For the entire Elevation team, this past year was a symphony of both great highs and great lows. In February, we suffered the saddest stretch of time when we all said goodbye to Ron Gordon, Jimmy’s brother, after he passed away. We loved––and miss––Ron’s charismatic charm, his passion, his gregarious nature, and his loyal spirit. We loved––and miss––his greatness.
An Old Chinese Proverb advises, “You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”
So, despite the birds of sorrow circling overhead, we got back to it by hosting our first annual Todos un Pueblo (All One People) Summit. The event celebrates Elevation’s diverse range of projects, partners and triumphs, and our core tenet that everyone in our “family” contributes to the vibrancy of our shared creative home.
And our collective creative spirit sparked some big magic this past year. In our efforts to support CBP’s Visa Waiver Program and the ESTA team, we traveled to international trade and travel shows in Germany, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, San Antonio, and Singapore to engage key stakeholders and expand the Program’s brand awareness. We refreshed the ESTA library with digital assets and videos in multiple languages, and rolled them out across six countries to promote the ESTA Mobile App. Our work to launch the ESTA Mobile App helped spur ESTA applications to pre-pandemic levels!
We also celebrated 12 years of the “Tips from Former Smokers” (or Tips) campaign for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Now, for more than a decade, Tips has had a significant positive impact on public health and wellness, with the number of former smokers growing by leaps and bounds.
And we continued to deploy bold, riveting campaigns designed to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking––all with the goal of reducing the number of victims.
Over the past several months, the Elevation team has also been working closely with DHS in the formation of the Office of Homeland Security Statistics (OHSS). The OHSS mission is to foster transparency and data-driven decision-making by analyzing and disseminating timely, objective DHS data and statistics. Soon, we’ll sound the horns to announce the official launch of the new public facing OHSS website.
Of course, it wasn’t all work and no play. To honor Ron’s adventuresome spirit and as a nod to their own years of loyal friendship, Jimmy and Pablo embarked on a whirlwind (dare we say world-wind) tour complete with a James Bond-esque high speed boat ride on the River Thames, strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, and thundering hooves at the Paleo Race in Sienna.
And gleefully, Catherine and Brendan helped expand the Elevation family by welcoming sweet Charlotte into the world.
As the year nears its end, we close the books on both the highs and lows, looking eagerly ahead to 2024. Wishing you a safe and warm holiday season!