AVP 2021 Happy New Year

By: Chris Lacinak
January 19, 2021

With 2020 behind us, we dive head first into 2021 with gusto! So this year’s card is notably a New Year card, with an enthusiastic emphasis on what lies ahead, but with a nod toward the humanity that arose from our collective 2020 virtual realities.

For years we have spent time with everyone in a professional setting, getting glimpses here and there into the people behind the positions and roles that bring us to the same endeavors and events. Something that resulted from the virtual live-and-direct-from-home video conferencing experience, for which we can be grateful, is the vulnerability and humanity that resulted. We got to see into each other’s homes to see what hung on the wall, what books were on the bookshelf, what photographs were pinned to boards, what treasured knickknacks sat in the background representing family heirlooms and past travels. We got to see each other’s family members wander through the background, kids needing the helping hand of a parent, dogs nudging an arm for pets, cat tails seemingly appearing from nowhere, and lots more. It hasn’t always been pretty, or easy, or convenient, or funny at the time, but it has been real and something we are all in together. We have offered each other grace and latitude, compassion and empathy, understanding and care. We have been presented with the fullness of people living their whole lives in the same space on the other side of the camera and microphone. It is a level of disclosure, vulnerability, and intimacy that no one would willingly offer or wish for in a professional setting. Though, it has in fact brought us closer together. We have brought each other into our whole lives and worlds in a way that never would have happened otherwise, and there is a beauty in this fact.

Our card this year is a gesture toward this sentiment. The layout represents a videoconference grid and each of the animals you see are dearly loved pets of AVPeeps. You probably saw and/or heard many of them over the past year if you have been on the other side of the camera and microphone from us. In this way, we are letting you all into our whole lives a little bit more with the hopes of hanging on to the positive aspects of our collective circumstances. The illustrations and stop motion animation were done by Stephanie Housley of Coral & Tusk.

From top left to bottom right, AVPet (AVPeep):

  • Fuji, the forever snoring, Neapolitan Mastiff (Chris)
  • Gaby, our dearest Spanish-speaking house guardian (Pamela)
  • Mariah (Kara)
  • Baxter, an eternal fetcher, the sweetest big brother, gone but not forgotten (Bert)
  • Junipurr (David)
  • Jersey, this sweet pibble is often seen snuggling in the (her) big green chair in the back of Zoom meetings (Rebecca)
  • Dez, born in 2020, this pibble puppy girl loves Zoom meetings (Amy)
  • Marvin (Shawn)
  • Kado Bear Jones, the best boi (January)
  • Nike, a grumpy old man who hates doorbells, should’ve named him Walter Matthau (Vida)
  • Mr. B (Kerri)
  • Bunny (Judi doesn’t have a pet but if she did would like a bunny rabbit)

    Although it is not tied to the message behind our card this year, it would be remiss to mark the end of 2020 and start of 2021 without recognizing the need for continued focus and effort on matters of equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. For this reason we say again here that we are committed to continuing the hard and critical work as individuals, as a team, as a company, as part of communities and professional associations, and as part of society that is necessary to make progress on these fronts.