Company: Oliver Creative, Richmond, VA
Entry Submitted By: The Hodges Partnership
Company Description: Oliver Creative is a Richmond, Va.-based Web design and development firm that strives to understand its clients’ businesses inside and out, helping it to develop a unique strategy that delivers solutions and value. The firm, which blends design, strategy and technology with high-quality and personal service, was founded by Kyra Oliver in 2000 and has fewer than 10 employees.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Community Involvement Program of the Year
Nomination Title: Oliver Creative - Envisioning a World without SIDS
during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):
One phone call forever changed the life of Kyra Oliver Hitzeman.
On June 11, 2002, the young mother picked up the phone only to hear that her
son, Hayes, had stopped breathing. “It was the most terrifying phone call of my
life,” Kyra remembers. “To hear that Hayes was no longer breathing, then to see
him at the hospital, lying there with tubes everywhere and no signs of life –
it’s a memory that will be with me forever.”
After just 4½ months, Kyra lost her son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In the days after Hayes’ death, Kyra started the Hayes Hitzeman Foundation
(www.hayesfoundation.org). The foundation uses funds to award grants for SIDS
research and partners with organizations that provide services toward the
prevention and education of SIDS.
In March of 2006, Kyra partnered with two Richmond hospitals to launch the This
Side Up campaign (www.thissideupcampaign.org), an educational effort that seeks
to raise awareness of SIDS and SIDS prevention through the distribution of
adorable baby one-pieces and sleepers that read “This Side Up” on the front and
feature other tips to reduce the risk of SIDS on the back.
Since July 1, 2006, the campaign has spread throughout Virginia and even to
In November of 2006, the This Side Up campaign announced a partnership with
local grocery store Ukrop’s Supermarkets and its uniform division Ukrop’s Dress
Express, Pampers® and the Smart Beginnings initiative started by Virginia Gov.
Timothy M. Kaine to distribute 15,000 baby one-pieces throughout Central
Virginia. Kyra’s story was highlighted in a November article in U.S. News & World
Also in November, the This Side Up campaign was introduced in Livingston, Tenn.,
only to be followed up by Cookeville, Tenn., in December. Bon Secours Richmond
committed to distributing “This Side Up” one-pieces in each of its three area
hospitals in December.
In May, the This Side Up campaign hosted a press conference to announce that
the distribution of 15,000 baby one-pieces (announced in November) had begun
throughout Central Virginia, generating news coverage from all three local TV
stations and other media.
By July of 2007, distribution of baby one-pieces approached 50,000 and the This
Side Up campaign boasted a dozen hospital partners in Richmond,
Mechanicsville, Midlothian, Lynchburg, Hopewell and Farmville, Va., and
Livingston and Cookeville, Tenn.
In September, the Hayes Hitzeman Foundation hosted its annual fundraiser,
raising more than $50,000 (and bringing the total amount raised since 2002 to
nearly $400,000) for the This Side Up campaign and further SIDS research and
While it’s been a remarkable year for Kyra, Oliver Creative and the This Side Up
campaign, Kyra believes this is just the beginning. She envisions taking the
campaign national – calls from SIDS-related organizations have come in from as
far away as Colorado. She envisions seeing hospitals, doctor’s offices and even
retailers distributing her adorable one-pieces. She envisions a future in which no
parents have to endure the loss of a baby to SIDS.
First three are short TV clips from the past year.
Kyra Oliver Hitzeman established Oliver Creative in 2001, growing it from a one-
person shop to one of the most respected Web design firms in Central Virginia.
The firm has doubled revenues each year and garnered more than a dozen design
awards. In addition to starting the Hayes Hitzeman Foundation, Kyra is involved
with nonprofits Commonwealth Parenting Center, Interfaith Housing, American
Business Women’s Association, Smart Beginnings and Leadership Metro
Richmond. She was the winner of the first Hugh Joyce Award for
Ethics/Entrepreneurial Spirit (Junior Achievement), Owens & Minor Community
Service Award (Richmond NAWBO) and Richmond’s Top Forty Under 40 (Style