Each year, around the time of the State of the Union address, I like to give our staff a “State of the Company” update. This year I talked about Avalon’s tremendous evolution as company. Founded in 1997 with five employees, Avalon is now a firm of 40 staffers (20 percent of whom have celebrated their 10th anniversary with us!) with deep and broad expertise in each fundraising channel. We’re also honored to partner with more than 30 client organizations with missions rooted in arts and culture, political advocacy, social services, and environmental advocacy. Over the years, we have navigated shifts in our industry and economy and forged strong relationships with partners.
But the reason I am so proud of the company we have built is the way Avalon has grown as a firm. Our mission is simple—to make the world a better place through direct marketing fundraising. Our goal as a company is always to seek new opportunities to work with organizations whose missions we care passionately about, and 2014 and 2015 were banner years for doing just that.
2016 promises to be yet another exciting year for Avalon! Already this month, we have welcomed a new client to our firm—Monterey Bay Aquarium—on the heels of forming new strategic partnerships with the Smithsonian, Maryland Food Bank, and Families USA, who joined us late last year.
Thanks to our incredibly smart and talented staff of professionals, we have so much to offer all our clients. At the same time, we are always looking to build our Avalon team with industry professionals who are as driven to make a difference as we are. To that end, we have expanded our senior management team to include Senior Vice President Mina Stanard, who comes to us from the National Parks Conservation Association.
We’ve worked with Mina collaboratively for years and know her to be a consummate professional, exceptionally skilled in the best practices and bold, new ideas of integrated marketing and fundraising. She’s an accomplished fundraising executive—expert at managing programs, budgets, and people—and an award-winning industry thought-leader, educator, and speaker. Mina’s strategic, analytic, and creative leadership will provide even greater support for Avalon’s expanding client base, and I’m thrilled to welcome her as an integral member of Avalon’s management team. Mina joins long-tenured Senior Vice President Kerri Kerr in overseeing client accounts.
I’ll close by expressing just how proud I am not only of the company we have created, but of the partnerships and successes we continue to celebrate with you, our valued clients and friends. I am humbled by the outstanding work of my colleagues and clients, and honored to work alongside you to achieve your goals for a better world.