Two Rivers Marketing Associates Offer Reasons to be Thankful in 2020

Agency Culture

Two Rivers Marketing Associates Offer Reasons to be Thankful in 2020

Bill Zahren

Bill Zahren
Nov 25, 2020

Female employee with dog

Reasons we are thankful in 2020

Despite all the challenges of 2020 — from COVID-19 to wildfires, murder hornets, and too much more — associates at Two Rivers Marketing have no problem counting their blessings heading into Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for the support of family, friends and fellow associates during this crazy year,” 
Two Rivers Associate Jasmine Liu

said UX Designer Jasmine Liu. Account Manager Andrea Thoene also voiced her primary reason for celebrating. “I’m thankful that through all of this, everyone in my family was able to stay healthy and were not negatively affected by COVID-19.”

Many other associates joined Lui and Thoene in listing health, happiness, family, friends, faith, food, and shelter at the top of their lists. Along with those were a few less common reasons for gratitude.

Company and Colleagues

Two Rivers Marketing transitioned to a 100% work-from-home operation in mid-March. Leslie Maynes, managing director, client services, added that “this year has brought my team innumerable challenges. Beyond 2020's upheaval that everyone faced, we had considerable health challenges, loss of loved ones — it has been a year.

And my team rallied for each other on the field and off in ways you don't see in any workplace. I am immeasurably proud of and grateful for them every day.”
Two Rivers Associate Leslie Maynes


Many associates also appreciated the devices that have helped mitigate 2020’s plague of personal separation.

I'm thankful for the technology that has enabled us to stay connected this year and for everyone who has embraced it,”
Two Rivers Associate Hillary Ferry

said Hillary Ferry, senior digital marketing director, “including our agency leadership and associates, our clients, our families (especially grandparents), and our children's teachers.”

Technology has also gotten widespread kudos for helping individuals stay connected to the groups, events, and institutions they value. “I’m thankful for a church family who regularly checks in and has awesome services we can watch from our house, in our jammies, with hot coffee,” said Jessica Olstad, director of strategic communications.

Marketing Data Analyst Jill VanVleet added thanks for

all the free streaming concerts artists have put on during the pandemic.”
Two Rivers Associate Jill VanVleet

Going Slower

If there is a silver lining in 2020, I would say it has been nice to slow down a bit,”
Two Rivers Associate Zach Keller

said Zach Keller, managing director, strategic communications. “As parents with kids at a certain age, you can be running around to lots of activities. I'm thankful for having everyone home around the table for dinner, long Saturdays with nothing on the calendar, and being a little less scheduled in general.”

People eating a Thanksgiving meal

Jill VanDerPol, director, agency and community initiatives, agreed that “despite the awfulness of the pandemic, it's given us more family time, and I see my teenagers much more than I used to. We have more quality time and I'm really grateful for that.”

The Little Things

Being forced to work from home made Stacy Watrous aware of possibilities she’d overlooked in the past. “I’m thankful that I could work from my deck this summer,” said Stacy, who works in accounts payable. “Who knew you could enjoy the outdoors and do your job at the same time?”

Likewise, Copywriter Wendy Lyons found small joys after making a big move. “In 2020, my husband and I moved from an old farmhouse out in the sticks with three acres to maintain into a townhome in the suburbs,” she said. “So, I'm thankful for the lawn service that mows twice a week and shovels our driveway while we weep with joy and drink coffee.”

Another unanticipated positive was how the pandemic encouraged many to experience the wide-open spaces.

I’m thankful for the great outdoors and the fact that COVID-19 does not affect outdoor activities as much,” said Vice President Brad Olson.
Two Rivers Associate Brad Olson

Project Manager Lana Vilez felt the same, giving thanks for “the memories my fiancé and I made this summer and fall traveling in our quarantine camper purchase.”

Puppies and Babies

A clear winner in the pandemic gratitude sweepstakes has been adopting homeless dogs. Home confinement led to an uptick in appreciation for man’s best friend.

Several 2RM associates contributed to that trend, including Account Supervisor Kyle Hanson, who welcomed Willie the Golden Retriever into his home during the pandemic.

A puppy has been an incredibly positive outlet for me this year that I am and will continue to be thankful for.”
Two Rivers Associate Kyle Hanson
Two Rivers Associate Kyle Hanson with Willie the Golden Retriever

Likewise, Digital Strategist Grace Meadows gives thanks for “my new pup, Trooper, who keeps the house from being too quiet by snoring next to my desk all day or, when the mood strikes, howling at police and fire sirens when they dare to drive too close (within 5 miles) to our home.”

And, as bad as COVID-19 is, it can’t overcome the joy of welcoming a new child. Project Coordinator Bennett Ford is thankful for the thrill of impending fatherhood.

While I’m thankful for all of the highs that 2020 has brought, my wife and I are already extra thankful to welcome home our first child in May of 2021,” he said.
Two Rivers Associate Bennett Ford
Two Rivers Associate Bennett Ford and His Wife's Baby Announcement

Account Coordinator Renae DuToit, spoke for new parents. “I’m thankful that despite the name 2020 is creating for itself, that it's been the best year yet for me as my husband and I welcomed our first baby to the world — and he is cute as heck.”

Even though it’s been a challenging year, our associates have stayed positive and have been able to find a silver lining. Interested in becoming a part of our thankful team? 

Visit our careers page

Bill Zahren
Get to know Bill

As a senior copywriter, Bill has written marketing pieces ranging in length from three words to 30,000. When he’s not writing for a living, you’ll find him writing novels for fun. Get more on novel writing or discuss the beauty of the Oxford comma. Reach out to Bill.