CCAH Day of Service

READY. SET. PACK! Yesterday, on Wednesday, September 11th 2019, practically the entire CCAH staff could be spotted among a sea of 3,000 red t-shirts working alongside long-time client AARP to pack more than 1 million meals for hungry seniors. With a DJ playing hits, ‘celebrity’ appearances, delicious snow cones for volunteers, and an electrifying energy in the air, the event could be easily mistaken for a party; proving that service can be – and is – EXCITING!

CCAH was particularly excited to join AARP for the 5th year in a row, this year packing 192 boxes! And while many of us around the office enjoyed adding a competitive edge to the day, challenging one another’s teams to see who would pack the most boxes of meals, our motivation for the day of service goes far beyond dancing to the music and the friendly competition. AARP’s Day of service is our favorite way to mark September 11th by giving back to the community. This event is just one stop on AARP’s summer of service series – they have stops all over the country, bringing together communities to make an even bigger impact for seniors.

As the number of seniors in our country increases, so does the rate of seniors at risk for hunger. More than 10 million older adults are at risk of hunger every day, many right here in the DMV area. The more than 1 million meals packed by volunteers this week went directly to hungry seniors in Washington DC. A day of “work” simply scooping, measuring, and packaging meals (depending on your position on the assembly line) will directly impact members of our community, and we think that’s AWESOME.

Thanks to AARP for inviting us to participate once again to work towards a future without senior poverty!

CCAH Annual Putt-Putt Tournament

It’s summer, which means one very important tradition is about to happen at CCAH: CCAH PGA. This annual putt-putt tournament is a staple of CCAH culture and has been around for almost as long as the firm itself.

It’s also the largest athletic competition of the year at CCAH, which means that participants of all ages, abilities, and affiliations brought their A-game to this Friday festivity.

“If I’m going to win anything at CCAH, it’s this,” said Trent Cubine, a summer intern and CCAH PGA hopeful. With putt-putt legend and two-time champion Sean Coogan out of the office on Friday, this tournament was anyone’s game.

CCAH PGA founder and facilitator (as well as CCAH Chairman and Partner) Jim Hussey made it clear that competition is not the focus of the tournament. “It’s been a good opportunity for team building, to take a break from things,” Hussey said.

The long history and continued excitement around CCAH PGA is a testament to the tournament’s success. “We started this tournament twenty years ago,” Hussey said. “It’s actually been going on longer than some of the participants have been alive.”

Maryann Chan attempts to extricate herself from the office area of HR Coordinator, Chastity Morris.

Account Representative Cindy Edward was a CCAH PGA first-timer hoping to make a strong entrance to the field. Though she began with a strong start putting through the hallway by the printer, she started to tally up the strokes in the lead-up to the front desk area. When asked about whether she had high hopes about making it to the finals, Edward responded “definitely not. It’s like poker, where when you first play, people are like ‘you did really well’ but I think this is kind of it. I’ve lost my touch.”

Many competitors dressed for the occasion, though opinion varied about which type of attire was optimal for the tournament. Account Executive Maryann Chan wore a pragmatic, professional combination of golf shirt and golf skirt, a traditional putt-putt outfit for her. Intern Trent Cubine wore a golfing glove to avoid blisters, though he was seen playing without it in the championship round.

“You’ve got to dress for the green,” said Senior Acquisition Planner Steve Paddock. “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to wear my Figment the Dragon socks for some time now. If not today, then when?”

Once the top six competitors had been determined by pool play, it was time for the course to receive some … improvements. Among the additions to the course were a barrier of pink packing peanuts, an inflatable ninja, overturned office chairs, an ornamental rug, several binders, and a plastic skeleton.

The first competitor to make it through a tricky gap by Account Rep Kyra Rogan’s desk, Kopf said that that was the moment he started to think he might have a chance to win it all. “As long as I could hit it over the leg of the plastic skeleton without it bouncing back into Shannon’s office, I thought I would probably be in the clear,” he said.

Kopf landed the shot and putted his way to the course’s end, followed by Erin Devost in 2nd and Trent Cubine in 3rd.

The only contestant under 21, Kopf appreciates the irony that he won the grand prize of a gift card to The Punchbowl Social, a popular late-night destination in Arlington. “Fortunately, they have plenty of food there too,” Kopf noted. 

After the competition was done, the course disappeared as fast as it had materialized. But don’t think that the excitement of CCAH PGA is gone.

After all, CCAH PGA 2020 is just around the corner. 

Catherine Algeri prepares to round the final corner in the championship round, while spectators, officiators, and other competitors look on.

LCV 2019 Capital Dinner

CCAH is proud to work with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), an organization that fights for the environment, making it a political priority. They focus on “meaningful action to combat climate change,” fighting to maintain the safeguards we have already established as well as championing new laws and protections to further support our future.

CCAH was honored to attend the League of Conservation Voters’ Capital Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in DC this past Wednesday as they celebrated a year of unprecedented victories on behalf of our earth — even as they fought against unparalleled opposition to environmental action. The speeches from LCV leaders, such as Gene Karpinski and Carol Browner, and environmental champions, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), made the night a true celebration of environmental victories, as well as a reminder of the need to keep fighting. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi highlighted in her address, LCV has been “the driving charge” in defending our environment for 

the last 49 years. 

Despite their tireless work and that of other advocates for the protection of our environment, there is still much work to be done – particularly in the face of the current political administration. Optimism shone through when considering the milestones that have already been accomplished, but this feeling was dovetailed with urgency and the need for greater and more drastic changes to prevent impending, irrevocable climate catastrophes. Environmental stewards were recognized and awarded, and dinner was environmentally friendly and locally sourced, perfectly complementing the night’s theme.

CCAH recognizes that it is only through constant and dedicated work from all of us that we will achieve a lasting and beneficial impact. We are proud to be able to support such an important organization as they approach their 50th year supporting environmental action. With lights the color of PMS 7725 and LCV’s new logo all around, the night was a beautiful tribute to all they have accomplished this past year, and an important reminder that Our Earth Is Worth Fighting For.

CCAH Spotlight – John Wanda

John Wanda has always been fascinated by the people who shaped history: their personalities, their characters, and the way they overcame adversity and the challenges thrown at them. He made it his mission to understand what made great leaders.

Setting the Stage

Growing up in Uganda, John never saw himself getting into direct marketing, as it didn’t really exist there; he went to college for accounting, eventually moving to the United States before finding CCAH, where he has worked for the past thirteen years. He started in an accounting position and is now a principal and vice president for finance. His role has evolved into financial management, budgeting, forecasting, and keeping up with regulations. In John’s words, he works to ensure “that our company is in the good and clear, because you can have a great company, but if you don’t have good books and good accounting and good tech systems, you can still run into trouble.”

John has seen CCAH expand from 44 employees to over 90. He has watched it evolve from a company that was mainly direct mail focused to a company on the cutting edge of direct response marketing. However, what he enjoys most about working here is the opportunity to help so many great organizations raise the money they need: “it’s good to feel like you’re helping to play a role in making our world a better place every day.”

Making a Difference

John is passionate about making a difference. Prior to coming to CCAH, he worked at a DC-based foundation that supports the conservation of rainforests in his home continent of Africa. Working at CCAH, he was able to continue to support this passion while also supporting others — from championing good, viable political candidates and supporting important causes outside the mainstream, to benefiting environmental organizations that do work near to his heart.  As John says, working here has allowed him to see that “people don’t leave [changing the world] to the government, they don’t leave it to others, these are individuals who are willing to give significantly to support the causes they care about.”

John is one of these individuals. The organization that means the most to him is the one he and his wife, Joyce Wanda, founded together: Arlington Academy of Hope. Arlington Academy of Hope serves to build a foundation of hope in rural Uganda by raising money to send children to school. The organization has grown to one with a budget of $900,000 per year, and they have successfully raised more than $7 million to help more than 20,000 children go to school. He explains, “I know that a simple act of kindness can actually change a life, and if we all can do a little bit of that every day, we can transform so many lives around the world.”

John explains that providing these students with the opportunity for education “has shown our community that our kids are just as capable as other kids in Uganda, and given the right resources and support, they can compete with anybody.”

John and his wife grew up in very difficult circumstances. They know firsthand the challenges these kids face — those faced at home to those faced going to, and staying in, school — so when they found themselves in the United States with new opportunities, they wanted “to use the resources and connections [they] found to support the kids back in Uganda.” They realized they “could do a lot of good for their community.” And they are not alone: every year, more than a thousand donors contribute to and support the work of Arlington Academy of Hope.

Doing What Matters

John Wanda puts his all into the things that are important to him, and while he is undoubtedly passionate about the work he does at CCAH and the time he spends with family, Arlington Academy of Hope is the thing that makes him “smile every day, wake up every day, and set goals every day.” This work fulfills him, not only because of what it accomplishes, but also because it combines his work, family, and community — the three things that truly inspire him.

Growing up, John read about the great leaders of our world and the way they shaped history to make the world a better place — John can now take his place among them. Really, no one could say it better than John himself:

“Everybody has different things that make them wake up and do what they do, and that is good — it’s just that anytime you add something that helps others, that is what makes it more powerful. You’re not doing it for yourself, you’re not doing it for your kids, you’re doing it for the world, and that just makes it so much more powerful.”

 

Designed carpet and grey pouf on glossy white floor. Home office design concept

Working Hard and Working from Home: How Remote Employees are Changing the Game

If you thought working remotely was just for bad weather days, you thought wrong! Across the country more and more companies are offering positions that allow employees to telework up to 100% of the time. Remote workers have limited distractions and enjoy flexible hours. 

What are the Benefits?

According to a study done by Indeed, 57% of remote workers feel more productive working from home than in the office and 38% of remote workers feel equally productive in the office and at home. And their employers agree! 72% of companies with remote workers say their remote workers are more productive when they’re at home. Some companies are even saving on real- estate costs by encouraging employees to work remotely. 

 

 How do I know remote work will be successful on my team?

Working remotely can work for anyone in any department, it just takes a little planning. We spoke with CCAH team members across departments and came up with a few tips to make teleworking successful for your team.

Tip 1: Be Accessible!

If you’re not in the office, its important to be available via phone and an instant messenger like Skype or Slack when email isn’t enough. Being accessible and over-communicating will help your team build trust and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Rob in Data Management recommends keeping your calendar as up to date as possible to keep everything on track.  

Tip 2: Separate your Work Space from your Living Space

When you work from home, it can be difficult to cultivate a work/life balance. Jessica in Production suggests creating a designated work space. It will keep you organized and ensure you’ve got everything you need to be successful during the work day.

Tip 3: Stay Organized

Remote workers don’t always live in the same time zone as their clients or company. Katie in Account Services suggests having daily check ins with your team to make sure everyone knows where projects stand. This ensures that nothing slips through the cracks and everyone can get support if needed.

Remote work policies allow companies to hire the best employees regardless of location and give team members a better work- life balance.  But remember, no team is the same. While we’ve found these tips to be helpful at CCAH, connect with your team to find out what works for them. Everyone succeeds when they feel supported and valued – whether they’re in the office, or 3 hours away. 

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Rookie of the Quarter – Alyssa Ackerman

At CCAH, we know that progress is what keeps us relevant and keeps us moving toward our mission — advancing change and committing to activism that makes a difference. That’s why each quarter we like to recognize one of our newest employees who is helping move us towards our goals and continuing our push for progress. Our Rookie of the Quarter award is given to an employee who has started their CCAH journey in the past year and has shown their willingness to go above and beyond. They are nominated by the CCAH management committee (our partners, VPs, and president, Kim Cubine), and they exemplify CCAH’s commitment to progress.

image-14This quarter, we are recognizing Alyssa Ackerman.

Alyssa came to Chapman Cubine + Hussey with over eight years of non-profit experience. Prior to CCAH, Alyssa managed the individual giving programs at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Food Allergy Research & Education. At CCAH, she provides strategic oversight and digital program management for multiple clients, including the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the National Park Foundation. When not working on digital fundraising campaigns, Alyssa can be found volunteering with Girls on the Run, enjoying time with family and friends, traveling, and cheering on the Hokies.

We are so glad to have Alyssa as part of our CCAH family. Congratulations on being our Rookie of the Quarter!