CCA Staff Gratitudes

Here at Charles Communications Associates, we try to exercise gratitude on a regular basis.  In light of last week's events in Paris, we are holding those we love even more closely. We wanted to take the time to recognize some people and experiences that have truly made an impact on us and helped form who we are today.   We hope you can take the time during the busy holidays to focus on the gifts we receive year round through those we love and cherish. 

 

Kimberly Charles

Who are you the most grateful for in your life and why? 

 Photo Courtesy of ShutterStock

Photo Courtesy of ShutterStock

I don't want to cause any family ruffled feathers, so I will say my high school French teacher, Madame Elaine Cluny.   When I was 14 I had been taking French classes in middle school and the first day of her class as a freshman, we were immediately immersed in the world of France.  She hardly spoke any English to us all year, only when necessary.  At first I thought it was really tough and uncompromising, but then when we realized how kind and understanding she was, we truly appreciated her determination to make us great speakers of the language.   It wasn't just rote memorization though, it was exposure to the culture, the music, the food, and traditions.  She fully immersed us in what it meant to be French and she tapped into a talent I didn't know I had.   I love language, but more importantly, I love the idiosyncratic approach to language that gives one insights into the people and how they think.   I've created a career for myself that strongly incorporates the language and culture and my life may have taken a different turn were it not for her.  Merci Madame Cluny.  Sadly, she is no longer with us but her memory lives on. 

What experience(s) are you the most grateful for this year and why?

 Clowning around with the Pisano brothers in Uruguay with Alder Yarrow, me and Elin McCoy

Clowning around with the Pisano brothers in Uruguay with Alder Yarrow, me and Elin McCoy

 The Neyen vineyard with Rodrigo Soto

The Neyen vineyard with Rodrigo Soto

My trip to South America recently.  I've traveled to some pretty extraordinary places in the world including Iceland, Russia, Sardinia but the continent of South America eluded me until this October.  I had the great fortune and opportunity to travel to Uruguay and Chile for 12 days and I was completely enthralled.  Both countries could not have been more different and my experiences from meeting and dining with Francis Mallman to having lunch with the American Ambassador to Chile to talking with Uruguayan vintners and walking through 130 year old Carmenere vineyards at Neyen, I was one lucky traveler.  We are fortunate at CCA to have great clients and interesting work!  

CCA Staff Gratitude Shout out: 

Ana our newest hire. She is very bright, very committed, very concerned for justice and social equity in the world.   Sometimes when I want to give up on millennials and the myriad of reasons why I'm frightened about them taking leadership one day, people like Ana give me faith and instill hope. If everyone acted with the integrity and motivation Ana did, the world would definitely be a better place. 

What charity organization are you most grateful for and why? 

 Congratulations, Cheryl!

Congratulations, Cheryl!

Dress for Success.  I serve on the board in San Francisco and the organization has chapters around the world.   The goal and mission for DFS is to empower women who have taken the initiative to get job interviews, and we provide them with job training, professional clothing, financial literacy training...basically empowering skills to help them lead independent confident lives.   I was taught by the Jesuits at Georgetown to give back constantly in life not just when we're old.   Watching people like Cheryl Pitts pictured here, make great headway in her life, reaching her goals is far more satisfying than anything I can imagine.   

 

Alex Fondren

Who are you the most grateful for in your life and why? 

My mother. She is the kindest, most generous and selfless woman I have ever met (who also happens to have a killer wit and impeccable taste in wine). My day is never complete without at least 10 minutes on the phone hearing all about the hilarious trials & tribulations of the past 24 hours in Darlene Fondren's world. 

What experience(s) are you the most grateful for this year and why? 

 So much to be grateful for!

So much to be grateful for!

Heading to Oaxaca, Mexico on a surf/culinary vacation with my main squeeze. Having a chance to recharge in a beautiful location with even more beautiful cuisine with the one you love is never something to take for granted.  Also having my friends from London come visit for a 5 day road trip down the coast of California (and finally meet my mom!) was an unforgettable 

CCA Staff Gratitude Shout out:

Very grateful to Kimberly for her constant support & encouragement (as well as for the support & encouragement of my wardrobe with a very generous surprise Banana Republic gift card recognizing a job well done). 

What charity organization are you most grateful for and why? 

 Photo Courtesy of Digital Outreach 

Photo Courtesy of Digital Outreach 

I spent a good deal of time living in London in my 20s, and my good friend there helps run a charity called Age UK, which is dedicated to helping improve the lives of the elderly. I have been particularly struck by their most recent campaign, "No one should have no one" which aims to combat loneliness during the holidays. They cite the statistic, "More than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbor, or family member.” My mother works at a retirement community and so this issue is near and dear to both our hearts - and should be something we focus on in this country as well, especially this time of year. 

 

Ana Roselli

Who are you the most grateful for in your life and why? 

 So many wonderful memories to be thankful for!

So many wonderful memories to be thankful for!

My mom, Isabela Perez. She rocks! I am and will always be grateful to her for all the support she gives me. I like to think of her as the wind that helps me fly to even higher altitudes throughout my journey here. Thank you for always supporting my dreams mom!

What experience(s) are you the most grateful for this year and why?

This year I am most grateful for the chance to come to San Francisco, a city with one of the most amazing social attitudes that I've ever been to; the achievement of having earned my Masters Degree in Social Entrepreneurship at Hult International Business School; and the chance to have grown even more as a professional through Charles Communications Associates.This year was both magical and inspirational for me because it confirmed to me my life calling. 

CCA Staff Gratitude Shout Out

I am sorry but I can't  choose only one! So here go my 3 short shout outs to colleagues that definitely impacted my year:

Kimberly, once again, thank you for giving me this opportunity and believing that I could be a great addition to the CCA team.

Alex, thank you so much for your patience and willingness to teach and coach me. I know my questions can be annoying some times, but I learned a lot from you since I got here.

Finally, a shout out to Chris, our New Door intern here at CCA. Thank you for being you; for having this colorful and positive attitude towards life. You remind me to live my life in a lighter and better way every day.

What charity organization are you most grateful for and why?

               Photo Courtesy of Lenhardnt

              Photo Courtesy of Lenhardnt

Having studied Social Entrepreneurship, I am not a huge fan of charities. Therefore, I choose to be grateful to a social business instead: Kiva,  an online platform linking funds to entrepreneurs all over the world in the form of loans, ultimately alleviating poverty.This organization helps social empowerment by allowing people to create opportunities for themselves.

 

 

Miguel Tanato

 Cheers to you mom!

Cheers to you mom!

Who are you the most grateful for in your life and why?

My mother because she taught me my most important life lesson: Uncertainty will always be a constant and it must not be feared. Rather, it must be embraced and used to fuel one’s curiosity.

What experience(s) are you the most grateful for this year and why?

The opportunity to work at Charles Communications. They took a chance on me and continue to help me grow as a professional. 

CCA Staff Gratitude Shout out:

 I really appreciated the day Alex gave me tips and tricks regarding her approach to social media. She helped me understand how to identify different voices in media and use them to my advantage.

 Photo Courtesy of BraigoLabs

Photo Courtesy of BraigoLabs

What charity organization are you most grateful for and why?

 UNICEF because of the important work they do for children around the world. Children at the very least deserve the chance to grow up and seek out their potential and UNICEF is there to help guide them. 

 

 

 

 

Chris Woodyard

Who are you the most grateful for in your life and why?

I am most grateful for my parents for with out them I wouldn’t exist and get to enjoy this wonderful life!

What experience(s) are you the most grateful for this year and why?

All of the traveling adventures I got to envelop myself in through out my life as well as all the people I had the pleasure to jam and make music with.

CCA Staff Gratitude Shout out:

My appreciation goes to both Alex and Ana for being there for me when I needed help as well as them giving me advice and helpful suggestions when I’m stuck on a assignment. Thank you for always being there for me!

What charity organization are you most grateful for and why?

 Photo Courtesy of Julian Lennon

Photo Courtesy of Julian Lennon

The Music is Hope Foundation. I’m most grateful for this charity because this charity helps children in need make music with notable musicians and other artists at no cost.

 

 

 

Andee McKenzie

Who are you the most grateful for in your life and why?

 My little family

My little family

Both of my parents for supporting me in both my shining and shadowed moments. I would be nothing without their love and respect for me as an individual to chase after whatever goal I set my mind to. 

What experience(s) are you the most grateful for this year and why?

Traveling and living in Bali, Indonesia for a month is enough to be grateful for in itself. However, I am particularly thankful for the hour I got to spend with a young boy playing hide and seek. We did not speak the same language, but we had fun with one another and for that I am forever grateful. 

 Miss you buddy!

Miss you buddy!

CCA Staff Gratitude Shout out:

Extremely thankful for my trainers Alex and Ana for both validating and humbling me as an intern. I love working with both of you and am excited to see what the future holds!

What charity organization are you most grateful for and why?

 Photo Courtesy of the American Cancer Society

Photo Courtesy of the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society. This year has been particularly difficult as two people very close to me and my family have been diagnosed with cancer. As the President of Colleges Against Cancer and Event Lead for Saint Mary’s College of California’s annual Relay for Life I am grateful for this organization’s dedication to create more birthdays. 


All the Swirl is a collections of thoughts and opinions assembled by the staff and industry friends of Charles Communications Associates, a marketing communications firm with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. We invite you to explore more about our company and clients by visiting www.charlescomm.com.