Ventures and Values
Our gift guide is back!
After hearing from so many readers that they were disappointed the magazine didn’t feature our long-running annual holiday Gift Guide last year, it is back with a few extra pages to help us find room for the amazing range of products and organizations to which Brown alums dedicate their time and ingenuity.
While the Gift Guide is a complex endeavor indeed, it’s also a fun change of pace for all of us here on the magazine staff. Overseen by our office manager, Kerry Lachmann, it requires months of planning and logistics, with additional wrinkles this year: Kerry ended up having all the goods shown inside mailed to her home, since we weren’t working predictably in the office while the guide was in production. She assembled and curated the candles, clothing, jewelry, art, tech, and food prior to driving it all up to Boston with art director Lisa Sergi for a two-and-a-half day studio shoot, fueled by photographer Joel Benjamin’s workhorse of an espresso machine and, yes, pie. Apparently that pie on our cover—Piedaho’s Salted Caramel Apple, which has a cinnamon crust—is as good as it looks.
For the second time, we’re featuring nonprofit organizations founded or run by Brown alums as part of the Guide, and in a testament to the values of our readership, received almost as many nominations for nonprofits as we did for commercial goods. In response, we’re beefing up our online list of Brown-alumni-related nonprofits, so if you know of one, tell us—we’ll update our online list and squirrel the suggestion away for next year’s Guide.
I was struck this year by the flowering of entrepreneurship in both for-profit and nonprofit enterprises that has occurred during the pandemic. That goes for students, too—it’s hard to keep up with all the new ventures created by Brown’s campus community (see our lead story in Under the Elms, p. 9). Despite all the hardships of the past 18 months, many of the stories in this issue read like case studies of one of the pandemic’s greatest silver linings—our collective reexamination of where and how we want to spend our time.
With that in mind, I would like to bid adieu to Juli Mahoney, BAM’s advertising director, who will retire at the end of this year after 21 years at Brown. Many of you will have interacted with Juli over the years, perhaps to place a posting in Fact, Fiction and Verse, our twice-annual paid roundup of books by Brown alums, or to take out a classified or display ad or, more recently, an ad on our website or in our monthly email newsletter. With her warm responsiveness and dedication to the magazine, Juli has always been a wonderful ambassador for BAM, but she’s also a terrific workmate with many diverse interests and accomplishments. As Deputy Editor Louise Sloan ’88 observes: “Juli knows the art of elevating quotidian moments. She doesn’t just grab a generic mug and coffee pod—she has a French press and a lovely handmade mug, turning an office break into an artistic and meditative experience.” She’ll be greatly missed, but I love to think of Juli with lots of time to dedicate to her art, her gardening, her beloved beach house, the latest Nordic noir series, and perhaps a new dog or two.