COVID-19   Crisis   Culture

2020 Year-In-Review

December 17, 2020

What do you say at the end of a year like this?

Thank you, to start.

Thank you to our health care providers. To our public health experts. To essential workers. To every organization doing their part to flatten the curve and keep economies resilient while supporting healthier, safer communities.

We were privileged to work with dozens of clients and partners doing just that this year. We wanted to share some of that important work, which you’ll find below.

We’ve also included some bright news from across the DH team to make you smile.

Work that made a difference

Spread kindness, not COVID-19

Working with a coalition of public health, civic, business and community leaders, we developed the “Spread Kindness, Not COVID-19” campaign for Spokane and Kittitas Counties. Encouraging compliance with prevention behaviors to support community health and economic recovery, it helped increase mask usage and equipped organizations with a toolkit of positive resources.

This 15-second video uses voiceover and illustration to make a call to action: Take simple steps to spread kindness, not COVID-19.

We’re also helping Whatcom County develop a youth-focused campaign that will be deploying in early 2021.

Association of Washington Business — Rebound and Recovery & Washington in the Making

As the leading voice for Washington businesses, AWB worked to deploy a series of tools for small business early in the pandemic. We helped launch the Rebound and Recovery toolkit, and supported the AWB Institute’s Washington in the Making work that outlines a vision for economic recovery and resiliency across the state.

DH collaborated with SiteCrafting on the design of the Washington in the Making website, and provided copy for the site throughout.

Grant county public utility district

In the center of Washington state sits Grant County, home to growing industry and several tight-knit communities. At the beginning of the pandemic, we worked with Grant PUD to reinforce early messages about coming together by staying physically distant. 


We’re proud to have helped them rally the community while they continue to be a leader in energy and environmental education.


starts with one — year 3

The pandemic has also impacted substance use and mental health. In partnership with the Washington State Health Care Authority, we continued our “Starts with One” campaign to tackle this issue with new programs. This year we launched a pharmacy-based pilot program where pharmacists asked customers to take a pledge to lock up their opioid prescriptions and distributed free locking bags.  96% of participants surveyed took the pledge. The program’s success is leading to an expansion in 2021. 

Tree top

This year we helped our friends at Tree Top launch their major brand campaign across multiple markets in the US, driving a big uptick in sales even amid the pandemic.

Washington STATE Department of Health

In fall of 2020, DH partnered with the Department of Health to support at-risk and marginalized communities’ access to public health information. This effort partners with community media outlets to share information about COVID-19 prevention and response. Working one-on-one with outlets and community leaders across the state, the goal is to share information that is accessible and to make space for conversations that are community-driven.

Holiday cheer from the DH team

In 2020 we all navigated working from home, collaborating in new ways and, most importantly, celebrated some important life milestones!


Several of our team members still found ways to volunteer to causes that mattered to them this year, be it community organizing around the election, mentoring college students, supporting schools and a whole lot more.


We were happy to make holiday donations to organizations who matter to our clients and communities.

  • AWB Holiday Kids Tree Project
  • Carl Maxey Center
  • Chuckanut Health Foundation
  • Columbia Basin Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Fund
  • FISH Community Food Bank
  • Innovia Foundation COVID-19 Fund
  • MultiCare Health Behavioral Health Foundation
  • Northwest Harvest
  • Second Harvest
  • Spokane Parks Foundation
  • Spokane Public Schools Foundation
  • Spokane Nordic Foundation
  • Spokane Valley Partners
  • Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund
  • United Way of Thurston County
  • Uplift Northwest
  • USCF Benioff Children’s Hospital
  • Yakima Valley Community Foundation


We’re proud of so many DHers who stepped into new leadership roles for the firm and with our clients.

Mallory Peak, Senior Account Director


Vice President of Social Change Marketing

Jessica Wade, Vice President of Account Services


Vice President of Account Services

Linda Jones, Associate Creative Director


Associate Creative Director

Annie Blake-Burke, Senior Account Executive


Account Director

Shireen Khinda, Senior Account Executive


Account Director

Jennifer Fanto, Senior Production Manager


Senior Production Manager

Emily Davidson, Media Buyer


Media Buyer

Kelsey Green, Account Executive


Account Executive

Jasmine Albinson, Account Coordinator


Account Executive

Matt Duncan, Senior Graphic Designer


Art Director

Michelle Hege, CEO


GSI Board Chair & AWB Rebound & Recovery Taskforce Co-Chair

Christine Varela, Partner


Washington State Charter School Commissioner & GSI Public Policy Council, Chair

Andrei Mylroie, Partner


IPREX Global President

Sara Johnston, Partner


Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association Board

dh website beforedh website after


Wedding bells rang for Katie Wright and Danajo Wilson this year.


We also saw three engagements including Michael Dean, Emily Davidson and Kelsey Green.


New lil’ DHers arrived this year! Including baby Oliver and baby Zamarion (pictured below with Sara.)


As we close the chapter on 2020, we are grateful to our clients, collaborators, families and friends for working together through the challenges and celebrating the silver linings. Here’s to a brighter 2021!


Michelle and the entire DH team


More from the blog

The power of community media: A path to deeper engagement 

The demand for audiences’ attention is higher today than ever before. Relying on traditional media channels alone is no longer enough.

Remembering DH founder Jim Desautel.

His vision, entrepreneurship and gifted storytelling laid our foundation as a social impact agency.

DH’s 2023 Year-in-Review

Social impact is the central idea stretching across our work at DH — and that’s never been more evident than in ...