Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9, 2008 - Makin' a livin'

Hey there, hi there and hello there to everyone enjoying the high 60's and to those back home enjoying the high 20's ... wish I was there to witness the snow! A special happy birthday again to sister Steph and niece Lindsay this week; what a cutie pie!

Everything is quaking well at the duck as last week was full of wonderful reporting and planning. I have learned that the various operations/strategic management classes I've taken over the years have prepared me quite well for executive reporting ... but, no matter how many hours in the classroom, management will always find a new way they want to see something:) It keeps me on my toes each and every week and I love it! Our Brown Paper Fair (pictured last week) was such a success that we did it again this week and had the corporate photographer join us on our journey. Our boss-man Mike decided to join in on the fun where he was truly able to see the great benefit of discussing the customer experience directly with the specialist by their cubicles ... we're going to try and sell our idea back to the consultants that came up with this whole "customer experience" bit, I'll let you know how that one goes for me later:) I was also able to participate in the Fast Forward Leadership class to learn a bit more about generational leadership and the benefits of understanding how the different age groups react to the ever-changing corporate environment.

We had a great SIFErs in Action meeting this week where we presented our new project initiative to educate students about insurance needs when they step into the workforce. I also decided it'd be a good idea to get back on the service trip kick, so a few of us (don't know how many yet) will be traveling to New Orleans over the MLK Jr. holiday in January for some extended hurricane relief. The other two times I took part in hurricane relief it had a life changing effect on my attitude and I'm sure it'll do the same for others. I also had a few more meetings with the Young Professionals group as well as the Literacy Alliance as we prepare for our Favorite Word Gala in December. The YP group teamed up with another organization I'm involved with, Hands on the Valley, to put together a Born Learning Trail ( out at Shirley Winston Park. Basically, we put up posts for 10 different stations to help engage parents/care takers with their children to learn that every situation in life has a learning opportunity from hop scotch to learning your ABCs. It was ironic that the local Hands On group got a hold of the United Way of East Central Iowa, where I used to be a board member, for best practices when putting it together ... what a small world indeed!

It was a sad yet wondermous end of the season for the ol' En Fuego soccer team. Although we lost our final game of the season, we did get together on Saturday for some scrambledog action at Cook's. Almost all of the kids, parents and siblings came out for our end of the season bash. I had a wild bunch this year, but they improved so much throughout the season that it might me a bit sad to see the season end but excited to see their improvement. They were all very appreciative and the parents all had very kind words for me. They've asked me to return as the En Fuego coach next year and they even gave me a visor with "Coach Nate" on the front ... gotta love those kids!

How about them Iowa Hawkeyes though, what a win. I even was able to play a little flag football over the weekend and enjoy the 70 degree weather ... gorgeous, sorry to rub it in friends back in Iowa. Just a couple more weeks until I have two of the great ladies out there visiting me, I can't wait:)

I just finished up a very interesting marketing book, The Numerati, which talked about how marketers in the future will base their investment on behavioral vs. demographic marketing ... a change in the way it's been done for decades, a true marketing revolution! The book I'm reading now, The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews, is where this week's morsel comes from: "just because I use the expression 'good luck' doesn't mean that luck actually has anything to do with where you end up." I've heard many times that luck is where opportunity meets preparedness ... so, with that in mind, always be prepared for the next opportunity life has in store for you and you never know ... you might get lucky!



ps, I made some amazing chili tonight ... thanks for the recipe ma:)

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