Our Bests of 2020

One of the things you probably miss most about going to your office every day is having casual conversations – work-related and non-work related – with your coworkers. You know, the kind of thing that just comes up naturally when you’re sitting around with other people (we’re pretty sure that’s how it used to happen). Those casual conversations are hard to come by in Zoomland.

At Electric Kite, we hold weekly internal meetings with our various groups – design, marketing, content, etc. – to touch base on work priorities, but each of these meetings starts with an ice breaker of sorts that helps us keep in touch as people. We held these Level 10 meetings well before the pandemic hit, and it’s a practice that served us well this past year, as we shared our ‘personal bests/business bests’ from the previous week. That practice was always helpful to acknowledge accomplishments and milestones, but in a very weird year, these connections brought a valuable sense of humanity and levity.

Now, as we look back on a year we’re happy to put in the books, we’re thinking about our personal bests/business bests of the entire year and are pleasantly surprised to see that some good things happened this year. Here are a few selections from our team members that show just how much we achieved both personally and professionally. Just imagine we’re standing around a coffee pot, complaining about the Eagles, and sharing these with each other.

Matthew Edwards, art director
Personal Best: It wasn’t exactly how I’d originally imagined it, but getting married in the middle of this bizarre year was a major bright spot and easily my biggest personal best of 2020.

Business Best: From a client business best perspective, the design work we’ve done for the Beck Institute is some of the best we’ve ever turned out.

Syreeta Lockett, senior project manager
Personal Best: Successfully juggling daily meetings with managing my toddler, Ocean.
Business Best: Joining the company in Feb – just in time for the pandemic fun!

Louis Miller, managing director
Personal Best: My family has spent the past year exploring the amazing parks and hiking trails in the area. The New Jersey Pine Barrens is spectacular, with over a million acres of former cranberry bogs, blueberry farms, and all sorts of animals you have a good chance of bumping into at some point on your hike.
Business Best: I’ve never been more excited about our current clients and the work we’re doing. Work is so much easier when you enjoy the people you work with and are constantly inspired by them.

Kenneth Oum, web developer
Personal Best: I am about to finish a side project film noir card game, which has been a few years in the making, called The Big Shuffle: Noir Card Game. You play a classic noir character trope, and win by setting up the perfect scene for your character through a combination of cards on the table.

Professional Best: Launching the new website for Western Wyoming Community College.

Kevin Renton, principal
Personal Best: Beating the Covid lockdown and traveling back to Scotland for the 1st of December and Christmas. We had to self quarantine for two weeks but it was worth it. There has been a lot of hiking, beach and coastal path walking. I bought this great rucksack to carry my three-year-old daughter – but there was a flaw – I had to carry her!
Business Best: Working with Share Food Program and the Electric Kite team over the last year designing and building Share’s new website. The work that Share Food Program does in the Philadelphia community has never been more needed; it’s inspirational. It was great to work with both teams to bring the vision of the new website to life.

Steven Rivera, director of marketing & operations
Personal Best: After almost nine months of house hunting, which happened entirely throughout the COVID era, we finally found our next home. Looking forward to the reno adventure!
Business Best: Earlier this year I took over operations here at Electric Kite. It’s been an awesome journey of learning and growth for me that’s allowed me to focus on two of my biggest passions: driving efficiencies & building a truly great employee experience.

Mark Rodenhauser, account manager
Personal Best: 2020 was very weird because I rarely left the house, but I was able to volunteer delivering food while cases were peaking. And I listened to a ton of podcasts, did a lot of reading – and won my fantasy football league!
Business Best: Joining the team at Electric Kite and working with some great clients.

Aaron Stern, director of content strategy
Personal Best: We moved our family from Brooklyn to Philly in the middle of March, settled in during the pandemic and already feel like Gritty Philadelphians.
Business Best: Launching the new Higher Voltage podcast for Electric Kite’s higher ed marketing magazine, Volt, has been really fun, and the work we’ve been able to do with Share Food Program during a time of need has been really rewarding.

Olivia Trachtenberg, marketing manager
Personal Best: Being brought on full-time with Electric Kite in a position that I am excited to explore and with really inspiring colleagues.
Business Best: Seeing the growth of the Volt jobs board throughout the year after all the time and energy we spent to make it successful.

Colin Welsh, account manager
Personal Best: Reading more and watching Brad Marchand whiff on the puck at the Wells Fargo Center.

Business Best: Working more closely with our content and UX teams to deliver strong strategy for our clients, including launching our latest case study (and the strategy behind it) for Design Manager.

Maria Capalbo, project manager
Personal Best: I bought my first of many investment properties this summer, I got hired full-time at Electric Kite, and I completed over 180 hours of Project Management education training to become PMP Certified. I also kick-started my Twitch videogaming stream!
Business Best: Within the operations department, we have successfully collaborated with each other to produce a better workflow for all Electric Kite members, and will continue to do so into 2021.

Tom Kegelman, managing director
Personal Best: I made a commitment last year to be less sensitive, and I believe I’ve accomplished that goal. Editor’s note: This is Tom’s version of humor.   
Business Best: Continued to build talented and motivated client services and marketing teams, plus we created our new student recruitment team, too.