Staff Gratitudes

By CCA Staff 

It’s that time of year again when we set into motion our most-American of American traditions: the New Year’s resolution. In the couple weeks prior to New Year’s Eve, many will begin thinking of that annual resolve to get fit, manage daily stresses and of course, spend less money.

Yet, we’re in the midst of a rapidly changing world where in the last decade alone new technologies have radically transformed the way we interact with our surrounding environment—and the usual New Year’s resolution isn’t quite satisfying our resolve to run harder, breathe easier and balance our checkbooks.

As we head into 2015 and delve deeper into this post-modern era where seemingly anything goes from leveraging our fingerprints to unlock cellphones while robots keep our carpets vacuumed, we here at CCA feel its time to lose the “regret” and instead focus on all that we have accomplished and have been grateful for in 2014—both in our personal lives and within the office.

So as we begin the second half of this decade, we take a quick glance back to see what lies ahead and offer up the ways in which we plan to re-invigorate our New Year’s resolve.

Kimberly Charles

"Vincent Van Gogh" at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Photo Credit: Kimberly Charles 

"Vincent Van Gogh" at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Photo Credit: Kimberly Charles 

I recently passed a milestone birthday, and I've never felt more fully immersed in the creative spirit. There's a kind of sweetness in looking back over your life and realizing that inspiration can be found everywhere and that past years have added a beautiful patina to one's experiences. And advances in technology have only bolstered that sheen—I have found a great joy in capturing life's moment (whether ironic, joyful, poetic, or profound) by simply snapping my iPhone camera at just the right moment. I've interviewed photographers I admire over the years and continue to keep a log of their advice—one of my favorites being: "Never fear when taking a shot, naturally be mindful, but be courageous and seize that evanescent moment, it will never be there again."  

In 2015, I look forward to traveling in South America for the first time (and given my well-stamped passport, it is long overdue!) And though I’ve lived on the west coast a long time, I still haven't lost my "New York minute" energy and sometimes I miss things in my hot pursuit of filling every moment—a reminder to enjoy the pauses more fully.    

Jordan Carmack

Jordan and her fiancé Nick at Oktoberfest in Germany! 

Jordan and her fiancé Nick at Oktoberfest in Germany! 

2014 has been an exciting year! To name a few notable occurances, I’ve gotten engaged, celebrated my one-year anniversary at CCA and had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Uruguay. I am thankful for my good heath, my amazing family & wonderful friends. I am fortunate to work in a company that encourages personal growth in addition to offering new opportunities and challenges everyday.

In 2015 I am looking forward to expanding my position at CCA by taking on more responsibilities, as well as building on my current relationships both professionally and personally and hopefully making some new ones. I am also very excited about my wedding next November!! 

Alex Fondren 

Why go out when staying in with your Mom is so much more fun?

Why go out when staying in with your Mom is so much more fun?

This year I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way as a result of saying “yes” to new experiences, no matter how unnerving or harrowing. A byproduct of my 2014 resolution, my "yes" mentality means I can now be grateful for surfing (and the resulting unexpected weekends traversing California's exquisite coastline), an exciting new career, several inspiring new relationships, and a whirlwind harvest adventure in Burgundy.

In 2015, I'm looking forward to a modified version of this year, where I learn to say "no" sometimes and catch my breath a little. I look forward to catching up on the classic novels I so enjoy reading, cooking at home more often, attending more Commonwealth Club lectures and spending more time with family. I hope to improve the quality of how I spend my free time by placing less emphasis on the quantity of events on my calendar. I'd like to live more by the mantra: "It's not where but who you're with that matters." 

Kathleen Pizzo 

Kathleen looking for answers in a sunflower field. 

Kathleen looking for answers in a sunflower field. 

This was a very gratuitous-worthy year for me! I graduated college, met loads of wonderful people and found a work place that allows me to dip my feet in my creative interests.  

Beyond that, I also discovered some important life goals that I now know I want to work towards. I’m thankful for this year because it has tossed me around like a rag doll (cliché I know, but forgivable given my post-grad confusion) and ironically, all the movement has resulted in a bit of focus and direction.  

In 2015, I’ll focus on honing in on my current passions and finding ways to express and incorporate them into my career. Also, one thing I would love to improve on in the New Year is: fun. I’ve mentally signed myself up for summer festivals and trips and prioritized finding an apartment in San Francisco with some friends—all to become less of a homebody.

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