We. Won. For our pack of competitive doers here at FHA, these are two of the most exciting words we get to say. And, last Tuesday, we won in a BIG way.

Over the course of the past few months, our team has been diligently working — early mornings, late nights, last-minute press conferences, the whole nine yards — to pass Proposition 68. Our hard work paid off when Californians turned out to vote and said “YES” to Prop. 68.

The ballot measure itself is historic, marking the first combined parks and water bond California has passed in more than 10 years. For our team, the victory adds to our growing roster of campaigns, which now includes more than 25 ballot measures on issues ranging from water, natural resources and clean energy to healthcare, Indian gaming, stem cell research and beyond.

Over the course of the campaign, we had the good fortune of working with a superstar battalion of environmental and natural resource leaders who fought to get Prop. 68 on the ballot and worked hard to fund and support the campaign through election day. With their support, we assembled a coalition of more than 700 organizations across the state and earned the endorsement of nearly every major California newspaper.

While the results speak for themselves, the work our team put in to get us here is a lesson of its own.

Campaigns are some of the most simultaneously rewarding and challenging work that we can undertake. Time is not on our side, mistakes can make or break the election, and every move is scrutinized in the pressure cooker environment of a campaign.

For our team members who are starting out their professional careers and building their public affairs experience, campaigns also present the unique opportunity to learn everything from the basics to the most advanced levels of our craft while working alongside some of the best in the business. Every day, our team was on the phone — calling through major organizations statewide, knocking down the doors of key reporters and editorial writers at every end of the spectrum, and organizing events that brought all our work into the spotlight. When the results rolled in and we pulled away with a decisive victory, it was a validation of our team’s tenacity and a taste of how sweet it is to win.

With a high-profile campaign like Prop. 68 under their belts, our junior team members went from being curious and capable newbies to knowing and experienced professionals overnight. Under normal circumstances, gaining this kind of exposure and experience plays out over the course of months or years. During a campaign, the learning is intense and accelerated —condensed into a crash course of integrated communications 101.

And this is how our team is made. We walk through the fire together, learning and growing, so that when we come out on the other side, each and every one of us is more committed, passionate and able to lead our awesome roster of clients to future victories. For that, I want to thank the FHA team that led the charge on Prop. 68 with me here at FHA — Ian Anderson, Sarah Melbostad and our fearless leader, Fiona Hutton — and the larger FHA team that supported us through the fight. Now, we move on to reach for our next win with new skills, new perspective and a hunger for victory.