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How Haven Life is using its release names for good

Celebrating each site update by spotlighting a non-profit

When most businesses update their websites or online infrastructure, they give the new software release a bland name like Update 4.7, or name it after something at once recognizable and meaningless. (Think mountain ranges, jungle cats, etc.)

But not Haven Life. As of this year, we are treating our release names as an opportunity to embrace two key brand values: To make life less hard, and to embody our saying that we matter to each other. How are we doing that? We asked Xavi Roig, a program manager at Haven Life, to explain how release naming went from being a mere marker of change to becoming a vehicle for it.

In this article:

Our muse: Non-profits

“Back in the day, around 2016 or 2017, we had releases named after food or drinks,” he says. “Some examples were Manhattan, Agua de Valencia, Hot Toddy, Tequila Sunrise… in retrospect it seems like we leaned more towards drinks than food.” You’re about to find out why.

“If the release was named after a drink,” he continues, “someone would bring the ingredients for it into work and we would have a celebration where we’d make the drink right after we got sign off from all teams to release the code to production.” As the organization grew, this became challenging: “You can do that when there are 30 or 40 people, but not when there are hundreds of you,” says Roig. A new approach was needed. “So I thought we could select names that were a little more meaningful,” he says.

The result was that, starting in January 2021, each Haven Life release has been “named after the non-profits that we love and collaborate with,” says Roig. For each release, someone different chooses the non-profit to name it after, then posts in the team-wide Slack channel, “explaining why they love that non-profit, the type of work they do and including a link to their website.”

In 2021, each site release has been named after a non-profit we love — offering employees the chance to learn about it, and even contribute directly.

The process means that many more people find out about the organization’s work, spreading the word and sometimes contributing directly. Roig’s non-profit of choice was the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organization in Kenya which rescues elephants (often orphaned, often injured), nurtures them and helps them back to the wild. “After I posted about it, several people reached out to me to tell me they’d adopted elephants,” he says. Other organizations have had missions as varied as preserving historic houses, supporting cancer research, and exonerating the wrongly convicted through DNA testing.

So far, so (much) good

Haven Life has release updates every two weeks, which means that 26 non-profits will be spotlighted each year. “The thought behind it was that the mission of Haven Life is to make life less hard — we’re an insurance agency, we’re supposed to be there when people need us the most — so following that, I thought having this initiative would help support other organizations that are trying to make people’s lives less hard,” says Roig.

Life insurance is all about looking after the people you love after you die. But at Haven Life, we realize you can look after others — and it can be even more rewarding — before you reach that point, as well.

We’re looking for innovative, collaborative, and creative people to join our team. Sound like someone you know?

View open positions
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About Michael Davis

Read more by Michael Davis

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html

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