Minerva’s Winter Newsletter

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Dear Minerva Fan Club,

2020 has been the year of the unexpected. Each day, I’ve been surprised or even outright shocked by something.

The sources of my daily surprise range from the mundane to the highly consequential: how blue the sky is or how smoke-filled the sky is; the depths of our politicians’ desperate antics or the exhilaration of hope in new leadership; the near-destroyed state of my home desk (née dining room table) or a Zoom breakout room miracle that unites colleagues; a new baby delighting my extended family or a friend sighing that her father’s long-distance passing from COVID was “as if he’d simply disappeared.”

Through it all, Minerva Strategies has been one of my few steady sources of joy, though we too have had plenty of surprises.

Minerva closed doors on our Seattle office and DC co-working spot and settled into working from our homes. Our team has grown to include amazing new team members—including our fantastic virtual interns Michael and Rachel—based in places I would never have anticipated in pre-COVID times. We have done excellent work partnering with Seattle Foundation and organizations on the frontlines of equity-centered relief and recovery. And it’s a good thing I adore the Minerva team because, besides my husband, they are the only people I [virtually] see every day.

Below you’ll find more news about unexpected happenings in 2020. Above all, this year has left most of us exhausted—even if we find some of the surprises exciting. I hope you’re staying healthy and safe.

All best,

Joy Portella
President, Minerva Strategies


New goddess on the block
Elise McGlothian holds down our [who-knew-we’d-ever-have-an] office in Virginia Beach. Read about her love/hate relationship with journalism, what she has in common with our Vice President-elect, and why she’s looking to the stars. We can’t wait to meet Elise in person one day!


“Pivot” is the word of the year
No one on our team has pivoted more than Minerva Goddess Catherine Salgado, who has been juggling full-time childcare and work for months. Dig into Catherine’s experience this past year when a pandemic, parenthood, and inequity unexpectedly collided.


What if we’re wrong?
Our friends at The Stability Network unleashed their superpowers during this pandemic, highlighting that people with mental health conditions are well equipped to deal with the isolation, anxiety, and dark days of COVID-19. Goddess Sara Veltkamp wrote this great piece about the narrative flip when people many believe to be most fragile are actually the most resilient.




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About The Author

Minerva Strategies

Minerva Strategies

The Minerva team has decades of experience working with nonprofits, foundations, and values-driven companies. Minerva also partners with experts—trusted designers, web developers, global communications professionals, and others—who share our excitement for creating positive social change. Through these partnerships, we can build a team that is tailored to your needs. Learn more about who we are or what we do.