Marketing Director Carey Kersten Says Goodbye to AVLF to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom

A farewell letter from Marketing Director Carey Kersten. 

AVLF staff at the 2018 PurSHOEing Justice event.

Development Director Libby King, Development Coordinator Diana Guyton, and Communications Associate Ashleigh Starnes with Carey Kersten at the 2018 PurSHOEing Justice event.

I considered starting this farewell letter a number of ways.

I could tell you about how I was never really sure I wanted children, and that how after I became a mother, it cracked me wide open and I feel and see and love things in a clichéd way that I didn’t think was possible. Our daughter is an amazing, maddening combination of both Avi and me, and I’m so happy I get to spend more time watching her grow up.

Or I could tell you about how, after deciding to leave this job, my biggest fear was telling (and disappointing) my parents, who are so proud of the work that I do for this wonderful organization. I very seriously considered letting them find out by reading this letter – they subscribe to AVLF’s emails. (Hi, Mom and Dad. Someday I’ll give you more credit. I need to remember that you love me as much as I love Juliet.) Least surprising news ever: they were incredibly supportive and excited for me.

People don’t leave AVLF very often. They join and stay.

Or I could tell you about my coworkers, who are crazysmart and kind and could work anywhere but all choose AVLF every day – but for some reason are incapable of keeping a fridge clean. (Seriously, people. What are you going to do when I’m gone?) When I started working here, there were 10 of us. Now there are more than 30 fulltime staff members. I have no doubt that soon there will be 40. It’s awe-inspiring.

In some ways, I’m in uncharted territory. The organization is almost 40 years old, but there aren’t a ton of former employees. People don’t leave AVLF very often. They join and stay. It’s been more than two years since the last AVLFer resigned, and that was because her husband took a job in another state. Cole Thaler has announced several times that he has every intention of retiring here. I believe him. His office is cozier than most people’s living rooms.

In the past several weeks, I have vacillated between exhilaration (a new chapter! A blank slate!) and panic (this is the best job I have ever had! Am I crazy? Will I ever work again?), but in my heart, I know this is right for me right now.

So, to everyone whose path I crossed in my time at AVLF, I say goodbye. But also good luck, and thank you, and you’re welcome, but mostly this: I have loved working here.


Marketing Director Carey Kersten






Want to read more inspiring letters from our staff? Read the rest of our letters from leadership.

Don’t know where to start? Last month, Executive Director Marty Ellin kicked-off AVLF’s first-ever annual campaign