Yes, it is the official season of gratitude.
As a husband, father, son and friend to many wonderful human beings, it’s easy for me to identify all of the many aspects of life that I’m grateful for.
As a professional who runs on results, I’ll readily admit that perspective on what I’m grateful for in my work sometimes get lost in that chase.
Like any good marketing agency should, we care deeply about doing good work for the businesses we serve.
But more importantly, we’re a group that cares deeply about the bigger picture of the relationships we create with our clients, and that is reflected in the daily interactions I have the pleasure of being a fly on the wall for.
So, in the spirit of giving thanks, I asked members of the Parthenon team to look back on their 2016 body of work and share the specific moments that they’re most grateful for.
This is easy for me. I will be eternally grateful for the work I get to do with Our Kids every year. The 2016 Soup Sunday event raised a record amount of money for the organization and elevated expectations going forward. It’s a great feeling to help a cause that protects children when they’re most vulnerable.
I was excited to help the Jason Foundation train even more teachers to recognize signs of suicidal ideation in their students. We overhauled their entire web training system and drastically expanded the hardware underneath it to accommodate the increased demand.
For Better Tennessee magazine I wrote a story about Rocketown, a venue in downtown Nashville where teenagers can hang out and explore a variety of interests, from music production and graphic design to skateboarding and dance — all in a safe and welcoming environment. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to interact with these incredibly talented young people and learn more about their challenges, their goals and their visions for the world.
As a relatively new member of the Parthenon team, I am grateful for being trusted with redeveloping our own company website as my first major assignment. My role allowed me to prove my value as a new team member, encouraged learning a new (to me) web development framework and provided an opportunity to work closely with several of my coworkers, speeding the development of a rapport that otherwise would have taken longer to grow. In the process, I got an up-close look at the significant amount of work completed for clients we serve and an appreciation for the dedicated talents it takes to provide avenues for meaningful stories from a variety of industries.
One of the great pleasures of this job is the opportunity to interview so many fascinating people and to be able to give them a spotlight. This year, I’m thankful that I got to speak to a woman named Brenda Hooper, who told me about working for the same CLARCOR company for 42 years, and who is an absolute treasure. I am grateful to Sheryl, who shared her story of addiction and recovery for a story in Better Tennessee. I am happy that I got to meet and learn more about Kevin Stevenson, who rides a Segway through downtown Nashville as an official city ambassador for tourists in search of help. And I look forward to meeting more people and sharing their stories.
The cover story of our most recent issue of Better Tennessee magazine featured an incredible woman named Sheryl who wanted to share her story about battling opioid abuse. I am thankful for her candor and her courage during our photo shoot, and for a conversation that brought us both to tears. She said to me, “If I help one single person, this will be worth it.”
I am thankful for the opportunity to help share the stories of so many interesting and inspiring Nashvillians through our Unsung Nashville profiles. Recently, I had the pleasure to meet and photograph Raemona Little Taylor, who has followed her passion and uses her talent to promote literacy and provide a creative outlet for incarcerated youth at Woodland Hills Youth Development Center. Folks like Raemona are truly unsung heroes and some of Nashville’s finest.
Our client, HCA, developed an amazing nonprofit organization to support its employees who have been affected by financial hardship due to devastating situations. I am grateful to have spent time finding people to photograph the recipients of the HCA Hope Fund because the photographers are excited and honored to work on such a special project, which is always a refreshing reminder to me.
One in four girls and one in seven boys will experience some form of sexual abuse by age 18. It’s a terrifying reality, but it’s one reason I am grateful every day to work with Our Kids to help those children and families. This year I’m particularly proud of the infographic we helped them create, Tips for Keeping Kids Safe Online, using information from the Metro Nashville Police Department. We also created a Spanish version, which will help keep even more children in Middle Tennessee safe.
Launch Tennessee’s mission is to help entrepreneurs grow their ideas and businesses. I’m incredibly thankful to help them with their own growth process. This year we dove into their website, social and paid advertising analytics to identify what was working and what wasn’t. They were receptive and asked questions, and helped remind me why I love doing what I do.
I am honored to tell powerful stories about people at HCA who channel their passions into helping others in countless ways. Whether it’s a team of caregivers honoring a dying patient’s religious beliefs to countless acts of philanthropy through the HCA Hope Fund — even following the journey of a nurse’s daughter who won an Olympic gold medal in Rio! Positive energy and enthusiasm are catching, and I’m thrilled to spread the word.
I really appreciated how collaborative it was working with Dubraski & Associates on their email marketing campaigns. We had a large number of people involved on both sides, which can be challenging for a number of reasons, but I was really impressed and encouraged by how engaged everyone was throughout the process. Everyone really embraced their part in getting to our goal and was more than willing to carry their share of the weight. As a strategist, I appreciate a job well done, but it’s not always the case that I can say I enjoyed the process of getting there even more. For this good collaboration and the fine folk that made it happen, I’m truly grateful.