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Jul 14, 2016

Five years ago today, I founded Highway Twenty.

July 14, 2016

Five years ago today

Written byHighway Twenty
Categories: Culture

The weight of this didn’t sink in until I sat down to write this letter. It feels both like five years went by in a flash and like it’s been a marathon.
We’re busy, adding clients, jumping into projects, working with brilliant new people, trying new things. It’s easy to forget how many of our milestones were my pipe dreams not that long ago.

In our five years, we have reinvented many times. We change each time a new person joins the team and grow each time we take on a new project or push ourselves with current clients who we love.

It’s truly a privilege to work with my team every day. They are deeply creative, thoughtful, talented people who I learn from and want to do right by. People who are our team members, clients, and partners have become some of my closest friends.

Our clients are doing work that changes lives. Many are brilliant and passionate people who have dedicated their lives to helping others. Their choice to work with us and trust us to help them fundraise and tell their stories is an honor.

In honor of our anniversary, I asked the team to reflect on some of the moments they are most proud of and our work that has most inspired them. Here are some favorites:

Celebrating with clients when we break fundraising records, win ballot measures, and inspire new audiences to donate, advocate, and get inspired.

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Building brand systems that elevate organizations making an impact in health care, education, animal welfare, LGBTQ and human rights, homelessness, and the arts.

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Performing research that helps organizations better understand their digital data and become stronger, more effective businesses.

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Building websites and running campaigns that tell stories beautifully and deliver excellent user experiences. 

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Working for inspirational clients who teach us and motivate us to constantly learn and grow. And being part of a team that inspires, pushes, mentors, trusts, and respects each other (and goes to Beyoncé concerts together).

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Thank you to everyone who has supported, hired, trusted, inspired, partnered, advised, recommended, and worked with us over the years. I am deeply grateful to:

Clients who have trusted us and become partners: Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Arizona Burn Foundation, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Humane Society, Arizona Kids Consortium, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, Barrow Neurological Foundation, Child Crisis Arizona, City of Phoenix, Dr. Matt Heinz for Arizona, Educare Arizona, Encore Creative, Equality Arizona, First Things First, Free Arts of Arizona, Gila Farm Cooperative, Hance Park Conservancy, Hope Village, Inspire Arizona, International Rescue Committee, Jewish Community Foundation, Maricopa Health Foundation, Mountain Park Health Center, MovePHX, National Bank of Arizona, Native American Rights Fund, Native Health, Northbridge College Success, Phoenix Collegiate Academy, The Phoenix Philanthropy Group, RubiconMD, Sacks, Ricketts & Case, Save the Family, Scottsdale Prevention Institute, Social Anxiety Institute, Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Southwest Human Development, Support My Club, Yes on Phoenix Union.

Current and past team members who have shaped Highway Twenty immeasurably: Kirsten Markson, Ellen Laux, Nora Kish, Lizelle Galaz, Katie-Lee Faulkner, Rachel Dodell, Noemi Gonzalez, Laura Bush, Julia Liang, Jason Boatman, Dillon Johnson, Jordan Bohannon, Tameika Pittman, Jan Chen, Morgan Tanabe, Raji Ganesan.

Creatives and partners we’ve worked with who have inspired me and helped us deliver excellent work to clients: Stuart Sandine, Adam Mann, Plamen Polihronov, Robert Renteria, Mai-Li Le, Catherine Alonzo & the team at Javelina, John Woodcock, Dallin Harris & the team at Skyhook.

The people in my closest circle whose support, advice, and love over the years truly made this possible for me: Dora Costa, Jeff Sandine, Barbara Bizilia, Sam Alpert, and Lori Robinson. Stuart, Joey, and Eli: you are my people—you show up when I need you and have spent decades making sure I don’t feel that cool. And my sweet son, Soren: you are magic.

Here’s to the next five. Cheers!

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— Carla Sandine, Founder & President