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Thanksgiving 2020 & Plymouth Rock… Not What We Pictured

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Marki Conway, Vice President at PAN Communications, headshot_01
Marki Conway
Vice President, Technology | Boston, MA
  • Blog
  • Culture/Agency Life

Thanksgiving 2020 & Plymouth Rock… Not What We Pictured

Marki Conway, Vice President at PAN Communications, headshot_01
Marki Conway
Vice President, Technology | Boston, MA

Well, here we are – Thanksgiving 2020. Nearly 400 years after the pilgrims first arrived at Plymouth Rock. And much like actual Plymouth Rock is not at all what you pictured (it is in fact quite small today), neither is this year’s Thanksgiving.

Though, maybe that’s because we’re all a little fuzzy on what Thanksgiving is. Here in 2020, we celebrate it with turkey and all the fixings, family and maybe some football. In 1621, it was actually called a Harvest Feast, and as most of us now know – it was not at all about the pilgrims helping the indigenous people who already lived here in what is today the United States. Quite the contrary, the pilgrims never would have survived the winter had the indigenous people not taught them how to survive and shared their food. But did you also know that the original celebration of something called Thanksgiving actually occurred in 1637 – and has a much darker connotation than you might expect?

Listen, I am not trying to be the buzzkill at the dinner table this year. So, why do I bring this up in a blog post that I write annually, meant to show gratitude and what PAN employees are thankful for each year? Because 2020 was a year of growth for many of us, and for PAN as an agency. Part of that growth means acknowledging and learning from our history. This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t get together with their families this year to enjoy a meal, say thanks and watch or play some football (though, they should do it safely in small numbers because – duh – COVID).

But what I do hope that anyone reading this does differently this year, is takes a moment to reflect on what Thanksgiving means to them today in 2020, and what is has meant throughout history. Acknowledge the past and learn from it. And if you’re nodding your head right now, maybe consider donating to a nonprofit organization that supports indigenous communities. For organizations to check out, read this Thrillist article or this resource from HipLatina.com.

Once you’ve taken a moment to reflect and considered a donation if you’re able, give thanks for all that you have. Sure, 2020 isn’t at all what any of us pictured. Many people aren’t able to make it home for the holidays, gatherings are smaller and the country is still divided post-election. Nevertheless, there are things to appreciate. Here at PAN, we like to use this time to show our appreciation for one another and the people in our lives. So, check out what each employee has to say this year!

What the PAN Family is Thankful For

“I’m thankful I have such an AMAZING Leadership Team to help me get through the toughest year ever — 2020.” Phil Nardone, CEO, all offices

“I’m beyond grateful to the PAN Orlando team for welcoming me into their family with open arms. This year has been filled with challenges to say the least, but this crew has been and continues to be such a bright spot for me and I’m thankful for all the relationships I’ve built!” – Emily Holt, VP, Boston

“I’m beyond grateful to the PAN Orlando team for welcoming me into their family with open arms. This year has been filled with challenges to say the least, but this crew has been and continues to be such a bright spot for me and I’m thankful for all the relationships I’ve built!”

“I’m so thankful typos don’t count in IM. Kind of like how calories don’t count in airports (or during election week).” – Kirsten Welch, Supervisor, Orlando

“Wicked thankful for golf, the marketing funnel, cigars and neighbors who have beautiful landscaping that make our neighborhood views very aesthetically pleasing!” – Mark Nardone, EVP, Andover

“Thankful for a partner to take on the world with, no matter what the world has in store for us.” – Eric Chapman, Executive Assistant, Boston

“I’m thankful for the health of my family and friends. But also, shoutout to Netflix, Hulu, Prime, AppleTV and all other platforms that have supported my binge watching through 2020.” – Emily Holt, VP, Boston

“2020 has certainly not been the year I expected, but I am a firm believer that every cloud has a silver lining and this year was no different. First and foremost, I am incredibly thankful for the health of my family, friends and myself. Sometimes we overlook blessings in life and being in the midst of a pandemic made me realize that I am luckier than most—I am so thankful for that. With the extra time at home this year, my fiancé and I have grown even closer ahead of our wedding in 2021. We were able to plan every detail together – from picking his tux online to creating a killer playlist – and spend more time just the two of us. We also changed our lifestyles to focus more on our health and fitness and that has been such a gift 2020 has given us! Finally, I am beyond grateful that throughout this year, my job has remained stable thanks to the leadership of PAN. The PAN family has helped me through a lot this year and I cannot thank each and every PAN’er enough for making this company so special. To close, I need to add a bit of humor to lighten up a very sappy quote, so I am also thankful for: dogs, Diet Coke, Avatar the Last Airbender, Tiger King, Sailor Moon and Great British Bake-Off for getting me through this year.” – Brittany Bell, Account Executive, Orlando

“I’m thankful for Facetime calls with friends and family, TikTok dances, my house plants, and daily T rides with Kadams to the office (pre-COVID)! This year has had its lows, but we can all be thankful that Clare only lasted four weeks on The Bachelorette. There is no way we would have survived an entire season with her glittery evening dresses!” – Gillian Battese, Account Executive, Boston

“Last year I noted I was ‘looking forward to 2020 with this awesome group!’ While 2020 definitely wasn’t a banner year (understatement), I would be remiss if I didn’t call out how thankful I am that I was able to weather many of this year’s storms with the PAN team. We came together as an agency and were there for each other through a lot of uncertainty and doubt. As always, I continue to be so grateful that I am a part of this amazing group of people!” – Dina Magdovitz, Account Supervisor, Orlando

“Thankful for PAN West’s abuse of the Polly teams function, our team’s ability to pivot in the craziest year ever, and for coworkers who have made this year probably a whole lot better than it would have been anywhere else.” – Emily Hubbard, Account Executive, San Francisco

“I’m extremely grateful for Bravo, cheeseburgers and for how beautiful downtown Waltham is!” – Nikki Festa, SVP, Boston

“This year, I’m once again thankful that the beautiful state of Maine exists, where I can always count on fresh lobstah. Also thankful that I am FINALLY beating Lauren Kaufman in our PANtasy football league, since she crushes me every year.” – Adam Novak, VP, Portland/Boston

“I am eternally grateful and thankful that the PAN #PUPDATES Teams channel exists! I love getting to share photos and updates on my boy, Roscoe, and have enjoyed getting to virtually meet so many other PAN pets through this channel. It’s a fun way to connect with other colleagues and share our love for animals.” – Dina Magdovitz, Account Supervisor, Orlando

“In addition to Amazon Prime, the Target app, and food delivery of any kind, 2020 made me especially thankful for the talented PAN fam that I get to work with on a daily basis, and the extra time spent with my own family.” – LeeAnn Coviello, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston

“In addition to Amazon Prime, the Target app, and food delivery of any kind, 2020 made me especially thankful for the talented PAN fam that I get to work with on a daily basis, and the extra time spent with my own family.”

“I’m thankful that PAN has been very open and honest about its diversity journey and is committed to improving the environment for all employees.” – Corinne Kendrick, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston

“Grateful for my grandmother’s Italian wedding soup recipe, for lasagna that has hard boiled eggs in it, and mostly – for the mentorship I receive at PAN every day, especially from Marki Conway – who is never at a loss for wise words such as ‘don’t freak out.’” – Kate Adams, Account Executive, Boston

“I’m thankful to have really understanding, kind clients who are great partners to our agency. Also grateful that I got to work with Marki again this year!” – Eugene Carozza, SVP, Boston

“Thankful for the health and happiness of my family, friends and plants.” – Kyle Tildsley Senior Account Supervisor Boston

“What a year. More than anything, I’m grateful for the health and happiness of my loved ones during challenging times. I’m thankful to work for a company that has prioritizes mental, emotional and physical health. And of course, grateful for my boys, Bear and Corey, for making me laugh, no matter what is happening in the world.” – Lauren Kaufman, Director, Integrated Marketing and Analytics, New York & PAN Japan

“I am thankful to have joined such a supportive, understanding and welcoming group of people who have made my remote onboarding experience the best that it could possibly be during this time.” – Hannah Altuch, Assistant Account Executive, New York

“I am thankful to have joined such a supportive, understanding and welcoming group of people who have made my remote onboarding experience the best that it could possibly be during this time.”

“I am thankful for the extra family time this year has allowed me. While 2020 will be one for the books, I’ve cherished our family nature walks, beach nights, movie and game nights.” – Darlene Doyle, EVP, Boston

“I’m thankful for the hidden silver linings of the pandemic – more time to spend with my family, and especially my growing toddler son! And, of course for my PAN Family, especially Marki!” – Ariel Novak, Director, Boston

“I’m thankful for my friends both at work and in my personal life, who have been a huge support system through a challenging year.” – Corinne Kendrick, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston

“I’m grateful to be a Pats fan, even if it’s not their best season – still rooting for them! And thankful that I got to join PAN and become a part of Team Marki!” – Julienne Hughes, Account Coordinator, Boston

“I am so thankful for the fact that I got married this year and now have an amazing husband and that we purchased our first home, my family and work family and all of the support/virtual happy hours throughout 2020, for Marki handing off the Summer Friday torch to me and Harp and also for our pup Harlow, wine, pizza, cheese and at home latte machines” – Sydney Mueller, Account Supervisor, Orlando

“I’m thankful that PAN was already used to remote working so the full-time work-from-home switch wasn’t as much of a transition for us as it was for many other companies.” – Jenny Radloff, Director, Boston

“I’m so grateful that I was able to move into our new beautiful home this year, that Marki was able to come over and see it (and drink my wine), and as always, just thankful for Bravo and for the chance to LIVE life to the fullest.” Kyle Tildsley, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston

“I am so thankful for my amazing teammates who have shown strength and positivity throughout a challenging year. Special shoutout to team Mojo. And, while I miss my office neighbor Marki so much, I’m glad I’m able to stay so connected to her and the rest of my PAN Fam throughout our remote work!” – Kathryn McMahon Arrigg, Director, Boston

“I’m thankful for Marki’s Thanksgiving post, which is likely one of the few things that will stick to its traditions despite the irregularities of this year. And of course, thankful that Susan Sarandon continues to be an absolute A-List celebrity.” – Corinne Kendrick-Lamar, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston

“Grateful for rad colleagues like Marki and for Armenian pizza.” – John Philip Vernon, Business Development Manager, San Francisco

“Thankful for pez, rats and cats.” – Jen Bonney, Senior Creative Director, Boston

“I’m grateful for PAN’s support this year in my relocation from Boston to Nashville! From Phil, Elizabeth and the executive management team, to my managers and teammates, everyone has been nothing but encouraging. Especially in as uncertain a year as 2020 has been, I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of such a caring, supportive environment that PAN always is.” – Kristen Hyle, Senior Account Executive, Nashville

“Super grateful that we all get to participate in local and national elections and have our voices heard. And of course – always incredibly grateful for Marki’s sound, wise advice on a daily basis.” – Brando LaBelle, Senior Account Executive, Boston

“I am thankful for my family! 😊” – KimPossible Spiller, Billing Manager, Boston

“I’m really grateful that Marki started a PAN Rap channel on Teams.” – Ashley DeLoach, Account Executive, Boston

“I am thankful for the continued mentorship I receive every day at work from some kick-ass leaders and colleagues. This year has been one of extreme growth, both personally and professionally, and I am grateful for both the sense of humor and support of my PAN family.” – Emily White, Account Supervisor, New York City

“I am thankful for the continued mentorship I receive every day at work from some kick-ass leaders and colleagues. This year has been one of extreme growth, both personally and professionally, and I am grateful for both the sense of humor and support of my PAN family.”

“While 2020 was a tough year all-around, there’s still a lot to be thankful for: flex schedules, saving money on commuting, getting to wear sweatpants every day (we have an extra casual dress code now!), and the list goes on. I’m incredibly thankful for the time I’ve gotten to spend with family and friends this year (nothing like quarantine to make you miss your people!), and I’m especially thankful for my coworkers – this year has been crazy but it makes it a bit easier knowing I’ve got the support of my PAN family and that we’re all in this together.” – Eva Barry-Murphy, Senior HR Generalist, Boston

“I’m eternally grateful to PAN for being my rock, and a saving grace of stability, in this very, very unstable world.” – Jess Stefanowicz, Senior Account Executive, Boston

“I joined PAN this fall after a long, long, long job search period and I’m so grateful to have found an amazing organization who has taken such good care of me in my first few weeks! We love a supportive onboarding process.” – Kally Lavoie, Senior Account Executive, Boston

“This year, I am thankful for my health, for my family, neighbors, community and their safety, and for the resilience and courage of so many in our country to help bestow love, kindness and understanding at a time when these fundamental values are so important to our future.” – Matthew Briggs, VP, Boston

“Thankful Marki was able to squeeze in one last visit to the Orlando office before the pandemic, because it’s just always so much fun to have her here as she tours tacos and pools across America, and she is not disruptive or distracting AT ALL.” – Laura Beauregard, Director, Orlando

“I’m thankful that every member of the Veeam team (okay fine maybe not Gene) shares my obsession with Bravo, and that our Teams chat is a safe space for hot takes on the Vanderpump Rules baby boom and my unrequited love for Below Deck Alex.” – Jess Stefanowicz, Senior Account Executive, Boston

“After being laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March, I’m very thankful to have found such a wonderful opportunity here at PAN. Despite not meeting any of my coworkers in person yet (except for Mike, thanks for brining me my laptop!), working with everyone at PAN has been a pleasure so far and I appreciate being a part of such an amazing team during a crazy and unusual time.” – Alanna Sadeghian, Senior Account Supervisor, Boston

“I’m grateful for a lot this year, despite all of the unexpected twists and turns. I’m grateful to still have a job when several are less fortunate during this time – and not only that, but I have a job with leaders who are putting their entire hearts into making this difficult time as manageable as possible. I also want to give thanks to my dog who has been the best co-worker during all of this madness, as he forces me to take breaks and go on a walk every day (plus he’s a really good listener)! Oh – and my fiancé who brews me coffee every morning and doesn’t let me work all night. We love that. ❤” – Shannon Shewbrooks, Account Executive, Orlando

“This year I am most grateful for our Team Ariba Teams chats – they always keep me on my toes, and Marki is constantly cracking us up with her witty jokes and sarcasm!” – Stephanie Ploof, Assistant Account Executive, Boston

“I’m super grateful I was able to snag my desk chair from PAN Boston for my remote work setup. My spine owes it a debt of gratitude.” – Jess Stefanowicz, Senior Account Executive, Boston

“As always, I’m incredibly grateful for my entire PAN Fam, several of whom in 2020 have basically been my therapists. Also thankful for my wife who was the best caretaker when I broke both my ankles in the middle of a pandemic. Grateful to East Boston Oysters for teaching me to shuck oysters during the pandemic, and that I perfected my fish taco recipe. And most importantly, grateful for the people and resources that have helped me grow personally this year as I continue to educate myself on matters of race, racism and diversity.” – Marki Conway, Director & PAN Pub President (self-appointed but uncontested), Boston

Learn more about our culture by visiting the ‘Life at PAN‘ section of our website.

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