2020: The Year of Grit and Gratitude

2020: The Year of Grit and Gratitude

As we take a moment to pause and reflect on what we’re grateful for, the first thing that comes to mind is our team who makes Speak what it is today. We’re thankful for their commitment to doing good, in their work and in their own lives, unwavering enthusiasm, and heart.  

We’re also thankful for our clients. The organizations that we get to work alongside inspire us in so many ways and we’re grateful to help tell their stories. You’ll hear from some of our own team members about a client they’re especially thankful for and something in their own life that they are cherishing during this season. 


Corinne Mizzell, Designer

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? Mid South Food Bank. Not only do they have a great mission of helping people gain access to food, but they’ve been a really fun client to work with because they let me do a really colorful site with fun aspects like illustrations of fruit and veggies.

What are you personally grateful for this year? I’m thankful for my coworkers in the Nashville office. Ever since we added 2 members to the team, we rearranged our desks to all be together, which has made my day-to-day more fun. We have BYOL “Bring Your Own Lunch” day every Thursday where we all sit together and catch up. 

Ty Stinson, Cinematographer

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? I would say I am thankful for working with TEA Project Restore because they pushed our creative ability and provided very powerful information as it pertains to Covid student trauma.

What are you personally grateful for this year? I’m thankful for my community. They tend to keep me afloat through my tough mental times. Gives me hope to create more.

Reuben Brunson, Senior Business Development Strategist

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? It’s almost impossible to narrow down to one. Overall, I’m thankful to work with so many nonprofit organizations. It’s so great to work with them hand-in-hand and to see their work make a difference in real life.  

What are you personally grateful for this year? I’m thankful to be a dad, and for the opportunity to see my 12-year-old daughter grow and learn every day.


Abi Devins, Strategy Manager + Senior Brand Strategist

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? A Step Ahead Foundation! I love their mission and how they are helping their community. I am thankful that they see the power and potential women of any age have to make an impact and the foundation helps them flourish.

What are you personally grateful for this year? My dog, Coco! She is my only in-office coworker and brings me lots of joy.

Stephen Smith, Front End Developer + Designer

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? I am extremely thankful to have had the chance to work with Temple Israel. I had never heard of a Reformed Synagogue before working with them, so getting the chance to design and build their website gave me the chance to expand my perception of the Jewish religion and allowed me to form relationships with people that I probably would never have been able to if I hadn't worked with them in a professional setting. This experience makes me thankful in general that I am allowed to meet and work with people of so many different backgrounds and walks of life through my job. Whether it be selling auto parts, informing people about bird types, or even teaching people how to line dance, I've had a hand in helping foster so many different interactions between people, and that as a whole makes me happy to do what I do.

What are you personally grateful for this year? I am most thankful for all the people that I have close to me in my life. Social distancing and confinement, while necessary to fight COVID-19, can be extremely tasking mentally, and as someone who needs people in my life to feel fulfilled, I have been so lucky to have family that I love, roommates who I consider to be family, supportive coworkers, and friends all around the world from Brazil to France who I love dearly to lean on throughout what has largely been one of the most difficult years of our collective lives. We have each other, which is something that no loss of income, restaurant, toilet paper, or any other material possession can take away.


Jacob Savage, CEO

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? I'm grateful for the YMCA of Memphis this year. Their response to the pandemic was quick and significant, helping families with meals, childcare, and so much more. 

What are you personally grateful for this year? I'm so grateful for each day my family is getting with my Dad. Last October, he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and given about 18 months.  While it's been hard news to take, we're thankful that God has given us a season we can cherish.

Amy Dunbar, Sales Manager

Who is a client you are grateful for this year?  This is such a hard question to answer. I've had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful organizations during my 6+ years here at Speak and choosing only one that I'm thankful is impossible. When I first joined the Speak team, I joined as an Account Manager and hit the ground running by teaming with MIFA and Wolf River Conservancy to rebuild their online presence. Both Memphis organizations are missional and are actively making an impact on our community and looked to Speak to help them accomplish their goals. Helping organizations like MIFA and Wolf River Conservancy 'do good' by enhancing their marketing efforts is a perk of working for Speak. And now as the Sales Manager, I am thankful for the opportunity to talk to many organizations about ways that Speak can elevate their brand and message and help them plan for success. 

What are you personally grateful for this year? I'm most thankful for my family. Of course, I love my friends, job, church community, and a good slice of BBQ pizza, but I'm most thankful for my husband, our kids, and our families. They give me the love and support that even pizza can't match. :) 

Jessica Freeman, Director of Agency Marketing

Who is a client you are grateful for this year?  Recently I had the opportunity to put together a case study on our work for Root Tulsa. I'm originally from Tulsa and Root is going to be such a gift to my hometown. There is tons of art, culture, and history in Tulsa that even more people will get to experience because of their platform. It was also fun to hear about the amazing experience they had partnering with Speak, almost like realizing that two of your friends are also friends — my worlds colliding in the best way.

What are you personally grateful for this year? As we close this heavy year I feel like I have more to be grateful for than I ever realized. I'll keep it light though, definitely getting an espresso machine in Nashville has been a highlight!

Katy Sloan, Content Specialist

Who is a client you are grateful for this year?  I'm thankful for My Cup of Tea.  They're a really unique, local business that's creating real, actionable change in their community.  It's always cool when we get to see how our work impacts real people, and this client is a shining example of that.  It's a neat Memphis based brand that's gaining reach every day.

What are you personally grateful for this year?  I'm thankful for my job at Speak.  Working with individuals who understand and appreciate one another is something a lot of people take for granted, especially in a year like 2020.  Even when I'm tired, I still have a lot of pride in the work that I do and the folks that I get to it with.

Wes Hunter, Client Service Specialist

Who is a client you are grateful for this year? Rather than a specific client, I’d say that I'm thankful for Sitewrench training sessions because it gives me the opportunity to show a face and personal side of Support to our clients and vice versa. 

What are you personally grateful for this year? It sounds cliche but I'm thankful for my family and the massive generosity that they have shown my wife and me this year.


These stories don’t even scratch the surface of all the amazing moments of this year. There are so many more incredible partners that we’ve loved working alongside. We’re grateful for each and every one of our clients and are excited about what’s to come in 2021. If you’re interested in any of our services to start off next year on the right foot, let us know. 

Posted by Madelyn Bomar at 07:00