What to Do With Your Day: How to Start a Virtual Book Club

Have you always said you were going to start a book club, but never actually got around to it due to your busy schedule? Now that you’re spending more time at home, with countless hours in the day to fill with stay-at-home activities, it seems like the perfect time to start a virtual book club! Below are several great tips to get your club up and running… so round up your literary loving friends and co-workers and get to planning!

Tip #1: Reach Out to Your Fellow Bookworms

You should decide early on if your virtual book club is going to be intimate, with only a few close peers, or a large group for socialization and easy conversation. Whether you’re engaging in deep discussion about classic, feminist literature or drinking wine while chatting about a guilty pleasure pick, you’re going to want members who love to read just as much as you do!

Tip #2: Pick Your Virtual Platform

Lucky for you, there are plenty of great communication platforms where you can do face-to-face, video chats. Some options include FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangout. Pick your favorite, learn the ropes, and you’re set!

Tip #3: Use Online Resources for Planning and Scheduling

Since your book club is virtual, you’re going to want to have an app or online tool for scheduling purposes or for planning your next read. Some great options include GroupMe, Google Hangout, or simply by creating a Facebook Group. Once you select your favorite, start planning and scheduling when you will read your books and when you will meet.

Tip #4: It’s All in a Name...so pick a good one

You might think naming your club is silly, but we think it’s a necessity! Brainstorm with your virtual book club members until you come up with a name that fits your group the best. Try including fun elements like favorite genres, authors, or book titles… the possibilities are endless!

Tip #5: Establish Rules (Every Good Club Needs Them!)

Before you get too wrapped up in the reading, make sure your group creates a solid list of rules. Try creating a virtual discussion protocol, like deciding how long each person can share their opinions, or choosing a designated facilitator for conversations. While they might seem restricting, setting some good ground rules will be worth it in the long run.

Tip #6: Pick Your Books and Dive Right In

Once all of the logistics of your virtual book club are settled, you can finally get to the good stuff…the books! Decide on the first couple of books you want to read, follow your schedule, and then crack open your first pick and get to reading!

Make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with all agency news, and to see what we are doing with our D&Ays while working from home!

Our Historic Trentham Mansion is One of Maryland's Coolest Spaces

We’re proud to share that our building, the Historic Trentham Mansion, is one of 30 locations chosen for The Daily Record’s first list of Maryland’s Coolest Spaces! Want to know what makes our mansion so cool? Keep reading to find out:

Imagine waking up every day and going to work at an 18th century mansion that is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a former resident. This unique scenario is a workday reality for the women of Devaney & Associates, a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations agency in Owings Mills, Maryland. We have been lucky enough to call the timeless Trentham Mansion home since June 2015; however, the historic house still remains a key part of Baltimore County’s architectural history. So, what exactly makes our workspace cool? It begins where most stories do, by looking back at the Trentham Mansion’s fascinating history.

taking a step back in time

The estate was built in 1746, by Reverend Thomas Cradock, on top of the land that was given to him as dowry when he married High Sheriff John Risteau’s daughter, Catherine Risteau. Cradock named the building after the Free School of Trentham in Staffordshire, England, where he had once taught. Besides living in the mansion, the Cradock couple also ran a boarding school for boys on the grounds.

The original home was damaged by a fire in 1857 and rebuilt in 1860; however, the octagonal bathhouse, that still sits at the mansion’s entrance, dates back to 1747 and has been restored to preserve the building’s rich history and design.

The magic D&A Touch

As an agency, we have had the freedom to modify the mansion to fit a business environment and to reflect our style while preserving its history. Our art directors played a key role in personalizing the workspace with custom light fixtures and vibrant color schemes and décor that adorn the walls and floors.

Some interesting aspects in our office include soundproof floral panels in our conference room, a loft with a clawfoot bathtub, and a Sandtown Millworks table made out of wood reclaimed from old Baltimore row houses. Our property also features an outdoor area that has a historic smokehouse with four potbelly stoves, several decks, a fireplace, and a grille. This entertainment space has allowed us to host office events and parties for the community and our clients.

Our resident ghost

And what would a historic mansion be without a ghost that haunts its halls? The ghost is believed to be Catherine Cradock, a descendent of Reverend Thomas Cradock, who was murdered at home by a vagrant who had been residing in the mansion’s barn. While she doesn’t give us much trouble, we have blamed a few bizarre incidents on her presence.

Why we love our mansion

The Historic Trentham Mansion is a special space for many reasons. From its captivating past to its haunted tendencies, the former boarding school turned agency headquarters is a one-of-a-kind building that reflects the personality of the people who inhabit it and the work that we do.

What to Do With Your Day: 10 Best Shows to Binge Watch

If you’ve found yourself stuck at home, and getting a little stir-crazy, due to all of the closures, cancellations, and constant updates concerning the coronavirus pandemic, we completely understand. 

While it may be hard to sit at home, just know that by practicing social distancing you’re protecting yourself and your community…plus, there are still some entertaining things that you can do to help pass the time. 

Your friends at Devaney & Associates are here to provide you with some of the best shows to binge watch while you’re self-isolating, so sit back, grab your popcorn and get to watching!

If you're a fan of laugh-out-loud comedy:

  • Parks and Recreation (Renee’s Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu Pick)
  • Grace and Frankie (Jordan’s Netflix Pick)
  • Golden Girls (Lisa’s Hulu Pick)

If you enjoy comedies with a touch of drama:

  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Diane’s Amazon Prime Pick)
  • Good Girls (Jordan’s Netflix Pick)

If you're hooked on anything Fantasy-drama:

  • Game of Thrones (Meghan’s HBO Pick)
  • Outlander (Meghan’s STARZ Pick)

If you're looking to solve a few mysteries:

  • BBC’s Sherlock (Lisa’s Netflix Pick)
  • Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (Kolleen’s Netflix Pick)

If you're looking for a good scare:

  • The Walking Dead (Karen’s Netflix/Amazon Prime Pick)

Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter…and share a selfie with us of you binge watching your favorite TV show!

We're Lucky to Work Here Because...

Our clients know they can count on us for campaigns with brains, service with hustle, and people with heart. But we also happen to be a really great place to work. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we asked our team members to share why they feel lucky to work at Devaney & Associates. 

Lindsay Hebert

Lindsay Hebert,            Director of Public Relations

I feel lucky that every day I get to be part of a team of smart, talented and creative women. I enjoy being in a work environment where everyone’s ideas and insight are equally welcomed and valued, and no one needs to fight to be heard.

Lisa D'Orsaneo

Lisa D’Orsaneo,            Account Manager

I’m lucky to work here because I get to make things happen for our clients. Nothing excites me more than when we exceed clients’ expectations at every stage—from strategy to execution.  

Jordan Levush,              Graphic Designer 

I feel lucky to work for D&A because everyone is so welcoming and makes you feel like you are part of the family!

Casey Boccia

Casey Boccia,              Creative Director

I am lucky that I get to do the kind of work that lets me learn something new and unexpected every day. Part of the reason our campaigns consistently succeed is because we take the time to learn our clients’ businesses and industries inside and out. I can safely say I’ve learned more than I ever imagined about the wildest range of topics—everything from elective angioplasty procedures to deli meat manufacturing. 

Renee Landis

Renee Landis,              Account Executive 

I feel lucky to work at D&A because everyone here is so positive and pushes me to be my best. Each day is always rewarding and even on hard days we still manage to have fun here.

 

Susan Casey

Susan Casey,                      Media Director

It’s easy! Our clients! I feel lucky that we have an awesome and diverse group of clients that provide so many helpful and vital services to the communities that they serve.

Kolleen Kilduff,                Senior Art Director

I feel very lucky that everyone here is so supportive. There have been times I have needed help with things and the Devaney family always pulls through.

Karen Christ,            Accounting Manager

I feel lucky because I get to work in a beautiful historic mansion that was built before we became a nation!  And that mansion is filled with beautiful, talented women.

Meghan Militello,    Copywriter

I am lucky to have co-workers who welcomed me with open arms when I moved to Maryland and joined the team in January 2020. I’ve also learned so much already in my short time working at D&A.

Diane Devaney

Diane Devaney,        President 

I feel fortunate to have such amazing people to work with:  employees who are caring, funny, hard-working, loyal, and creative. And clients who treat us as partners and give us the flexibility to do great work.

happy st. patrick's day from team D&A!

Devaney & Associates Adds Two New Members to the Team

At Devaney & Associates we pride ourselves on being a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations agency located in Owings Mills, MD. We are thrilled to announce that we are growing, as we have just hired two new members to join our team.

Jordan Levush, Graphic Designer

First, we welcomed Jordan Levush, who we have had the pleasure of working with when she came to Devaney & Associates last year as a graphic design intern. We liked Jordan so much, that we decided to bring her on full-time. She will be responsible for carrying out design projects and creating visual content for our wonderful clients.

Jordan graduated from Towson University in the fall of 2019 with a degree in Art and Design with a concentration in Graphic Design. At Towson University, she had the opportunity to work as a graphic designer for Towson University Campus Recreation. There, she was responsible for producing creative media for multiple program areas within the marketing department.

Some of Jordan’s skills include Adobe Suite, bookbinding, web design, photography, and screen printing. You can find Jordan on the third floor of our historic mansion, working closely with our Creative Director and Senior Art Director. During her free time, she enjoys working out at the gym, spending quality time with her family and dog, and working out at the gym some more (Jordan is all about fitness and wellness).

Meghan Militello, CopyWriter

Our second hire, Meghan Militello, is a native of South Carolina and moved to Baltimore in January 2020. Meghan loves witty wordplay and is a sucker for good grammar, which is why she is our newest copywriter. In this position, Meghan will be working closely with our creative team and our public relations department to compose creative content across all platforms and oversee social media accounts for our clients.

Meghan graduated from Winthrop University in the spring of 2018 with a degree in English Literature and Language with minors in Mass Communication and Social Sciences. At Winthrop, she served as the VP of Communications for Winthrop University’s College Panhellenic Council, where she was responsible for the communication and marketing efforts for all sorority life and sorority recruitment. She also served as the Public Relations and Webmaster chair for her sorority, which is where she initially discovered her love for social media. After college, Meghan worked as a marketing coordinator for Lucky Penny Marketing. There, she managed social media accounts for multiple clients, created visual content for digital media, wrote copy, and assisted with media outreach.

Meghan is passionate about writing, photography, and trying new food (especially desserts). When she’s not at work, you can find Meghan at home with her dog, or out and about in Baltimore trying new restaurants.

 

New Year, New Mood: D&A's 2020 Kickoff Playlist

Happy new year from your friends at Devaney & Associates! To help us (and you!) kick off 2020 right, our creative and strategic team got together and brainstormed our favorite mood-lifting, gear-shifting, motivational tunes. Peruse a sampling of our top picks here, then head over to our complete Spotify playlist to start listening! 

  • My Shot, Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording
  • SexyBack, Justin Timberlake feat. Timbaland
  • Yeah!, Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris
  • Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen
  • Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
  • Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,  Starship
  • Start Me Up, Rolling Stones
  • I’m Coming Out, Diana Ross
  • I Feel Lucky, Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • All I Do Is Win, DJ Khaled feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross