Seattle Times Media Solutions Looks Back at 2020
February 2, 2021 | By Amber Aldrich
Every year, the Seattle Times Media Solutions team looks back on the prior year to celebrate accomplishments and award our top employees. The awards are usually held in a swanky location with good food and drinks, mingling and cheek-to-cheek photos celebrating our winners.
Like all things 2020, this year’s awards were a pivot to a virtual format, celebrating via Zoom. We tried to make the most of it with a Best Dressed award, prompting suits, sequins and fancy headwear (paired with pajama bottoms and slippers, of course). We sent personalized popcorn tins to snack on while we celebrated together. We used breakout rooms to simulate mingling. And despite the limitations, we celebrated, like we always do, as a team.
We also took time, however, to reflect on what the year 2020 was for The Seattle Times. Looking back to our newsroom’s 2020 Pictures of The Year allowed us to reflect on the historic year we just experienced, and the role our newsroom played in capturing history.
We went back in time to the start of the pandemic, when The Seattle Times was the first major newspaper in the country to go completely remote overnight. Our newsroom was featured in the New York Times and other media outlets, profiling a remote newsroom that would quickly become the norm nationwide.
As employees of The Seattle Times, we knew the great work our newsroom was doing, so we created a team video early in the pandemic to show our support. The pandemic would be the beginning of an exhaustive news cycle, including the pandemic, the racial justice movement and protests, wildfires, a historic election and more.
The Seattle Times Media Solutions is the advertising arm of The Seattle Times, but the work we do supports the journalism that was so crucial to navigating our daily lives in 2020. The year was brutal on local businesses, and therefore on advertising revenue. In this crisis, however, we knew Seattle Times products were and remain crucial in helping the community navigate unprecedented circumstances.
We are proud of the work we did in supporting the business community in 2020, including free listings to share the status of businesses early in the pandemic, and our We Love Local campaign that launched late summer through the holiday shopping season. Our Lunch and Learn series was a chance to help local marketers learn how to best navigate messaging and pivot strategy during changing circumstances. 2020 was far from perfect, but we hope that work strengthened partnerships and our business community.
We are also proud of our employees, and a team that rose to the occasion in a challenging year. In particular, a big congrats to our 2020 Annual Award winners. These people are the heart and engine behind our team, particularly in facing challenges over the last year:
- Salesperson of the Year – Steve Simmons
- Outside Salesperson of the Year – Gail Kim
- Inside Salesperson of the Year – Susie Marin
- Rookie of the Year – Kyle Anderson De-Avila
- Leader of the Year – Chandler Downs
- The Patti Turnbull Perseverance Award – Shawn Kingma and Rob Schwertley
- Partner of the Year – Jerry Gilbert
- Unsung Hero Award – Josue Cervantes, Erin Dailey, Julia Olson and Kaylyn Nese
Amber Aldrich is the Senior Director of Advertising for The Seattle Times Media Solutions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.