Time and American Family Insurance unveil Dreamer of Year

(‘Dreamer of the Year’ Donnel Baird)

This week, TIME Magazine will announce the winners of its Person of the Year Awards.  And for the first time, TIME, in partnership with American Family Insurance, will also unveil its “Dreamer of the Year.” 

The “Dreamer of the Year” Award will recognize an individual who works tirelessly to protect, restore and champion dreams, while inspiring others to pursue their own.  It grows out of the partnership American Family Insurance forged with TIME back in 2020 when the companies combined to stage a virtual reality exhibit bringing to life Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – the ultimate dream.

This year’s inaugural ‘Dreamer of the Year’ is Donnel Baird, founder and CEO of BlocPower.  BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate-­technology company that retrofits buildings in low-income neighborhoods with solar panels, electric heat pumps, and other green tech to lower energy bills and reduce planet-warming emissions. 

To support the “Dreamer of the Year” Award, Elite Media, the multicultural creative agency partner for American Family Insurance, worked with TIME Studios to create a digital film and television spot highlighting Donnel Baird’s contributions and vision.  As the copy says, “A dream begins with bold moves,” to which Donnel himself adds, “I’m a father, I’m a dreamer, I’m an advocate…” Watch below:


To date, BlocPower has retrofitted more than 5,000 buildings in more than 25 American cities, replacing unhealthy, fossil fuel-burning heating and cooling systems with clean, efficient, all-electric air source heat pumps, water heaters and solar panels.  It is BlocPower’s goal, And Donnel’s vision, to provide “smarter, healthier, greener buildings for everybody.”

A long-form version will run on American Family and TIME social media channels, while a :30 will run on broadcast TV beginning today, immediately following TIME’s live “Person of the Year: announcement on NBC’s Today.  Media was handled by Performics.