A Letter From Holly K. Pilcavage, President & CEO: 2022 Recap
With 2022 coming to an end, I’d like to take a few minutes to reflect with you all. As I thought about where to begin with this message, I admittedly struggled a bit. Then, I remembered our annual end-of-year team meeting was in a few days and had an idea.
At the meeting, I had our Chief Creative Officer ask the team to think about their year at Coal Creative and share one word that came to mind. On the count of 3, he asked everyone to submit their response in the Zoom chat box, in true virtual meeting fashion.
Outlined below are the words that were sent and my personal reflection of each of them.
We set out at the beginning of the year determined to grow in so many ways. We were determined to build relationships with new potential collaborators while committing to elevate our quality.
We were also determined to take care of our team. 2022 marks the first year we were able to provide health insurance, dental and vision included, to every team member. It was a milestone for our small business and especially for those of us who have been with Coal Creative for 5+ years. When I held my new insurance card in my hand for the first time, I saw legitimate proof of how far we have come.
Supporting our community is something we love to do all. year. long. We stepped up to support the first-ever PrideFest Parade in Downtown Wilkes-Barre that was brought to life by the Rainbow Alliance. We also partnered with the International Women’s Day Luncheon and Woman In Power Campaign once again, which highlighted well over 100 women from across Northeast Pennsylvania through the month of March.
United Way Day of Caring, Fork Over Love food distribution, DWBBA Window Painting for the holiday season — oh my!
And there’s more! Our designers created the show posters and graphics for KISS Theatre’s line up all year long and we supported the first-ever The Office 5K in Scranton.
Wilkes-Barre Connect launched Project Pivot earlier this year to test run unlimited access to training courses via LinkedIn Learning and our team participated in the trial period. It was extremely beneficial and gave us a space to advance our knowledge in things that benefited our collaborators and processes.
Beyond Project Pivot, we also challenged ourselves to learn new things to help out various partners. Two really cool examples of this are the Signallamp CCM Economic Value Model calculator and the avatar builder we developed for the same collaborator to be used internally by their team of 100+ employees.
Busy is a nice way to put it. Because we were busy. Like, really freakin’ busy. We actually took the time to calculate the number of projects we did. (And the numbers don’t reflect any of our pro bono work mentioned above!)
- Websites – 50+
- Videos – 70+
- Social media posts – 1,500
- Designs – literally hundreds, probably thousands
- Campaigns – 18
Did you just read how many programs we supported (and attended, might I add) this year? Did you see the number of projects we worked on?! I’m not even sure how some of us are still standing!
It was a whirlwind, but we always did our best to slow down and enjoy it while we were in it through team building and bonding activities, reflective Keeping Up With The Coal Crew prompts, and sharing the praises we received in a special “praises-for-coal” Slack channel we set up internally.
In November, we were named Emerging Business of the Year by the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce at their Annual Dinner in November. This night was extra special because our entire team had the opportunity to be there— a rare event as half of us are remote and two team members live 2 and 5 hours away so they truly don’t have the option to be with us every day!
In the summer of 2022, we began the process of creating our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roadmap with DEI Facilitator Dan Kimbrough. We know we don’t have all the answers and we know we still have a lot of work to do as a company when it comes to DEI. We were honest with ourselves and knew we needed to bring in an expert perspective and facilitator to lead us through this process. More to come from this in 2023!
While we were planning and expanding, it was simultaneously a year well spent on refining our behind-the-scenes operations. We spent time building out our operational team roles and their corresponding responsibilities, which would ultimately take our company to the next level. We also made further developments to our Coal Code — the top-secret guide to the culture of Coal Creative —including policies and expectations that take better care of our team as a whole.
We don’t necessarily do the work we do for recognition, but it sure doesn’t hurt to hear you’re doing a good job! Some highlights from this year include our Content Director Samantha Bucher being named STEAM Professional of the Year and our video team taking home some gold at the American Business Awards.
We were also named to the 2022 NEPA Best Places to Work by the Times Leader as well as the 2022 Best of the Best Advertising Agency by The Citizens’ Voice Readers Voice Awards.
This word in particular was used by three team members and that didn’t surprise me. We have all grown professionally, but, maybe more importantly, personally as well. Even through the challenges we faced as a company this year, we always pushed through and found ourselves on the other side. Things might look a bit differently, but change really can be a good thing.
2022 has given us a lot. It has definitely given me a lot. My heart is full and I am grateful as we look forward to all that 2023 will offer. I invite you to join me in being open to all that is to come in the new year.
Holly K. Pilcavage