Whether your company has a handful of team members or hundreds of workers, you’ll know that employee satisfaction is often the key to success. It’s the reason Aventr created Happster, an employee engagement solution designed to provide empowering feedback based on the principles of positive psychology. By using Happster, companies can encourage their workers and boost productivity by fostering constructive environments.

We recently spoke with Joshua Todd, a Front End Developer at Aventr. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about the company’s history and goals, as well as its experiences with our Avada theme. Let’s see what he has to say!


Introducing Joshua Todd

Q: Hello Joshua! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your involvement with Aventr?

I grew up in a place where the expectation was for everyone to go to college, get a full-time job, then hate what they do for the rest of their life. Aventr gives me an opportunity to change all of that!

I’ve always been a strong advocate for teamwork, and have a competitive nature. I believe that fun, lighthearted competition and extreme productivity were never intended to be separated – these things should always coexist. Transparency and clear communication in the workplace are also no-brainers for me – who would want to work any other way?

Overall, my background in internet marketing, web design, and professional photography fuels my passion to create the beautiful design and brand of Aventr!

Q: What is Aventr trying to achieve with Happster, and what’s the significance of the 3D glasses in your logo?

Happster is turning employee engagement on its head. Instead of using outdated ‘engagement surveys’, Happster supercharges workplace happiness and productivity through positive psychology.

Just as 3D glasses change the way we see the movie screen (by bringing more life and vibrance to the picture), Aventr changes the way we see the workplace. It provides the tools to help us see how we can work happier, be more engaged, and produce great results.

Q: How did you know there was a need for an application like Happster?

My team embarked on a road trip across the US to meet with top Glassdoor ranked companies in major cities. Combining our previous work experiences in New York with what we learned from interviewing executives on our road trip, we found ‘pulse surveys’ and ‘consulting engagements’ were not only insanely costly, they didn’t scale to reach every corner of the organization.

We heard that employees stopped answering surveys accurately, or ignored them altogether for fear of retribution. Management follow-up from surveys was rarely communicated to employees, which created a further divide. What’s more, consulting engagements – while fantastic for senior management – didn’t impact the employees who needed to be engaged.

In short, Happster was created to bring teams and organizations closer together, in a positive manner.

Q: Happster is fast approaching its first birthday. What’s been the most exciting part of the journey so far?

By far the most exciting part has been the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people who use Happster. We’ve received notes from users explaining how it has not only helped make a positive impact in their work lives, but also spilled over into their home lives as well.

Q: Your pricing model is simple to understand, and a bargain given what you’re offering. Do you envision more companies using tools like Happster in the future?

Absolutely! We’re starting to see a shift away from the so-called ‘perk war’, where companies fight to have the edgiest and flashiest perks. We’ve also seen a massive increase in companies hiring for roles such as ‘Happiness Managers’ or ‘Culture Gurus’. This is a tell-tale sign that companies are realizing the importance of healthier workplaces, and are seeking more innovative ways to engage employees.

Q: What does the future hold for Happster, and Aventr in general?

Our vision to totally revolutionize employee engagement is just getting started! We have two exciting projects coming over the next couple of years to completely transform the way businesses think about company culture and engagement. Our goal is to create a happier workplace for everyone, and we won’t stop until we have achieved our dream.

Aventr and Avada

Q: The Aventr website is powered by Avada. What made you choose WordPress as your platform, and Avada as your theme solution?

Our first web design was hand-coded and pushed to File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Yeah, I know…crazy! This type of web design, although very customizable, takes a lot of work to maintain. When you’re starting a company with a small team and limited resources, you quickly realize your time is the most valuable asset you have.

The best answer for us is WordPress. It makes managing content so much easier and time-efficient. I love that it’s open-source and has a very active community. When I need to quickly add something to the website, there is always an easy plugin that does the job. I could build one myself, but when somebody else has already spent the time needed to test and create a solution that does the same thing, why would you?

Once I found the Content Management System (CMS) I wanted to use, I needed a highly customizable theme. Again, I could have built it all from scratch, but that takes a lot of time and we wanted to focus most of our development on Happster.

Simply put, I had a hard time finding a theme with the flexibility, simplicity, and level of customization I needed – until I found Avada.

Q: Is there a particular feature of Avada that made it stand out to you?

What I love most about Avada is the easy customization options, and the ability to create grids with a visual builder that actually works well! Instead of coding out the entire grid system, I can easily drag and drop elements to accomplish the same goal. The builder itself comes with so many options, whether that’s the quick built-in animations, or the ability to control the responsiveness of our site. Those are huge wins for me!

I’m also a huge fan of customizing my own CSS and building a unique experience. Avada’s theme options are very robust. Most of the options I use are already included, and the ones that aren’t can be tweaked using the custom CSS feature. It saves me a lot of trouble.

I have used many themes throughout my career, and I consider Avada to be the easiest to work with, without the hassle of hacks and workarounds.

Aventr Founded

Q: The Aventr website showcases an impressive range of high-quality images and video backgrounds – the Aventr timeline is particularly impressive. How does Avada help you showcase your content?

Thank you for the kind words! We put a lot of time into creating a clean design with high-quality images for our site, and I took full advantage of Avada’s built-in components to showcase our content.

Since I do have experience in front-end development, I was able to use Avada’s features to lay the groundwork for the website, then customize them to meet my specific needs. I’d say this theme is great not only for an experienced web designer, but also for a beginner.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to see developed within future versions of Avada?

This is a tough one for me. I think the theme has almost everything a web designer could need to get started. However, since you asked, I think the blog templates could be more robust. I do like the three custom ones built in, but I created a slightly modified version to match my own tastes. The ability to easily select post layouts would be a huge bonus, especially for beginner web designers and bloggers.

We at Aventr really appreciate all you guys do. Keep on going with the great support and theme updates – and make sure you guys are happy while you’re doing it!

And Finally…

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to companies that want to increase their teams’ happiness, what would it be?

That’s too easy – download Happster! (Sorry, but I couldn’t help myself.)

If you’re a lean startup that cannot afford Happster Premium, try the free version. If you can’t do either of those, try a simple 30-day ‘gratitude challenge’. Every morning before jumping into your tasks, send a 1–2 sentence email showing gratitude to someone at your company or on your team.

We’ve found that there are three core ingredients to a happy team: open communication and transparency throughout the whole company, recognition, and a place for employees to grow and develop. Add these into the mix of any team, and you’d be surprised at how much happier and productive everyone will be.


It’s difficult not to admire Aventrs approach to employee management, given its focus on increasing happiness and promoting positive work environments. Companies of all sizes and types can easily benefit from this approach. After all, happier workers lead to higher retention, better performance, and ultimately more success for the company itself.

We’d like to thank Joshua for taking the time to answer our questions and provide some insight into the development of Happster, the Aventr website, and the company’s experiences with Avada. Of course, we’d also like to thank everyone at Aventr for their continuing support of Theme Fusion products!


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