Employees ‘Creating Change’: Meet Maia Kotlus-Gates

At Discovery, our employees are gearing up to participate in the second annual Discovery Impact: Creating Change. Creating Change connects our Silver Spring employees in communications, marketing, social media and creative services roles with nonprofits in the DC-area during a 12-hour marathon event. At the end of the day, dozens of worthy organizations walk away with professionally produced strategies, materials and videos to extend the impact of their efforts. So who are our creators of change? Over the next few weeks, we’ll profile some of Discovery’s volunteers to learn what kind of experience and creativity they will be sharing during Creating Change. Today, we’ll introduce you to Maia Kotlus-Gates. Maia Kotlus-Gates

Tell us about your current position at Discovery Communications.

I’m a social media specialist who has worked primarily on crime (Investigation Discovery), combat (Military Channel) and cars (Velocity), and will soon be able to add Curiosity to the list when I begin working with the Discovery Channel team next week.

What is your proudest creative moment?

More to come on this soon, but by listening to and reading fans’ comments, I was able to help identify a special nickname for Investigation Discovery viewers: Addicts. Anyone who visits Investigation Discovery’s Facebook page can see from the comments that fans of ID are definitely very passionate about the programming.

What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

I like to talk things out with others because I find that one person’s idea often serves as a jump off point for another cool idea or an expansion of the first. Whiteboards or big sticky notes are also helpful. Additionally, I check to see what’s buzzing and trending on the web for inspiration.

What inspires you to create change in the world?

To me, change starts with awareness, so I’m inspired by people who help bring light to injustices/inequalities. I love hearing stories about the power of individuals’ voices and contributions to larger collective movements, like Drew Olanoff, and his “Blame Drew’s Cancer” campaign to “beat up” cancer and search for a cure; or filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, a man who is battling racial injustices through the mediums of film and TV (including a series that premiered on Investigation Discovery, The Injustice Files) to re-open cold cases from the Civil Rights era.

Maia in Birmingham for Discovery's Rebuilding Alabama Initiative, Giving a Social Media Tutorial on a Habitat for Humanity Construction Site

When I’m not at work, you’ll find me…

Exploring the local farmer’s markets, checking out new restaurants in the area and watching Michigan football. (Go Blue!)

What are you most looking forward to during the Creating Change pro-bono marathon event?

I’m looking forward to meeting other colleagues and learning about their roles within the company, as well as hearing about the projects they’re working on as part of Creating Change. While I’m also excited to provide social media counsel to an organization that works for a worthy cause, the real fun begins when we get to watch the organization put its new tools/resources to use!