We are looking forward to ringing in the New Year. But before we do, we wanted to take a look back into 2018 and highlight some of our most memorable moments. Here’s a look at 2018 and some of our biggest moments from this year.
We doubled our sales.
For the past five years, Team DENOR has concentrated diligently on the growth and sustainability of the organization. Since 2013, the average year over year sales growth has been approximately 35 percent. The past three years represented huge opportunities for the company, as its annual year over year sales growth average has exceeded 50 percent. This year, sales doubled those of 2018.
We added to our team.
We’re a welcoming bunch with the flexibility to expand and contract to meet the needs of our clientele. To that end, we’re always adding team members who add value to our offerings and can deepen the impact of our work. This year, we welcomed brand new team members to our mix. Erika Northington handles our office’s administrative and operations needs. Erika Doucette and Pamela English joined our super talented pool of graphic designers. Montez Mickles, Fred McCoy, and Ontario Griffin support us in our videography work.
We entered new territory.
We began working in two new cities this year: Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. We supported on-the-ground recruitment efforts for two school openings. While we were founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2010 and moved to Nashville in 2013, we have always serviced areas outside of our home location. The move into the two Arkansas markets marked the first time we operated multiple campaigns in more than two states and two cities simultaneously. Learn more about the Arkansas work here.
We helped make history.
We supported the Equal Business Opportunity ordinance introduced in December by Metro Nashville Mayor David Briley. As our agency director is chair of the mayoral Minority Business Advisory Council, we were on hand as Mayor Briley announced this historic legislation and supporting programs. The Minority Business Advisory Council reviewed these adjustments in advance of their announcement and provided feedback. Additionally, our team has been working on this issue for four years. Learn more about our work here.
We helped inform Nashville voters.
We partnered with The Equity Alliance to produce the Nashville Voter Guide for the May, August, and November elections. As part of our commitment to public service and doubling down on our efforts around public policy, we were happy to provide our support to the nonprofit, which focuses on voter participation and civic engagement. We helped to create the guide by assisting in gathering the content, sponsoring the graphic design, digital storage and digital distribution, as well as facilitating the printing of the May guide through a local newspaper. More than 5,000 citizens downloaded the guides. Learn more about the guide here.
We got to the root of the issues.
We partnered with The Tennessee Tribune to provide brief snapshots on the candidates running for office. Our team scheduled and produced 21 videos on behalf of the local African American newspaper so that Nashville voters were prepared to make informed decisions about the people who’ll make public policy choices that will ultimately affect their daily lives. Learn more about the videos here.
We pushed new statewide legislation.
In January 2018, we publicly launched the Contracting for Equity initiative to ask state legislators to amend the Tennessee Women Owned, Minority Owned, Veteran Owned, and Small Business Procurement and Contracting Act. The proposed amendment would establish a statewide pilot program to allow select small business owners to do business directly with state government, rather than partnering or unfairly competing with larger firms for the state’s business. The proposed pilot is modeled after a federal procurement and contracting program, called the 8(a) Business Development Program. Learn more about the work here.
We brought business owners to the state capitol.
In February, we galvanized business owners from across the state to advocate for our statewide policy change during our inaugural Contracting for Equity Legislative Day on Capitol Hill. Business owners heard from Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Rep. Harold Love, Rep. Brenda Gilmore, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Yuri Cunza, State of Tennessee Chief Procurement Office Mike Perry, and Attorney Brian Wilson of the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development. Learn more about the work here.
We supported a promising tech company in its national television debut.
Ashlee Ammons and Kerry Schrader are the dynamic mother-daughter rockstars behind the tech startup, Mixtroz. This year, they became the 37th and 38th black female tech founders to raise $1 million in funding and made their national television debut on an episode of A+E‘s nationally televised business pitch show, Rooster & Butch. We leveraged our extensive media contacts to introduce the duo to the Birmingham market, secure multiple advance press placements to announce Mixtroz’s participation in the Velocity Accelerator and, of course, publicize their upcoming movie-themed watch party to celebrate their Rooster & Butch episode. Learn more about the work here.
We cared about public transit.
We supported the City of Nashville’s referendum to make an investment in a public transit system. In addition to our agency director serving as the small business lead on the mayoral Taskforce for Transit and Affordability and hosting one transit talk at our office, we also leveraged the Nashville People Project to amplify the positive values about making such a significant investment in the city’s infrastructure. Learn more about our work here.
We helped open two new charter schools in Arkansas.
The Arkansas community outreach director for Friendship Educational Foundation partnered with us to provide community relations support for the foundation’s entrance into the Arkansas market. The foundation opened an elementary school in Pine Bluff in August 2018; it will open an elementary school in Little Rock in August 2019. Our objective was to directly engage families in ways that recruited and fully enrolled students into the schools and to support the Community Outreach Director in building relationships with key strategic partners. We conceptualized and executed a multi-pronged strategy to engage families and spur student enrollment in both Little Rock and Pine Bluff. Learn more about the project here.
We helped recruit 200 high-schoolers.
Every year, for the past three years, we have had the pleasure of supporting Friendship Capitol High School in its efforts to engage new families and encourage student enrollment. Each year, the goal is the same: recruit approximately 200 new high school students to the charter school, resulting in a $2 million budget allocation for the school year. Each year, we meet the goal and go on to support the school in telling the community about its amazing happenings. Learn more about our longstanding work with Friendship Capitol here and here.
We championed girls in middle Tennessee.
We were excited to support Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee as it sought to distinguish itself from other girl scout councils across the nation. As one of the most financially sound nationwide and one of the largest in the region, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee looked to us to help them refine their brand identity and messaging. Learn more about our work with Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee here.
We stand up for high-quality elementary schools.
We’re excited we get to work with Baton Rouge University Prep Elementary School to help spread the good news about this high-quality school. UP Elementary is a wonderful school, and we’ve produced videos, staged a culture shoot, and told parents why UP is a great place for their young scholar. Learn more about UP Elementary here.
We helped win two groundbreaking elections.
We managed the digital marketing communication for three school board campaigns in Baton Rouge. We partnered with Voters for Chrisdelin Kelly Lyles, Voters for Dr. Tramelle Howard, and Darius Lanus for School Board to manage the digital messaging and content strategies for their respective campaigns. We developed crisp language that resonated with voters, videos that told compelling stories, and content that pushed the issues to the forefront.
We helped elevate the voices of educators of color.
We supported the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance in the release of its first policy report, ‘Sharing Our Stories: Perspectives from Tennessee Educators of Color.’ The report aims to highlight the experiences of educators of color and offers policy recommendations on how schools and districts can support them. You can access the report here.
We celebrated minority businesses.
For the fourth year in a row, we partnered with the Nashville Minority Business Center to host the 36th Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week. This year’s theme was Contracting for Equity: Leveling the Playing Field for Minority Businesses, which could not have been more relevant and timely. The week closed out with the Minority Business Achievement Awards which celebrates minority business owners who have made significant economic and community contributions and also recognizes corporate and community members who support minority businesses. Learn more about the week and awards here.
We helped a Nashville nonprofit give away more than 100,000 books.
We designed the end-of-year mailer and e-mail campaign for Book’Em. In 2018, Book’Em served 210 classrooms at underserved schools with Reading Is Fundamental services; placed a total of 290 reading role models in preschool and elementary schools; and created 40 Little Libraries in low-income neighborhoods in partnership with Jump Nashville. Learn more about Book’Em here.
These are our biggest moments from 2018. We can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for us.
With that, Happy New Year!