At JA, we love a challenge.
When longtime client APGO approached us about making a short video to both celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Academic Scholars and Leaders Program and announce an important new funding initiative, we were intrigued.
Our first office in Boston was on the top floor of an old warehouse on Congress Street in the Fort Point neighborhood. Our loft space had brick walls, massive wood beams, factory wood floors, and a steam heating system that constantly thumped, clanged, hissed, and made the office boiling hot or bitterly cold during the winter. That’s all gone now, of course, replaced by several luxury condo developments.
Our last winter in the building, on one of the colder mornings in February, I went down the hall to the shared bathroom to get more water for the coffee maker. Just outside the bathroom, a rickety ladder had been set up. At the top, a woman, not dressed as a plumber, was fiddling with some valves. After some nervous laughter, and a grunt as the release valve opened, you could hear the steam flowing once again. “There,” said the woman, somewhat surprised, “I think it might get better now.”
Is it weird to say that urinary incontinence is a topic near and dear to my heart? Probably. But it doesn’t make it any less true.
Perhaps it’s because I’m pregnant with my third child and frequenting bathrooms all too often. But knowing that so many women suffer from UI symptoms at some point in their lives and don’t talk to their clinicians about it makes me sad. When the opportunity arose to do a program educating clinicians about how important it is to start a conversation about UI with their patients, we at JA jumped on it. The program launched last month, and we hope clinicians take the minute or two to ask their patients about it as a result. After all, the first step toward improving a patient’s quality of life might just be to start a conversation.
What do you do when things go wrong; when the best laid plans are turned upside down? As soon as the Women’s March in Washington was announced, Carrie, Caitlin and I excitedly made plans to go. Details quickly fell into place—Carrie’s mom and a friend were going, so we decided to make it a party of five, and take a round-trip Rally Bus from Stamford.
“Sign up on the bulletin board!” shouted the guy walking down a corridor in Riggs Hall, waving a flyer at me. I was a junior civil engineering major at Clemson University, and I was hooked. Build and race a concrete canoe in competition with my classmates? Like many of the opportunities in my life, this one was just too tempting to pass up. For Civil Engineering types, the event, born out of intramural races held in the 60s, is the equivalent of the America’s Cup.
It’s a special occasion when everyone from JA is under one roof, and to celebrate we kicked off the holidays with a party/cooking class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, just a few blocks from our office.
With family and friends in tow, and under the expert (and patient) tutelage of our chef and instructor Jerrod Perry, we peeled, diced, toasted, roasted, sautéed, seared, deglazed, puréed, caramelized, stir-fried, baked, marinated and mashed our way through an impressive menu:
What makes a good story? Two things come to mind: a topic that interests me and writing that's so good, I can’t help but read, listen, or watch all the way to the end, no matter how long it takes.
In advertising, you can write and say just about anything you want. People understand what you are hinting at, or trying to sell. And for years I enjoyed that freedom, winning awards for clever headlines that made people think, laugh, and buy all kinds of stuff.
At JA we treasure inspiring and unique stories, whether we’re the storytellers or the audience. Every day, our work and the people we work with provide challenges, rewards, and surprises. We look forward to sharing some of our stories with you here. Thanks for joining us.