L to R: Andrea Grady, Annamari Mikkola
In support of the school’s marketing initiative, RA is pleased to welcome two new additions to our marketing and communications department, Annamari Mikkola and Andrea Grady. Our community will become quite familiar with Annamari as she will be capturing the RA experience through photography, video and graphic design. Andrea Grady will be sharing the RA story through communications writing and social media.
Before devoting her work full time to RA, Annamari started and advanced her own design firm and for 15 years served small business and corporate clients, including such notables as Melissa & Doug in Wilton. She brings to RA extensive creative and technical experience in the areas of photography, videography and design. “I want to be able to put down the best work possible, so I tinker and think about the work even before beginning to design. I am constantly looking at various sources for inspiration,” says Annamari. Her interest in photography began at age 8 and this fascination blossomed into videography and graphic design. “This is a great position for me because I get to do so many things I love.” An accomplished artist, Annamari has shown her mixed media photography both nationally and internationally in Finland and Spain. Her “joy, passion and obsession,” however, is rowing. She has medaled multiple times in the US Rowing Masters National Championships. Annamari trains early in the morning before work when “the water is a flat mirror and there is nothing but the big sky, birds and the flow of water.” Her dedication and focus as an athlete as well as her creative and marketing experience in the business sector will serve her well in her position at RA.
Born in Finland, Annamari earned a political science degree from University Turku and moved to the US with her husband in 1996. “I am a Finn always, I root for Finnish hockey teams and athletes. But my life is here now, it feels like home.” Home also includes her two sons, who are both musicians.
As communications writer and social media specialist, Andrea Grady brings to RA extensive marketing and communications writing expertise. She honed her skills in writing for print, web and social media during her roles at Salisbury School, The Hotchkiss School and Poughkeepsie Day School. In her position as web manager for Salisbury School, Andrea spearheaded a major web redesign project, the first in the history of the school. The successful project resulted in an increased admissions pool of highly qualified candidates and a CASE District I Communications Award. While at The Hotchkiss School, she enjoyed interviewing faculty, students and alumni and writing news stories to highlight their achievements and passions. She managed the production of Poughkeepsie Day School’s Compass magazine from writing the articles to print, layout and distribution. With a degree in art and art education from Teachers College, Columbia University, Andrea is able to bring an understanding of child development and teaching experience to her communications work.
“Perhaps the aspect I enjoy most about communications work is keeping a finger on the pulse of the school and presenting the effectiveness of its mission and the spirit of its community. I look forward to celebrating the vibrant RA community and its engaging programs,” says Andrea.
In the meantime, Andrea will be exploring her new town of Bethel, CT, with her three sons, Macin, Levi and Finn and enjoying sporadic visits from her daughter, Clelia, who attends Eckerd College.