What do I think of, when I look back at 2016?

I think of one of our brand workshop participants from last summer who got up near the end of an intense discussion of “the ideas that drive us.” Meaning to go to the washroom, she stood at the open door, leaning half in and half out for 2 or 3 minutes and then could wait no longer. Before she dashed off down the hallway she called out, “Please, don’t anybody say anything till I get back!”

That’s the kind of engaged passion that tends to take over when people become fully immersed in their corporate purpose and vision. And that’s what got me excited about the work we did last year

More and more of the communications we do is rooted in and guided by workshops — marketing, branding and communications workshops. In fact, we’ve conducted over 40 in 2016. Most of those were in our own ZOO room, while several others were in client facilities here in Whitehorse, in Yellowknife and Edmonton. I’ve enjoyed the give and take with participants, but also the collegial and collaborative spirit of the teams I work with to develop and conduct the workshops.

We opened over 380 job dockets in 2016, 10% above average. In the mix were engaging projects with long-standing clients like Health and Social Services, Highways, Tourism and Education as well as the Corporations — Yukon Energy, Housing and Hospitals. Several new clients and projects got us revved up, like the branding and communications work for Dutch Delicious Bakery, strategic and communications work for Association franco-yukonnaise (and in collaboration with equivalent organizations in NWT and Nunavut), the Yukon Outfitters Association, and the marketing communications workshops for the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce.

A big part of what I liked about last year, was our staff: thirteen people who have proven themselves to be reliable, resourceful and committed. Mutually supportive and sociable too. In 2016, we celebrated Paul’s 20th anniversary with our company, Nicolas’ promotion to Creative Director and welcomed new staff members Jessica, Cassandra, Mike and Rory. Marta joined us in the spring for a couple of months as an intern on her way to completing a Masters program in media and communication. Then she came back a few months later as a client. She’s officially our favourite intern ever.

In August, we were awarded a Yukon Employers Choice Award by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce for Innovative Staffing Solutions. This award acknowledges our original and innovative recruitment and retention strategies, workplace and “perks” and work-life balance considerations.

On the creative side, aasman won a number of awards, including the Summit Gold Creative award for Yukon Energy’s new Resource Plan website and a bronze for the Beringia Interpretive Centre website. The same two websites won Hermes Creative awards as well, gold for the Yukon Energy site and Platinum for the Beringia site.

On the corporate level, I’m really pleased that responsibility is more and more vested in our President and Vice-President, Corey and Zeke, and away from me. I never wanted to be indispensable, and I can now start to see how that looks. Thanks too for steering the corporate ship into a modest profit this year guys — so much more fun than modest losses.

In 2017, we will continue to build comprehensive communications solutions for our clients that grow out of authentic brand clarification coupled with intelligent insights. If that sounds like fun to you, come join us for the ride.



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