2020 was a year like no other. While many are (understandably) quick to call it one of the most challenging years of our lifetime, we want to take a moment to reflect on some of the positive events of this year – ones that brought us joy, hope and peace during tough times. This year has shaped each member of our team in unique, unexpected ways, pushing us to stretch beyond our comfort zones and find creative solutions. Check out some of our favorite projects that both inspired and challenged us during throughout the year.
Austin ISD Grand Openings
We kicked off the year by celebrating three grand openings for new campuses built as part of AISD’s 2017 Bond Program. T.A. Brown, Menchaca and Govalle elementary schools were the first to be completed through the bond, and it was incredibly rewarding to finally see students and teachers in their modernized schools. When COVID-19 hit and forced school closures across the nation, we pivoted to virtual events for our spring groundbreakings at Brentwood, Casis and Hill elementary schools, as well as our fall grand openings at Doss and Bear Creek elementaries and the Blazier Intermediate (4-6) Site. Even through Zoom, we were able to capture the spirit of each campus with video tours and interviews, engaging families and community members at home to honor their new schools.
Waymo U.S. Conference of Mayors
The Buie & Co. crew headed east to Washington, D.C. to host a special reception for Waymo at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. Guests of honor included mayors and staff from cities where Waymo is currently operating or testing its self-driving vehicles, such as Detroit, Houston, Sacramento, Mountain View, Phoenix and more. We especially enjoyed working with the Waymo policy team on this event as it was one of our few travel opportunities of 2020. As conferences shifted to virtual environments due to the pandemic, our team continues to support Waymo by crafting engaging, creative opportunities for attendees at home that communicate Waymo’s mission to build the world’s most experienced driver.
Buie & Co.’s newest Team Member
On February 7, our co-founder Ashley Kegley-Whitehead and her husband Sean welcomed baby number two, Landry Mae, to the world. We were fortunate to celebrate Ashley as a team with a surprise baby shower before the birth of little Landry, and to meet her in person at her first visit to the Buie & Co. office.
RECA KnockOut Night
One of our favorite events that we sponsor each year is RECA’s annual KnockOut Night fundraiser. Little did we know that this year’s party would be one of the last events we’d attended in-person for a while — which made our custom ice cubes as part of our signature cocktail sponsorship event all the more special. We look forward to toasting together again soon!
On March 5, our team hosted the groundbreaking of Northline, Leander’s soon-to-be downtown destination — a family-friendly district to live, work and play. With a stroke of luck, the stormy weather cleared just moments before guests arrived, making for a festive, successful event that celebrated the project and fostered community building. Thanks to a branded coffee bar, tasty donuts, Northline swag and even a custom art installation, the event went off without a hitch. Plus, it garnered more than 25 pieces of media coverage, springboarding the development and spreading the good news far and wide throughout Central Texas and beyond.
Buie & Co.’s PR OLYMPICS
At Buie & Co., one of our values is “never settle.” It means we always push ourselves to grow by consistently sharpening our skills to deliver the best results we can for our clients. The PR Olympics was introduced as a monthly challenge for our account and design teams to stretch their talents through teamwork and healthy competition. From press releases to creative briefs, messaging and new businesses pitches, the whole Buie crew rose to the occasion and turned out some incredibly thoughtful work month after month — even as we transitioned to working from home.
Women’s Fund 2020 Grant Partners
Buie & Co. is proud to invest in the Women’s Fund to help close the opportunity gap for women and children in Central Texas. In January, we provided financial and in-kind support for Keyholder, the group’s annual fundraiser. Thanks to the success of that event and the generosity of the community – and in response to the increased economic challenges amid COVID-19 – the Women’s Fund announced on April 29 that it was able to award $400,000 to 16 deserving local nonprofits!
LET’S BE BLUNT
We launched the Let’s Be Blunt campaign in 2020 and what better way to highlight our partnership with the Town of Vail, CO. than a celebration on 4/20. Buie & Co. worked with our buds at Town of Vail and the Vail Police Department to create a holistic online public education campaign that centered around Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana possession for adults. In a year that had some pretty big lows, this campaign was definitely a high point (pun intended).
Austin Emergency Supply Foundation
As the virus spread across the nation, the Austin Emergency Supply Foundation sprang into action to provide free medical supplies and PPE to businesses and residents across our city. In partnership with local leadership and Austin Public Health, our team supported social media and PR initiatives to spread the word about the foundation’s mission to donate one million masks. As of December 2020, AESF has raised more than $3.3 million to provide supplies like ventilators, thermometers and surgical masks to those in need.
BASTROP B3 CODE WINS CNU CHARTER AWARD
One of the highlights of our year was being able to celebrate the Bastrop Building Block Code (B3), which was recognized for its boldness and flexibility as part of the 2020 Charter Awards by the Congress for the New Urbanism. We worked on the Building Bastrop project with the City of Bastrop and Simplecity Design for 15 months, and it was very much a labor of love. The Building Bastrop initiative was all about humanizing an otherwise complicated and mundane process of rewriting a city’s land-use regulations and we’re so glad it resonated, not just with the residents of Bastrop, but with the CNU community as well.
Waterloo Park Tree Relocation
Our friends and partners at Waterloo Greenway celebrated the successful relocation of a 150-year-old heritage live oak tree, planting new roots at its home in Waterloo Park. Our team was on site to capture this momentous occasion through video and photos. The highly-anticipated public park is expected to open in spring 2021. We’re already looking forward to enjoying happy hour picnics and outdoor concerts!
music lanE branding
One of our favorite projects of 2020 has been the Music Lane project, a new shopping and dining destination located on the City’s iconic South Congress Avenue. Working with Endeavor Real Estate, our team branded the project from top to bottom with a unique look that is both playful and accessible, paying homage to the development’s namesake street and the vibrant live music scene it’s known for. In addition to branding, our team designed and launched a sleek new website and social media campaign — but the best part, by far, was seeing the brand come to life in real time with larger-than-life window decals throughout the property that are now on display for all of South Congress to enjoy.
What’s Cookin’ at Buie & Co.
In July we wrapped up one of our favorite social media campaigns and published a fun digital cookbook. Launched in late March as a way to brighten your day (and your palate), we shared what our clients and team were doing in the community and the kitchen. The recipes we shared were perfect for quarantine, spicing up at-home routines with hearty dinners, sweet treats and craft(y) cocktails.
Buie & Co. team trivia
Trivia has been one of our team’s favorite activities in 2020. Whether it’s at home via Zoom or socially distanced at Zilker Park, we can always count on Ashley to come up with questions that challenge our brain power and give us a good laugh. We’ve got a question for you: Which former Texas land commissioner has a famous queso named after him? Here’s a hint: Head to the Buie & Co. Team page and flip over Tori’s card.
smps crisis Communications 101
In August, we were invited by SMPS Dallas and TEXO to lead a two-part series on crisis communications for the AEC industry. As part of the initiative, we shared our 10-step approach to building a customized crisis communications plan – including how to communicate during a pandemic. Dealing with a crisis is never ideal, but ultimately it’s how you respond that will be the primary reflection of your company. The more prepared you are, the better the outcome will be.
Utz Environmental Video Shoot
We loved working again with one of our favorite creative partners, Johnson Media Co., on a video shoot for Utz Environmental. Dating back to 1893, Utz is one of the area’s oldest landscaping firms, and we’re excited to share the video with the community when the new company website launches in early 2021. Stay tuned to see this special collaboration come to life!
1608 WEST FIFTH GROUNDBREAKING
At Buie & Co., real estate has always been our bread and butter, so we loved the opportunity to work with Manifold Real Estate on a press announcement for their new office building on West Fifth Street. The project is sandwiched between two Austin institutions, El Arroyo and Donn’s Depot, and embraces Austin’s history, while complementing the evolving skyline. Be sure to keep an eye out for the new building next time you’re downtown.
rosedale school groundbreaking parade
As part of the Austin ISD 2017 Bond Program, the Rosedale School will receive a brand new modernized campus, serving Austin’s most medically-fragile and special needs students. Due to virtual learning and restrictions on in-person gatherings, our team hosted a socially-distanced groundbreaking car parade to celebrate the start of construction and unite the Rosedale community. Staff members and neighbors gathered to cheer on students and families as they drove from the current Rosedale campus to their future school site. With custom school magnets, painted cars, yard signs, pom poms and balloons, the school spirit and love for Rosedale was undeniable. We loved being part of this incredible event and can’t wait to welcome Rosedale students to their new school in 2022!
Austin Young Chamber FAVE Awards
Buie & Co. was named a finalist in the FAVE Small Business category at this year’s AYC FAVE Awards, which was held virtually and coordinated by our teammate and event committee member Sarah O’Brien. Young professionals are the lifeblood of Buie & Co., making up the majority of our team. We’re honored to be recognized for the work we do by our peers for the second year in a row.
Corridor Title Website Launch
On the heels of Corridor Title’s 10th anniversary, our team had the pleasure of leading a brand refresh for one of Austin’s leading title firms, complete with a new website. With a new look that is both classic and modern, we were proud to be part of Corridor’s milestone as it enters into its next decade of business.
Prop A All The Way
This November, our team celebrated the passing of two bond elections with major impacts to many of the communities we call home. The first was passage of a $37-million Public Safety Center in Kyle, Texas, which our team supported through a robust public education campaign. The second was Project Connect, a comprehensive transit plan that includes a new rail system, downtown transit tunnel and an expanded bus system, which we supported both personally and through our work with Capital Metro.
Twilight on the Trail
Our team loved attending The Trail Foundation’s annual Twilight on the Trail fundraiser, supporting the beloved Butler Hike and Bike Trail and helping TTF protect and enhance our outdoor urban spaces. It was the perfect evening to enjoy a socially-distanced cocktail, live music and quality time with some of our favorite people. Especially in a year where we’ve found even greater appreciation for the great outdoors, it was incredible to see The Trail Foundation raise nearly $350,000.
city of rollingwood’S 65TH birthday party
We’ve been proud to call the City of Rollingwood our home since 2016 — and a favorite client of ours when we rebranded the City in 2018. On December 17, we celebrated the City’s 65th birthday (virtually, of course) with remarks from Mayor Dyson and special guests, including musical performances from local artists and complimentary treats from neighbor Nothing Bundt Cakes. The event also honored nominees of the inaugural Spirit of Rollingwood Citizenship Awards. Thank you to all who tuned in to celebrate the Rollingwood community with us!
Buie & Cozy
The pandemic may have dashed our dreams of a holiday party and gift exchange, but we still ended the year on a high note by snuggling up in our new, Buie-themed sweaters. When we came across these turquoise and orange knits, we knew it was meant to be!
While 2020 was anything but expected, we are so grateful to our friends and partners for their support throughout this challenging year. As we look ahead to a healthier, happier 2021, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and have a joyous holiday season. Cheers!