FYI Blog

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 8.11.20

Dear friends,

Last week COO Kerri Kerr celebrated her 15th anniversary with Avalon. It seems like we are always celebrating anniversaries here, but 15 is extra special. 😃 Kerri has been a fantastic business partner for me, she is both fearless leader and empathetic coach to our team, and, of course, she is a brilliant fundraiser. Avalon would not be the company it is today without her. Please join me in congratulating her!

At the national level, election matters are beginning to dominate the news cycle. I have written here about the USPS’s cash position and stability for direct mail, but we are also tracking the discourse around mail-in ballots. Most recently, this piece from the NYT Editorial Board on the significance of voting by mail for democracy  caught my attention, as did the Brookings Institution’s analysis of absentee voting trends and impacts.

Highlighting the importance of this issue, August 6 marked the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. To honor it, on August 12 League of Women Voters president Deborah Turner and CEO Virginia Kase will host a discussion of the future of democracy in America. Their talk will address “how women voters can better elevate the voices and perspectives of women of color, how we can expand voting rights while continuing to expand access, and what role we all play in the racial justice movement.”

On a technical note, data lovers will appreciate this fascinating article on how Bayesian logic is being applied to the science of COVID. It has tons of good information, but I especially appreciate the reminder that statistics is the logic of uncertainty. I feel strongly that this core understanding has helped Avalon assess rapidly changing information and make smart strategic choices in this deeply uncertain time. I have never been more grateful for our strong grounding in data analytics.

Finally, I am loving being able to watch baseball, hockey, and basketball again! Let’s hope that the leagues keep COVID under control in these tenuous sports bubbles. If you haven’t seen the Nike ad circulating online right now, it’s a masterful campaign that reflects the times and how much both fans and athletes are missing the games. To me, it’s an inspirational reminder of the unifying power of sports and the pursuit of an equal playing field.


Take care,