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Last night, we were presented with a plaque to commemorate all of our years of hard work.

None of us in the agency business like to say goodbye to a client.  No matter the circumstances, it is always a difficult thing to do.

We have had the distinct pleasure of working with Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) since 1999.  Throughout the past 12 years, we have worked with this wonderful nonprofit organization to advocate on behalf of persons with disabilities.  ABIL is Arizona’s largest center for independent living and offers and promotes programs designed to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. 

We have celebrated milestones in the Americans with Disabilities Act, helped fundraise and open the Disability Empowerment Center and the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities.  We have placed numerous print and broadcast stories on their behalf.  We have won PRSA awards and other recognitions for our efforts. We did everything we were asked to do -- and then some.

ABIL's Phil Pangrazio at our 30th Anniversary party last year draped with the many HMA ladies who have worked on the account over the years.

And guess what….they didn’t renew our contract.  And you know why?  Because we demonstrated the power of public relations to their staff and board of directors to the point that they made the decision to take it in-house.

Because they value what PR can do for them and want to have a dedicated staff person working fulltime on the effort.  I can’t think of a better reason.

I have worked on a lot of clients throughout my time here at HMA.  And throughout the years have had to say goodbye to some of them. 

I was asked to attend ABIL’s board meeting last night where they presented me with a lovely plaque – a symbol of our time together. 

I will treasure it always as a representation of doing right by a client, learning together how the important work that we both do can advance a cause and organization.

I thank you and wish you well.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

12 Comments

  1. I would be lying if reading this didn’t make me tear up a bit. While never “my account,” I had the pleasure of working with Abbie and Phil on several projects since 2004. Some of my favorites – promoting “MurderBall,” securing Phil as an “Executive Profile” with the Business Journal, anniversary of the ADA, helping with the DEC grand opening (Beth too!) and pitching “Save Our Spaces” every holiday season! We love you, Phil!

  2. It’s not often in the agency business that we get to work with a client for over a decade. This would be a great case study on a wonderful client/agency relationship.

  3. Mike Eller says:

    I feel your pain!
    In my industry it is common to buy a digital camera at “take it in-house”.
    With my 36 years of professional photography I am finding that to be a everyday thing.
    Hang in there!
    You are a true professional and your services are a good ROI.

  4. I agree with Alison – this definitely made me tear up. Working with ABIL was a joy, and I met some truly amazing, smart and funny people while working on some very important issues. I’m proud of HMA’s work with ABIL over the years – great job, all!

  5. Nice to see a business that didn’t torch a bridge when a client left. Good long term business practice that very few folks realize.

  6. Nicole Rose says:

    Always a class act you are Abbie…and that goes for HMA as well. A well-deserved thank you on both sides.

  7. Kim Cecere says:

    Wow. This really is bittersweet, Abbie and team HMA. So many memories of one of my favorite clients over the years. But what a wonderful testament to the power of PR! I wish Phil and his internal PR effort all the best — and as always, I’ll be keeping up with their stories!

  8. I always say that if we’ve worked ourselves out of a job, we’ve done our jobs exceptionally well. It’s never easy, though, to lose a client. Especially after 12 years of working together!

  9. Abbie,

    I’m sure you’ll find another great client to take their place and you can take solace in knowing that you have created a job for one of our out-of-work colleagues!

    I think that the economic tide is finally turning in our favor, at least in Arizona. The more businesses cut, the more they need to leverage public relations to pick up the slack. If I run across a great opportunity for your agency, I’ll be sure to forward it to you.

  10. Loren W says:

    Abbie and all,
    I am that new in-house guy and let me add right up front that there’s no way one person can replace Abbie and crew. I say that after six weeks on the job. Its been a whirlwind and I am very sure it will be quite a while before I’m even keeping pace. Abbie, being the consummate pro was very gracious in sharing her ideas, programs, and resources with me. And I know who to call when I need a clue or two more about whats what in the PR world.

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