A Year to Celebrate

jessica wade

Jessica Wade
Account Director

Dec 17, 2015 | Culture

Happy Holidays

WE HAD A GREAT YEAR AT DH IN 2015. We grew a lot as a firm, did a re-brand, added some new team members, and supported many wonderful clients. And it’s been a big year for us personally, with fun trips, new experiences, and big changes. Our team wanted to share some highlights from the last year—professional milestones, lessons learned, and updates about what’s new in our lives.

Jim and Cher

We have a lot to be grateful for as this year comes to a close. We took great pleasure working alongside our wonderful DH team as they continued their growth and really lived the new brand. We still pinch ourselves thinking about how our once little company has morphed into this communications powerhouse. We’re just glad it did and that we can be there to help a little.

Our growing family will welcome a fourth little grandchild in spring 2016. I joke about having to get a van but not sure where I will put four car seats if we don’t! They keep us young though. We were able to visit friends and family and yet stay close to home for Eagles, Chiefs and Indians games and lots of fun in the Spokane area. Cheers to the best New Year ever!


Two thousand fifteen was a big year at DH. For me, seeing our new brand come to life was a very significant milestone. Twenty years after Jim and Cher dreamed up our company on a napkin in the Trapper Creek Bar on Priest Lake, DH has evolved into a true strategic and creative force. I’m proud of the amazing work our team did this year and I’m even prouder to be a part of such a great group of humans.

Though I became a hockey mom a couple years ago, 2015 was Cadan’s first year on a team. It’s been quite a learning experience. While I still don’t really understand the rules, I can say I’ve logged quite a few hours on the ice this year (because what do hockey players want to do when they’re not playing? Go ice skating, of course!), and I’ve spent some quality time at Eagles Ice-A-Rena (I recommend the breakfast puck from the snack bar). I’m very proud of the boy who wears #3. He’s got a heck of a slap shot.

Sara J

2015 was a year of growth and new beginnings! We grew to a team of 21, built out our health care practice, expanded our work, and strengthened our creative services offerings. And, perhaps most importantly, stayed true to what makes our team unique: our team culture, our love of the work and our appreciation for such amazing clients and opportunities.

On a personal note, I took many fun trips with my family. In April, we went to Mexico and did everything from repelling to ziplining. It was a super fun family adventure! I also visited family in Boise with my dad, sister and my son Eli. And don’t underestimate the fun that can be had at local Coeur d’Alene and Clear Lakes!


Two thousand fifteen was inspiring and challenging and memorable on so many levels. I think though, that it’s the year DH found a new gear. The maturity of our creative work, our strategy work, the results we get for clients. Well, all of them hit a new high. And we did this while enhancing the camaraderie and culture I love so much. All of this has everything to do with our team. Momentum can take a long time to build, but we have it now, and in spades.

Personally, I’d like 2015 to go down as “the last year Andrei stopped breaking his body while riding his bike.” I’m serious. Really. After two pretty horrendous cycling crashes I’m ready to stop single-handedly supporting the local medical economy and to make 2016 a year of health, wellness and keeping the rubber side on the ground. On the flip side, bringing Kristy and Lyra to Amsterdam on a work trip was an absolute highlight. Watching our daughter take in a new country and continent with the same wide-eyed enthusiasm as I remember feeling myself is something I’ll never forget. Bonus: Lyra didn’t get hurt riding in the insane bicycle traffic in the center of the city (see above: good to know crashing isn’t genetic!).


A highlight for me was winning the STA work. We have long recognized the important role STA plays in our community. It was one of those organizations we identified as great to work with. It’s awesome to collaborate on important projects at the local level, where you can really influence the fabric of the community. That tends to be some of the most rewarding work, and it impacts where you live.

Also, my daughter started kindergarten last year. It was bittersweet. She was so excited to learn to read. But I’m also nervous that time will fly by faster now that we have this new routine. I don’t want to miss a moment! I want to soak it all in.


DH’s brand evolution was a big highlight for me. This is my 12th year here and for the first time I feel our brand matches who we are. This year’s rebrand has been a long time coming and I’m proud of our team for really shining a light on our creative services chops without losing our history and the public relations and marketing foundation that we’ve built on over 20 years. I wear my DH logo gear with pride.

In 2015, my family managed to conquer some fun firsts like a plane ride and Mariners game for Hudson and an aviary visit for Lincoln, the bird lover. But we also continued some fun family traditions like Chiefs hockey, trips with friends and lots of laughter. There is never a dull year with two little boys!


Keeping up with regulatory changes has been big for me this last year. It seems small, but there are so many areas that businesses need to keep up on that can be critical. A couple opportunities came around this year to learn about new regulation as well as ways to stay up on developing changes.

Our oldest child graduated and is going into the Airforce. I attended his graduation from basic training down in Texas. I’m still getting used to only three people at home. The grocery bill has dropped, and it’s quieter around the house—all the little things you don’t think of. I’m still “Mom’s Taxi Service” but I have actually had a little more personal time lately.


In 2015, our design team grew from three to five super talented designers that I am humbled by and proud to work alongside. Along with the expansion comes new opportunities to learn, mentor, and be challenged to think differently (and better). Our industry is in constant commotion, and we will need all our talents to keep up.

This year was a year of travel, including a trip to New Orleans to attend the AIGA conference. Being in new environments and trying new things really inspired me and reminded me how important it is to break up the old routine.

Sara D

Within DH, I’ve been privileged to manage a couple of our newest accounts with Spokane Transit Authority and Columbia Valley Community Health. We love working with such talented marketing departments. Outside of DH, I was proud to have been named one of the Inland Catalyst‘s 20 Under 40, recognizing professionals under 40 for their contributions to the community in their industry.

In September, my husband and I purchased our first home together, where we’ll welcome the newest addition to our family next spring.


I’m really proud of the creative team and the talented people who have joined DH. We have really expanded what we can do for our clients.

Last year, my daughter started kindergarten, soccer and ballet. I love seeing her thrive! Being a part of these new activities with her has grown our circle of amazing friends.


This last year, I was promoted to Account Director and was elected as the 2015-2016 MarCom board president.

I also started playing rec soccer (indoor and outdoor) after many years. I love it. It has been so fun!


A highlight for me was winning the PR Rising Star award from the Greater Spokane PRSA Chapter.

In my spare time, I started mentoring once a week through Artisans to help mentees build employment skills. It’s been special to find that I’m learning just as much from her as I hope she is from me. I also started teaching Turbo Kick Boxing classes at Gonzaga with my sister two times a week. It’s been a blast!


In July 2015, I started at DH. After four years with my previous employer, moving on was a hard decision, and it (as everything does) took time to adjust, but the change ended up being a great one! I cannot say enough about how wonderful it has been getting to know everyone and being a part of the DH team. The people of DH are incredibly talented, driven, and so absurdly nice!

Just a few days before I started at DH, I completed my fifth Ironman race in Coeur d’ Alene. This was by far the most challenging full distance race I’ve done thanks to the 105+ degree heat, a few training injuries, and some serious mental burnout. I’m looking forward to taking some much needed time away from triathlon for the next year(s) and shifting more focus and energy into making art, teaching art, and mountain biking.


I started working with Ecova this year, the leading energy and sustainability management company in North America. Sustainability is not only the defining issue of the 21st century but the key to humanity’s survival and ascension (in my humble but obviously adamant opinion) so it’s incredibly rewarding to help Ecova tackle it head-on. The Force is strong with my media relations…

I published a new novel this year called Killing Virginia Crowe—it’s a western and my best work to date! I’m not touring extensively with this book but celebrating the release with some of my closest fans and friends meant more to me than I can describe.


I had the opportunity to work on Teeth Week in Spokane to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. It was a complex campaign including paid, earned, and social media. It’s not always easy to get media excited about oral health, but we got a total of 25 news hits, as well as coverage from every broadcast station in the area. Through social media outreach and a giveaway, we earned millions of online impressions—in just a little over a week!

On a personal note, I enjoyed my trip to Glacier National Park. I had fun road tripping with my friend Brian. We hiked a mountain, ate “The World’s Best Huckleberry Pie” (according to the sign—and it was pretty fantastic), and got to spend time in one of the most beautiful places on earth.


Collective Campout was my most prominent professional milestone. Along with AAF Spokane, I created and promoted a brand from conception to the event’s successful completion. I learned about planning, sponsorship requests and inquiries, as well as how to get a bunch of people together and have an awesome time.

Over the last year, my life changed in all aspects. Everything is new. I’ve learned to keep all things moving forward, to stay positive and keep looking at what’s ahead—not at what’s behind me.


In 2015, I was promoted to an Account Executive position, which was an amazing milestone. I’m beyond grateful to be working with such a great team and to be able to learn and grow in a professional way.

With most of my family in Utah, it’s definitely been a transition starting some of my own holiday traditions. This year, I bought my very first Christmas tree and had so much fun decorating it!


DH had a retreat earlier this fall, led by Jeff Stafford, where we learned to utilize communication and leadership styles. I’ve been working with that to gain efficiencies—deciding whether someone needs help or needs support/encouragement in the press of business. (And yes, that’s me in a box, helping Kaelynn.)

In other news, I moved from the North Side to the South Hill (Target is both awesome and a curse).


This year, I started at DH as an intern, moved to a part-time role, and am now working full time. It’s been really great and I’ve learned a lot. I got to work on fantastic projects! Some include the Better Health Together website and the Lourdes History Wall.

I also recently graduated with a degree in Visual Communication Design from EWU.


This year, I joined the DH team full time! I started out as an intern for a couple months after graduating from GU in 2013, then assisted DH part-time for over a year. I also recently became a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), which is a tool that assesses intercultural competency, allowing me to act as an independent consultant.

I got to travel to Punjab, India, for two months in 2015 for my brother’s wedding. Fun fact: Indian weddings last over a week! I got to dress like an Indian princess, and after the wedding I traveled with my family to Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama’s temple.

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