2021 was a refreshing year. After a 2020 that stretched us all, we got to work creating some incredible digital experiences for our clients and had a lot of laughs in between. We’ve gathered a list of 21 memorable moments that have occurred both inside and outside the walls of Speak that are worth celebrating.
1. We loved where we worked.
It’s no secret that we Speaksters love where we work and it’s nice that our communities recognize it. We were named one of Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business this year. We were also named one of the Top Workplaces in Memphis by The Commerical Appeal. We can’t wait to keep the success going as we add more team members and clients to our roster next year.
2. We loved on our #puppers-and-doggos.
Mia, Peaches, Theo, Maple, and Birdie all made frequent appearances in our offices. We also got to hang with a dozen more pups via Zoom. Our #puppers-and-doggos Slack channel had enough adorable submissions for its own Instagram account, @speakpups anyone?
3. We designed the new Tennessee state license plate.
One of our largest projects of the year was designing the new license plate for our state. With over 20 concepts and 100 unique designs, a lot of work went into the 12 x 6 inch license plate you’ll place on the back of your car beginning in 2022. Check out our interviews with The Tennessean and Daily Memphian to learn more about the design process.
4. We honored the stories of others.
During Black History Month we celebrated by putting together a list of some of our favorite attractions who honored Black history-makers.
5. We won awards on awards on awards.
This year, we won 7 American Graphic Design Awards and 7 American Web Design Awards. The celebration doesn’t end there because we also brought home 6 American Advertising Awards, including the Mosaic Award for commitment to diversity and inclusion. Additionally, one of our sites was listed as one of the best nonprofit websites of the year. Check out those links to see our award winning client work.
6. We gained momentum.
This year, we launched our Momentum Program which gives organizations the ability to improve the impact of their website over time. During bi-annual momentum meetings, our team conducts meetings to discuss an organization’s goals, site health, and site design to define which key updates will capture, build, and sustain momentum.
7. We jammed out.
Did you catch our Spotify Wrapped playlist? We had Justin Bieber, Peach Pit, Amos Lee, and NEEDTOBREATHE on repeat throughout the office.
8. We lit a Spark.
SPARK was born this year. It’s our new initiative to help inform, entertain, and energize our team members on a topic relevant to our daily lives. It’s an hour out of every month to learn about anything from how to start a side hustle to a mental health workshop to financial literacy. Special shoutout to our VP of Client Partnerships, Kindra Svendsen, for lighting the way.
9. We supported causes we believe in.
Three of our team members ran in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend to raise money for childhood cancer research and two even met up on race day. The race is the pinnacle event for the program as the largest single-day fundraising event for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
10. We got trendy.
Have you ever had mayo in your coffee? Watched the show Yellowstone? Jammed out to Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo? We indulged in all 3 viral trends and couldn’t stop talking about it. Both Nashville and Memphis office members tried mayo coffee and we wouldn't recommend it.
11. We revamped beloved brands.
Our design team rebranded some pretty stellar brands this past year such as Siskind Susser, Catalina Island Museum, Bookfox, St. Anthony’s Branding, and Workforce Midsouth. This project for Catalina Island was awarded an American Graphic Design Award by GDUSA. The designer on the project Gabby Windham said, "When working on the best solution for the new logo it was imperative to both the client and our team to imbue the mark with a sense of community. From characteristics of the building itself, such as the slanted road it resides on — to quintessential features of the island, including the waves, flora, and tile design — we did our best to create something that could be firmly rooted on Catalina Island for years to come."
12. We celebrated.
We celebrated Matt Balliet's birthday with a Chick-fil-a sauce tasting, Halloween with a Pumpkin Party, Thanksgiving with a potluck extravaganza, and May Fourth with an epic Star Wars photoshoot. It's safe to say we love to celebrate the big moments, the small moments, and everything in between.
13. We spoke out.
Our VP of Client Partnerships, Kindra Svendsen, took all her marketing knowledge to both the Audience Buyer Persona Summit and The Loudspeaker. Meanwhile, Matt Roberts, our VP of Marketing and Sales, appeared on the Agency Toolkit Podcast. No autographs, please.
14. We spent time with our families.
At Speak, we value our time both inside and outside of the office. We know the importance of family and spending time with those you love. While some quality time was spent laying on the couch or sharing a meal, some were more picturesque long walks with your dog, wife, and son-in-the-oven. We’re looking at you, JFinn.
15. We got to travel more.
It was finally time to use up those Southwest points. One of our project managers, Sarah Gannon, traveled the entire country of Iceland on the ring road in 9 days. Our Front End Developer and Designer, Stephen Smith, spent his summer in Brazil. Other members of the team crossed the US and enjoyed exploring new places both near and far.
16. We carved spooky pumpkins.
For Halloween this year, we had our first ever Great Pumpkin Carving Contest. Judges voted on awards for the Best Overall (Pumpkin #14), Most Creative (#7), and Spookiest (#13).
17. We went off topic.
Our second season of A Little Off Topic kicked off this year, and we had a season full of insight, marketing trends, and laughter.
18. We got the Stank Face GIF to a million.
You read that right. Our Director of Finance BJ’s incredible GIF hit 1,000,000 views in July. His fame has continued to soar as we’re now at 1,536,639 Views, but who’s counting…
19. We dined.
We've got a staff full of cooks on our team, so we love to see what everybody's been whipping up. The Nashville Office spent a few days at our newest spot downtown, Assembly Food Hall, which features 30+ restaurants all under one roof. Staff favorites include Prince’s Hot Chicken, Velvet Taco, and The Pharmacy Burger. Memphians have been loving Kami Ramen, City Silo, and the reopening of Hog & Hominy.
20. We got competitive.
We had an old-fashioned Memphis vs. Nashville rivalry going, where team members would “borrow” items from the Memphis office, only to show up proudly displayed in the Nashville office the next day. Once Memphis had enough, they got Nashville back in the best way possible: a double confetti cannon assault from our CEO, Jacob and VP of Marketing and Sales, Matt.
21. We celebrated an amazing year.
The Memphis office celebrated an incredible year in our favorite form, a potluck meal. The Nashville office gathered for a White Elephant gift exchange at Kindra’s house to celebrate a year of hard work and the holiday season ahead. Spoiler Alert: The Hot Sauce advent calendar was quite the hit.
It’s safe to say the future of Speak is looking bright. After hiring 11 new team members this year, we look back with gratitude. We’re sentimental about another year passing where we get to do what we do for you, our clients. We’ve got big plans for 2022 and are excited to see what we create together. If you want to be in on the fun, check out our careers page where we’re always hiring more happy folks.
Let us join your team as a digital marketing partner for 2022. We'd love to explore your ideas and make them come to life.
Get In Touch