2018 Retrospective: Notes From The CEO

By Ana Lewis

At the beginning of this year I wrote a blog post discussing the fact that I typically only have one resolution per year. For 2018 it was, “Up My Game”. And oh boy, I did.

I am clearly able to articulate several ways in which I was able to succeed in this resolution, and here are some items that come to mind:

  1. Attended and finished B-School
  2. Became a 100% whole-foods-plant-based eater
  3. Started using the Twist app with our team for better communication across time zones

B-School probably had the most impact as it helped us to increase our revenue, greatly improve our website content, build our subscribers and drive more traffic to our website, which ultimately helps us to consistently spread our message to the world:

“The internet provides us with an opportunity to be connected and inclusive, regardless of nationality, race, gender, size, religion, age and beliefs.”

How can we continue to spread this most-valued message in 2019?

One way is for us to learn from one of our biggest lessons of 2018. We lost one of our team members this year and it had a big impact on us.

Dena Whitebirch worked with Co-Op Web for the majority of our twenty years in business. She ran our servers and managed and built our Twitter followers. She had a very rough last year; she was in and out of the hospital so frequently, I lost count. I’d call her and talk to her and ask if she still wanted to work. She always said yes, that it helped her get through this time more easily.

Okay, I had that little business-y voice in me saying, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” and our weakest link was terminally ill. Huh. The mother in me said, “No.” We know… Dena rarely was able to meet deadlines towards the end, and we had to fill in for her. She was sometimes hard to reach in the hospital and often she was too ill to even carry on a conversation without having a severe coughing fit. But, as a team we rose and she worked for us until the end, and her daughter kindly was able to step in and guide us through her final days with regular updates.

I’m glad we didn’t cut off our weakest link. It just didn’t feel true to our beliefs. It didn’t feel right in the heart.

This experience continues to teach us the lesson that things don’t go according to plan, pretty much ever.

We enter 2019 with a new grace. A stronger, more united team. We are openly receiving more opportunities, more communication, more connection, more clients, more team members, and more inspiration.

We will continue to walk our talk and embrace the lessons to come in 2019, along with you.

Thank you and Happy New Year,

Ana Lewis

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