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Gloria (Weber) Plaks kicks us off with great energy: “Hi Wes fam. I like to think of you to lift my mood during these crazy times . . . Nicole, Nana, Janine, Novi, Kinshasa, Kandi, Jaime, Freddy, Jason, Mel, Carole, Ale, Caliente Peeps & La Casa Crew (sorry I can’t list you all, I would be here all day). . . . The memories of our times at Wes together still make me smile today.  My hubby and I are holding down the fort with four kids in a pandemic school year.  We are both still school teachers . . .  me in high school with big kids and him in elementary school with 3- to 7-year-olds. . . .  Through all (the pandemic madness), we are happy that we are there for the students. Then we come home to four kids, ranging from 2 years old to 15 years old, and a new lovely madness begins . . . dinner, homework, playtime, dishes, organizing, showtime, and maybe a little yelling (but VERY LITTLE).  I couldn’t do it without the support of my husband, Eric Plaks, who always steps up without me needing to say a word and my mother who we call on CONSTANTLY to pick up sick kids from school, to give us date nights, to drive kids to doctor appointments.  I am blessed, happy, and my heart is full.  Hope you are all doing well.  If you are out there struggling, I wish you strength.  Take care!”

Movin’ on up: In Biz Journal, Bozoma Saint John shared the story of her career path that led her to being the chief marketing officer of Netflix. Saint John “reconsidered her medical-career goal after being inspired by an African American Studies class during her freshman year at Wesleyan.” Kate Whitman Annis was appointed as the executive director of the NJ Devils Youth Foundation. More on that move here. Zack Becker was recently promoted to the rank of commander with the Houston Police Department, taking charge of their Midwest patrol division. “I’ve been with HPD for over 21 years now—time has absolutely flown by.”

Adam Birnbaum and wife Alem bought a 117-year-old house in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, where they live with daughter Sonya, who’s going to be two in May. “We’re in the middle of renovations, which we hope will be done before Sonya reaches retirement age.”

Sahra Halpern and Dan Engler are marking 12 years in Oakland, California, where they live with kids Hanna (12), Adam (almost 10), a poodle named Pepper, and two cats. “After 15 years at Schwab, I left in the early days of the pandemic for a large community development financial institution (CDFI), a nonprofit lender that provides financing for affordable housing and small businesses in underserved communities. Dan continues to grow his practice at Cox, Castle & Nicholson, providing legal services in real estate. We are looking forward to resuming travel this year, with trips to Montana and Maine and hoping to cross international boundaries as soon as possible!”

The world seems to be bringing Wes alums together of late. From Eve Fox: “The smallness of the world was confirmed again for me when former class of ’99er, Megan Wolff, joined the staff of Beyond Plastics, the nonprofit led by former U.S. EPA regional administrator Judith Enck, where I’ve been the digital director for the past few years. Megan’s our new policy director and it’s been great to reconnect with her.”

Alison MacAdam left NPR several years ago and is working as a freelance story editor for documentary podcasts and radio. Some recent projects include 544 Days and a series for NPR’s Embedded. “I also have the pleasure of working with Eve Abrams ’93 on an upcoming podcast series called Hot Farm (it’s not porn, I swear) from the Food and Environment Reporting Network. Still living in DC and enjoying time with Wes friends, old and new.”

This “small world” trend hit your class secretaries, too. Darryl sends greetings from cold Maine, where he shared that Bates just hired Matthew Coyne ’12 as their new head football coach.  “Another Cardinal becomes a Bobcat!” I (Kevin) had a similar experience at my last company, where we hired the supremely talented Jiun Kimm ’10 as our head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I’ve been fortunate to have a couple of run-ins with other classmates too. In late December I joined a group of graduate school classmates for dinner, which included Mark Zubko and his wife Alex Charters Zubko. My most random run-in was Marnie (Randall) Craycroft, who spent time on the same tiny island in Maine that we did last summer. It’s a small world, but Wesleyan is all over it!