FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 11.17.20


Dear friends,

This will be a letter full of good news. Starting close to home, Avalon senior account director Rebecca Shapalis was recently re-elected to the DMAW Board of Directors. Rebecca is an expert fundraiser and a strong leader. I am thrilled both for her and for DMAW. Congrats!

In a happy moment for me personally, last week I heard that I have been selected as the DMFA’s 2020 Marketer of the Year. To say I am honored to join this cohort would be a huge understatement, particularly in this unusual and challenging year. Thank you, DMFA!

I am also heartened to watch President-elect Biden moving forward with his transition, even as Trump and senior Republicans have attempted to block the process. It is so reassuring to see qualified, competent, and diverse experts taking the helm of American leadership. At the same time, Avalon teams are following Republican messaging, the Georgia runoff, and Senate leadership carefully. We are ready to make strategic adjustments as things unfold.

In other good news, Oxford dictionaries recently changed sexist and outdated definitions of the word woman.  It took a 2019 petition to get the attention of the venerable institution and influence it to remove sexist and heteronormative descriptions. Welcome to the twenty-first century, Oxford University Press. What took you so long?

The most exciting update of the week, however, came on the Covid front ­– Pfizer’s announcement that they have created a promising Covid-19 vaccine. While the company is part of Operation Warp Speed, it emphasized that it did not accept federal funds for R&D, in order to shield its research and trials from political influence. In addition to this development, there is also good news from the Moderna trial, and the CDC has begun to emphasize that masks protect the wearerLet’s hope this prompts more Americans to take precautions that will tame the recent surge.

Though we eagerly anticipate an approved and fully distributed vaccine, we also continue to work remotely. Avalon uses Microsoft Teams for virtual collaboration, and we are doubling down on how to make the most of it – including how we leverage whiteboard features, chat technology, and video conferencing. If you are using Teams too, our staff found these tips and tricks helpful. (For everyone else, don’t worry, we still love Zoom.)

Finally, congratulations to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) on the opening of the National Native American Veterans Memorial. Last week’s Veterans Day opening was different than the in-person dedication NMAI had originally planned, but the moment is no less significant. To mark the occasion, the museum created this moving video, which highlights the memorial and shares stories of Indigenous service and sacrifice. Thank you, NMAI, and thank you, veterans.

The new National Native Americans Veterans Memorial at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. 
Photo by Alan Karchmer for NMAI

Take care,