograph yourself.
• Photographs must have a winter theme.
• Photographs must be appropriate for all ages.
• You may submit more than one image.
• Winner must respond within 48 hours after we contact you.
• Winners will be contacted via the medium used for submission.
• Submitting photographs shows that you agree with these rules and that you have given us permission to post the photographs on our social accounts.

Day 1:
John Hofstetter’s (John H.)  Honda Element is loaded to the gunnels as we set off at 10:00 am, beginning on the 401 and staying in Canada the whole way. I’m not driving the first shift, so I am uncomfortable (typical me). At the first fuel stop, I wrestled the wheel away from John H. and held on tight for the majority of the trip. No drama today. Stopped for the night in Three Rivers, PQ.


Thank you to those who supported and entered the June Storytelling Contest. We are please to announce that we are now holding a July Storytelling Contest. The MFX July Storytelling Contest features a memorable traveling experience. The prize for this month is a $100.00 gift card to Cambridge’s Café 13.

E-mail your submission to along with your name, age, and preferred contact method by July 31, 2012. All stories must be under 500 words and tell a memorable travel experience. The winning story will be announced on August 6, 2012, at noon via twitter. The winner will receive a $100.00 gift card to Café 13 and will have their story published in our blog.

For updates about the contest, follow our twitter account @MachFaasXan. We eagerly anticipate all of the entries. Best of luck!

Here is an example of what my submission would be.

I’ll never forget this moment. My family was enjoying a relaxing lunch in the cruise ship’s restaurant, as the ship prepared to port at Tunis. Dessert had just been served, a soft-looking strawberry cake, and I gazed at the large circular windows that lined the vessel. One was directly in front of my seat. I daydreamed with my eyes on the view, half sky and half water. It seemed peaceful. I put the fork up to my mouth, eyes still intent on the window and my balance registered that something was off. A little movement or swaying is common on these ships so I dismissed the thought. My view changed as the window started showing more and more water until there was no sky visible, only the dark waves.

My plate started to slide away from me and I just watched it go. I didn’t turn my head from the window, until I was startled by the sound of crashing glass. The bottles from the bar had fallen to the floor, leaving a pool of ruined liquor and glass. And we were still tipping. But the restaurant was dead silent; no one even moved to get up. Everyone looked blankly at each other, some in shock and others fearing the worst.

Although it couldn’t have been longer than a few moments, we seemed frozen in time. The ship regained its balance and went back in the other direction. Everything swerved to the opposite direction. Still no one moved.

My dad looked at my family and said quickly, “Stay calm and don’t panic. Get up; we are going to the lifeboats.”
We were the only family to get up and leave the area. I remember having to jump over a fallen tree that was blocking the doorway in my heels and blue sundress.

The ship recovered its stability and thankfully no one was seriously injured. We had been on the fifth floor of the ship. On the fourteenth floor, water and children had been thrown from the pools and all the tables and chairs in the buffet had been hurled to the edge of the room. We were never given a straight answer from the company about why this had happened. From the balcony near the lifeboats, however, my family and the one other family who had gathered there could see the sandbar.

As we looked out on the water and blue sky, my brother reminded me of what I had told him earlier that morning: it was the 98th anniversary of the day that the Titanic sank.

Sharing authentic stories makes the world a better place- that’s what we believe at Machteld Faas Xander.

Welcome to Part 3 of our summary of the rousing TEDx Waterloo event that was held Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Alicia Raimundo, a mental health advocate, from the age of thirteen, spoke out against the stigma behind mental illness. She spoke from personal experience and candidly spoke of her battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. She opened the presentation asking the listeners to think back to where they were a decade ago. She then revealed that ten years ago, she was suicidal. Alicia shared her personal struggle and how she found hope, and in turn was able to give that concept of hope to others. She fights to keep breaking down the stigma around mental illnesses and encourages everyone to make a difference: “Even though we can’t help everyone, we can all help someone…even if that someone is just ourselves.”

The next speaker was a personal highlight for our John short. Karen Morris captivated the audience with her natural speaking ability and pristine timing. She spoke of the importance of curiosity and how we should not let ourselves grow out of it: “creativity and curiosity need to meet experience and expertise.” She talked about the importance of love and how sometimes we lose sight of it. There is a need in our lives for love. She even gave advice for how companies can better connect with their customers: “Large corporations don’t fall in love with us and yet we tend to fall in love with them.” She talked about the power of new ideas and concepts. She concludes, “With curiosity, creativity and courage, you can change the world.”

The final speaker of the night was Izzeldin Abuelaish. Within one year, he lost his wife, three daughters and a niece. Months after having to deal with the loss of his wife, who died from natural causes, his daughters and niece, were killed from a bomb in Gaza. He was determined to not let this devastating experience embitter him. Izzeldin explained that he would not hate because: “Hate is a toxin that destroys the one who carries it.” He looks for the good in all circumstances and wants to help others. “Life is like riding a bicycle; we must keep balanced.” Izzeldin founded Daughters for Life, a Canadian charity that gives women in the Middle East a better quality of life by providing them the opportunity to develop their own voice and better their community.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experiences and presentations of the event. We are eagerly awaiting the next TEDxWaterloo event.

Our John and Rebecca Short were thrilled to attend the third annual TEDx Waterloo event. TED is a non-profit organization that spans across the globe. The ‘x’ stands for independently organized events.

Events, similar to the one held in Waterloo, are being held all over the world. There are 2000 of these events taking place, this year. These events have been held on every continent, including Antarctica. A TEDx event was even held on Mount Everest! Canada can boast that we are the third most populous in TEDx events worldwide. There have been 168 of these events in our country. Not all of the events are as large as the one held in Waterloo, 1500 attendees, but they all share the same message: Ideas worth spreading.

TEDxWaterloo was a success with social media, especially Twitter. #TEDxWaterloo was almost instantly trending and quickly become the top trend in Canada. Almost all of the speakers for the event also made the top 10 list of trending Twitter topic for the nation.

The event was split into three sessions. The theme of the first session was that ‘from disconnected we get to connected disciplines.’ There are too many highlights from the event to fit into a reasonable sized blog but we will share a few of them.

The first speaker, Scott Chantler, a comic book writer, explained how content is what is truly important. If the content is interesting and grabs the attention of the viewer, the form of media will fade in importance. He also showed through sketches that taking a step back allows for emotion.

Next was playwright Shannon Blake. She shared the importance of artist-community interdependence. She explained, “In artist-community interdependence, the art is excellent. It’s real art… The artist realizes that she needs the community and the community realizes that they need the artist.”

Bilge Demirkoz, from Turkey, spoke via an electronic link. She talked about what it meant to be a scientist and how this stereotype is evolving. She also discussed how science and art are linking more now that ever before.

Then we saw Matthew Ho, the high-school student who, with a friend, sent a Lego man into space. He wanted listeners to think about reasons why people saw, “I can’t.” He narrowed it down to two reasons: the fear of failure and a lack of passion.

We also heard from Angela Belcher. She gave United States President Obama a periodic table. He replied, “Thank you, I will review it periodically.” She also expressed her desire to have a virus-powered car and the new possibilities that our future holds.

The final speaker of Part One of the TEDxWaterloo event was Krister Shalm, a swing-dancing physicist. He had a special guest help him to explain quantum entanglement, a magician with an intriguing card trick. He also used a chessboard and M&Ms to explain exponential speed. He finished off the first part of the conference with by participating with a dance group to illustrate quantum entanglement.

He explained, “Dance is a very powerful way to illustrate these ideas.” He was joined electronically on screen, by over 300 dancers worldwide in 64 countries.

As the first session ended and everyone went for break, the announcers encouraged everyone to shake the hand of someone they have not met before. That is truly the way that we can spread ideas worth sharing to cover the world.

This afternoon, Machteld Faas Xander will be venturing to Lake Huron for our annual staff retreat in Kincardine, Ontario. This is a great opportunity for us to recharge our batteries, do some team building, have some fun, and learn more about each other. I’m sure we’re in for a rootin’ tootin’ good time … and hopefully some smores (I love those things).

Our offices will close today at 4PM for an early weekend, and we will resume business as usual on Monday, June 20.

Have a spectacular weekend. See you on Monday!