FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 06.27.2023

In this week’s @AvalonFYI dispatch, you’ll find a branding lesson, 9 core leadership skills, advice on preparing for the busy season, our #AvalonOutdoors photo contest winners, and the remarkable Sally Ride. Read it here!

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Dear friends,

Last week, I took my annual trip to Nantucket with family and friends who have vacationed together since our children were young. I love traveling to new places, but there is also something special about returning to a familiar destination. Traditions and memories have strong pull, and you feel a connection to ecology and place. I would love to hear: are you returning to a favorite destination this summer or adventuring somewhere new?!

At the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), June is a month of tribute to Sally Ride, the inspiring physicist, astronaut, educator, and advocate for young people in STEM. Ride was the first American woman in space, a pioneer, and an amazing human. Smithsonian affiliates around the country held #ShineLikeSally events throughout June, and NASM held an official Sally’s Night Celebration at a themed Nationals game on June 18. Ride’s historic launch took place on June 18, 1983.

At Avalon, we are winding down the second quarter of 2023. A top priority is closing out fiscal years and celebrating successes with clients who operate on July – June calendars. In addition, we’re assessing and updating goals for Avalon projects. Also, of course, everyone is preparing for fall fundraising. In addition to schedules, budgets, data, and creative, sustainable routines for the busy season are essential. To help with that, Harvard Business Review suggests these strategies for “surviving and thriving when you have to be fully committed”:

  • Use Premack’s principle (a strategy for pacing and recovery).
  • Compartmentalize tasks.
  • Use small scraps of time for mental rest.
  • Add physical decompression rituals to your day.
  • Pair pleasure activities with other activities.

In addition, Sarah Birnie shared a thoughtful post on nonprofit leadership skills. The article’s title focuses on nonprofit founders and directors, but Sarah observed (and I agree) that the advice works for any leader. Specifically, the article outlines 9 core skills: planning, public speaking, recruiting help, building relationships, crunching numbers, managing time, leading people, delegating, and self-care. In addition, the author recommends knowing your leadership style.

From our marketing department, VP Barb Perell pointed out a branding expert who is racking up TikTok views with videos that rebrand junk foods as healthy choices. For example, Reese’s Big Cups become Reese’s Pro+, with packaging that emphasizes protein and fiber (while ignoring calories and sugar). The videos are tongue-in-cheek, but they do illustrate the power of branding to influence perception.

On a fun note, congratulations to senior graphic designer Bojan Valovic and digital production manager Marra-Marie Emata, winners of the #AvalonOutdoors photo contest. Throughout this challenge, it has been so fun to observe how Avalon enjoys the great outdoors. There were many inspiring entries, but Bojan and Marra-Marie earned “Best in Show” honors. Way to go!

Marra-Marie's photo of the California coast from a deck (with sandals and Avalon water bottle) on the left, and Bojan's photo from the rim of the Grand Canyon on the right, with a graphic of an awards ribbon in the middle.

Finally, Avalon will be closed on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4 for Independence Day. Your teams are prepared and will ensure that all work remains on schedule. Enjoy the long weekend!

Take care,


Allison signature gray

Allison Porter headshot

Allison Porter, President
Avalon Consulting Group
202-429-6080 ext. 102