RADIANCE BLOG

Category: Chronicling Corona

Corona expands strategic planning services

Corona Insights is excited to announce the expansion of our strategic planning services. The complexities and uncertainties of 2020 call for increased innovation in the field of strategic planning. Corona is excelling in two vital ways.  

As many of you know, co-owner Karla Raines is a recognized thought leader in strategy. She spent the last 10 years mastering her craft, positively impacting clients, and mentoring staff. We are thrilled her efforts have yielded trademarked intellectual property–Differentiation Zone®–and a breakthrough approach to differentiation strategy. Her book and online strategy community will debut in 2021.

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A Fall Facilitation Special

Leo, Corona’s assistant virtual facilitator

Believe it or not, today marks the official start of fall. While our summer has vanished, we know your work has not stopped during all the change and upheaval of 2020. We know you still have important decisions to make for your teams right now to keep your organization and your communities afloat. With that in mind, we are offering a 50% off discount for facilitation engagements held between the 1st of October and February 2021.

Whether you need an hourlong session to action plan for your fall communications strategy or a half-day or full-day session to clarify strategic direction or set goals, we can help. Please reach out to us via the website or by email to see how we can help you today.

Our facilitation expertise includes…

  • Strategic planning
  • Action planning
  • Implementation planning
  • Goal setting
  • Mission and values clarification
  • Conceptual alignment and clarification
  • Visioning workshops  
  • And more!

The fine print (there always has to be fine print): This offer is for nonprofit organizations only. New and existing clients of Corona Insights are welcomed. Travel outside of the Denver area, if needed, is not included. Offer is based on availability of Corona’s facilitators.


Happy 20th Anniversary, Karla Raines!

Karla Raines of our company is fond of saying that you have to do something for 10,000 hours to become an expert at it.  We at Corona believe that she’s right, because as she celebrates her 20th year at Corona Insights this week we’ve seen the impact of her 40,000 hours of strategic planning experience.  We can confidently say that she’s an expert four times over.

As consultants, our presence and power tends to be diluted across a large number of clients.  From an individual client’s perspective, we come in, do our thing, and then we glide back out to the periphery until we’re needed again.  But in reality, we’re not just waiting in the wings for the next call – we’re working with other clients.  Over the years, Karla has illuminated strategic paths for hundreds of clients.

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Welcome, Camille

Starting a new job is always a venture into the unknown.  Sometimes it’s exactly what you expect.  Other times, you start a job, and two weeks later you’re dealing with a global pandemic and working from home.  Then, you have to help your new employer figure out how to do a job remotely that has historically been done almost entirely in-person.

Welcome to Camille Delaney’s first month at Corona.

It took us a few months to get this blog up due to all of the changes we had to make to adjust to the COVID-19 situation, but don’t take our tardiness as any indication of Camille’s value to Corona!  Camille came to Corona with a background in bookkeeping for a wide variety of organizations.  To our relief, she had experience with some systems that could help us move our office practices to a more remote and virtual world.  If you’re currently working with us, you might notice that you can now pay us via ACH, for example, and we no longer have to print and sign physical checks to send payments to our vendors.  These aren’t exactly new technologies, we admit, but hey…better late than never.

Aside from keeping our (virtual) office up and running, Camille is also a talented performing artist (primarily dance) and teaches yoga classes.  If you ever want to have a personalized yoga instructor for your office, give Camille a call!  (We can attest that remote yoga classes work just fine.)

So join us in welcoming Camille to the team – even if it’s a few months late…


See our staff pages to learn more about Camille and the rest of our Corona team!


So, About Our Name…

We were Corona long before that pandemic thing was corona.  Here’s the story of how we were named.

How Corona Insights Got Our Name

A well-known quote says that “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”  It’s commonly attributed to P.T. Barnum, though there’s no definitive proof that he was the originator.

I guess we at Corona Insights will test that theory in the coming months, but we hope that no one holds our name against us.  It’s a really cool name and we’re really nice people.  And unlike the quote above, we know the provenance of our name.  So if you want a mild diversion, I’ll tell you the story of how Corona Insights came to be named.

I founded the company in 1999.  At the time, I was the only employee, so the company’s work was whatever I found interesting.  At the time, the Denver market had a need for strong market research and I was very interested in the field.  I had done some projects in my previous job as outliers from the company’s core work, and I found the process and outcomes of market research to be fascinating.

So I decided to fill the market gap, and I quit my job to start our company.

But what should I name it?  I knew that the name would be important, so I started doing my due diligence.  I decided that there are three types of names for companies.  First, some people name the company after themselves, such as “Raines Research”.  I didn’t like that at all.  It seemed egotistical, and I had a vision that I would build a company that had value beyond my own reputation.  So that possibility was rejected immediately.

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The Roaring Twenties begins with a change in leadership at Corona Insights

One of the most important things that we’ve learned in our twenty years of business is that things change.  Attitudes change, issues change, technology changes, our clients’ needs change, and … well, everything changes if you watch it long enough.

And as we kickoff the new year, we’re excited to announce another change. As of January 1st, long-time Principal David Kennedy is the first non-Raines employee to be appointed as the company’s CEO.  Congratulations, David!

David Kennedy, Principal
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Wrapping up 20 in ’19

To help celebrate our 20th Anniversary in 2019 we profiled one client and one Coronerd (i.e. Corona staff person) per month, as well as the Coronerd’s charity of choice, to which Corona donated $500 on their behalf.

Here’s a look back at our profiles from 2019. Thank you for following along throughout our 20th anniversary year!

Clients

It has been a great year of revisiting our clients, many of which have been an integral part of Corona’s 20 years. One of the best parts of our jobs is learning about our clients’ worlds – from airports to museums, and from government to nonprofits – we love learning about, and contributing to, the work being accomplished in our communities.

Click on each logo below to read their interview.

Staff

Corona wouldn’t be where it’s at today without our dedicated team. Without our people, there is no Corona. So, we wanted to reintroduce you to our team, what makes them tick, and what they bring to Corona.

Click on each staff person’s image below to learn about each Coronerd.

Matt Bruce, Associate
Kevin Raines, CEO and Principal
David Kennedy, Principal

Charities

As our work is community focused, we wanted our celebration to also be about our community. So along with highlighting our staff, we made a donation in honor of each team member to a charity of their choice. Check out their selections by clicking each organization’s logo below.


To stay up to date on all Corona news, and receive useful insights in the world of research, evaluation, and strategy, subscribe to our newsletter.


An Interview with Webb Strategic Communications

Have you ever had those friends where you’ve known them so long that you can’t even remember how you’ve met? When we were recently chatting with Ginny Williams, Principal, and Andy Cohen, Accounts Supervisor, of Webb Strategic Communications, we realized we couldn’t pinpoint our initial work together. No surprise given that we have worked for, and alongside, Webb for the better part of our 20 years.

In that time, both our firms have evolved, both in the nature of our work and in name. Webb Strategic Communications formerly known as Webb PR, and Corona Insights formerly known as Corona Research. Both rebranding efforts reflected the need each company saw to provide more complete, and more strategic, offerings to clients.

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Havre de Grace Arts Collective

In honor of Corona’s 20th anniversary, we are celebrating the outstanding people and organizations making a positive contribution to our community.

Each month, Corona is making a $500 donation in honor of a member of our team. For December, Kate Darwent selected Havre de Grace Arts Collective. We chatted with Kate to learn more about this organization and why she chose them.

Kate’s Charity of Choice is the Havre de Grace Arts Collective. She began volunteering there shortly after moving to Maryland with her husband. The organization reopened a newly renovated opera house in town and manages its arts programming. They also run a coop art gallery, public art program and more. It is a cornerstone of the local arts community. “Since I volunteer with them, I know how far $500 will go,” remarked Kate.

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Seven Years of Growth and Impact

Kate Darwent, PhD, Coronerd

Our final interview of the year coincides with a Corona-versary. Kate Darwent celebrates seven years with Corona on December 10th. With an MA and PhD in Social Psychology, and a minor in Quantitative Psychology, Kate was originally hired for her quantitative research expertise. As Kate recalled, “my primary expertise when I started was more pure quantitative work such as designing surveys and data analysis. Since then I have expanded my expertise to include evaluation and strategic planning. I’ve also learned a lot about qualitative methods as well.” Along the way she’s earned promotions to Senior Associate and now Director.

Kate is known for her interest in working on a variety of different projects – she describes herself as “topic agnostic” – and stretching to gain new skills. One of the things she enjoys about Corona is “being encouraged to jump on projects that interest you for whatever reason. I’ve really benefited from all of that exposure to different services. I’d had zero exposure to these things in graduate school.”

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