As we head into the New Year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on 2021. I recognize how challenging 2021 has been for so many of us. We entered the year feeling like things just had to get better from 2020. In many ways it did, but we also faced many new challenges we were not expecting. As we head into 2022, I think we are all hesitant to let ourselves be too optimistic or think things will be rosy. We have all become more realistic that our new normal will continue to present challenges.

Despite the craziness and uncertainty, I try to focus on the aspects of my world that are positive. I have so much to be thankful for. My family has stayed healthy and happy through the pandemic. And both of my companies – CertifiKID and Macaroni KID – have made it through this volatile time where we now feel we are in an even stronger position than pre-Covid. After a year of hard work and focus, I love to reflect back and see how far we have come!

Here are my 2021 favorite moments:

Inauguration – I will never forget sitting on my couch in my living room bundled under a slew of blankets watching the Inauguration in January and feeling a sense of hope that I had not felt in so long.

Vaccinations – This was such a key piece of our year. I was so thankful for being able to get our entire family vaccinated which gave us the comfort to start venturing back outside after a year of caution and and what often felt like hibernation.

Revealing the New CertifiKID/Macaroni KID Logo – When you make an acquisition, there naturally will be a lot of changes. You are never going to be able to make everyone happy. I knew I wanted to modernize the Macaroni KID logo at some point. I had been super nervous for this moment in the year but it ended up going over incredibly well. We wanted to coordinate it more with the CertifiKID one and ended up going with the same layout. The approach was met with such positivity which was such a confidence booster to keep pushing forward!

Kids Off to Summer Camp – Getting my kids off to their overnight camp was such a blessing this past summer. They needed it so badly as they had not been in school for a year and Brian and I needed the alone time too. I think they truly appreciated it more than ever this year. It truly is their happy place.

Macaroni KID Boondoggle – When we acquired Macaroni KID, it was in the middle of the pandemic so we never had the opportunity to meet in person with a single member of our HQ team or the broader community. After a year, we finally had that opportunity to meet some of the Macaroni KID HQ members and publishers in person at this year’s Boondoggle in Punta Cana. The trip was incredible, but the best part was finally having these connections in person with people you had only known over a computer screen. Everyone was so amazing and inspiring, which inspired me to keep driving my vision forward.

Kids’ B’nai Mitzvah – In the Jewish religion, when a child turns 13, they have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. My son’s Bar Mitzvah was postponed due to the pandemic so we ended up moving my daughter’s up, so our two children could have a B’Nai Mitzvah together. I think it was my best 2 for 1 deal ever!

LOL. The kids have to read from the Torah and give speeches from their Jewish teachings. Not only was I so proud of my kids for all their hard work, but I was so thrilled they could share the experience together along with all our family and friends after all this time apart. It was such a special and unforgettable moment for my family.

Winning the Moxie Award – CertifiKID/Macaroni KID team winning the 2021 Moxie Award as the most bold and innovative company of the year had to make the list. It was a moment where we could truly reflect with pride on how we and our team navigated through the pandemic storm and emerged even stronger on the other side! It gave us such hope and confidence in our future.

Lila’s Header Goal – 2021 brought our family soccer, soccer, and more soccer for both of our kids given the intensity of their club schedules. The year was capped by my daughter Lila’s header goal in the Finals of a National Florida Tournament. It was a moment she will never forget as she plays defense and rarely has the opportunity to score! Both my kids have worked so hard at their passion and I feel fortunate that they have had such an awesome outlet and team environment during this challenging year.

Finally…a family vacation!
We were able to take a trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas this December. There, an unforgettable moment was when we went swimming with the dolphins. When the dolphin started to laugh, we all were cracking up and I’ll always remember my kids’ smiling faces

. It still was challenging to travel during COVID times (the paperwork alone could kill you!), but it was worth it to finally get away and have some family fun together which we all so desperately needed.

I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday and all the best in the New Year!