Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13, 2009 - We got you ... remix:)

Hey there, hi there and hello there to you all.  Wow, it's late but there's so many exciting things that have gone on over the last week and a half that I had to stay up past my bedtime to tell you about them.  Everything from a parent/kid scrimmage to Aflac's Got Talent to SIFE Nationals, the weeks just keep getting better.  First off I just want to say a big happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, aunts and grandmothers out there ... thank you so much for always being there.  I hope you all were able to celebrate in a fun and family-filled kind of way.  It was Employee Appreciation Week at Aflac, which is our annual celebration from management to employees to let them know how much they mean to us and our customers.  Festivities were planned throughout the week including every employee receiving a sweet lawn chair, ice cream for the department and many other snacks.  Tuesday was Thank You day where I put together a pretty sweet video of all of our management just saying thank you that we posted on our intranet.  Wednesday we were supposed to have some crazy events, but 5 o'clock rolled around without many festivities so myself and a couple ladies threw together some great ideas to make Thirsty Thursday even better.  We got there early Thursday morning to decorate the halls, set up the music and the games ... it was a hit!  The Policy Service employees really liked the games, the free drinks and camaraderie with the thrown-together event, not bad for an hour worth of planning:)  
You're probably asking, did you do any work last week ... and yes, plenty of work was done as well.  We are going to kick start our social forum again here soon with Mike asking me to be the community manager, which will be exciting!  
Also, we're continuing our planning sessions again tomorrow and I have to complete our 2010 tactical action plan by Friday, yahoo!  Best part of the work week though was most definitely the finale to the EAW festivities down at the Civic Center.  About 5,000 headquarter employees, agents and guests filled the Center for our final blow out where execs get up to give away trips, prizes and bring everyone together for good times.  We had our emcee Michael Hoffman back for some good laughs and we even had a special guest this year, America's Got Talent winner, and Aflac associate, Neil Boyd!  He was there to help us kick-off our 1st Annual Aflac's Got Talent competition.  
Well, my buddy Steven and I auditioned a few weeks ago 
and made the final cut of 6 from a pool of 30.  We 6 were then asked to perform our gig on stage in front of the entire company on Friday to be judged and awarded prizes.  
They asked Steven and I to do our R&B/Rap/Aflac jargon remix last of the 6 right before the event ended.  There were some amazing performances that ranged from country singers, comedians and even a gospel choir ... and then there was Steven and I.  The video isn't on YouTube yet (hopefully next week), but let's just say the crowd went absolutely crazy, or so they say.  We started off with a smooth R&B song that about 45 seconds in had me bustin' a rap remix with an Aflac twist.  All I could see was the front row because of the lights, but our President, CEO, one of the Founders, our head HR lady and all the other execs rose to their feet and were jammin' ... and the whole crowd went nuts for the performance!  
It was such an amazing experience to be in front of the whole company and have everyone enjoy what we were doing ... they enjoyed it so much, that the judges handed Neil the final results, which he announced on stage that the Steven/Nate "We Got You Remix" received first place to go along with $1,000 prize!  What a way to start off the weekend, I will try and have the video uploaded by the next blog for your viewing pleasure as well;)
That was just the beginning to the amazingness of the weekend though, because a bunch of us decided to make it great.  Saturday a big crew of us went up for Aflac's day at Six Flags.  We all rode the rides, dropped from the sky, ate some funnel cakes and took pictures with the characters.  
The water rides were probably my favorite, although the wallet isn't doing so well lately:)  It was a great day with wonderful weather and good company.  We stayed in Atlanta that night for a little shin dig and also because a few of us had an early morning flight to Philly, SIFE Nationals ... here we come:)
It doesn't seem that long ago, but it's been two years since I last competed at the SIFE National competition.  This year moved to Philly where Meg, Jason, Alisha and I ventured to tour the historic city and meet up with our alma maters.  On Sunday we took the big city 
bus tour around the historic districts to see all of the culture, the art, the Liberty Bell and of course ... to run up the Rocky Stairs.  
And yes, I ran them and yelled "ADRIAN" at the top ... only to look over at Jason to see him shaking his head in disbelief.  We tried an original Philly Cheesesteak in one of the most amazing food markets I have been to.  The real reason I booked the flight though was to see my old friends on the Mount Mercy College SIFE team.  
I met up with the advisors Tom, Beth and Anne and some of my old teammates for the opening round ceremonies.  
There, Tony Dickinson, one of my mentors and a MMC SIFE alum received the National SIFE Alumnus of the Year award for his efforts to continue the SIFE spirit at Wells Fargo and in the MMC community.  It was great to see a mustang on stage receiving the award.  I met some of the new team members, including four rock-star freshman that are going to make a big splash with the organization in years to come.  After dinner with Janet Baker, a Sr. VP in corporate learning at Aflac, it was time to get some sleep for the rest of the events festivities.  Monday morning I went to many presentations to try and find the next SIFE Analyst crew for Aflac and saw a few good candidates.  One of the last presentations of the day was the MMC SIFE team which is why I was there.  Although they did not make it to the second round, there stories and projects revolving around flood relief efforts were nothing short of heroic.  They brought tears to my eyes with their commitment to service and passion to help rebuild Cedar Rapids that was devastated by the Midwest floods last year.  
They physically helped a business, blend, back on their feet with
 sweat equity and marketing assistance.  They gave countless hours to the relief and their efforts are continuing on.  I think they understand and realize that it doesn't matter the amount of trophies or prize money that you win, 
because at the end of the day, what really matters are the people's lives you have changed.  The owners of blend won't mind too much that you didn't get a trophy, but you helped them open their doors less than six months after the flood destroyed their dreams.  It's pretty amazing the kind of impact a group of students can have on a community through volunteerism, you make me proud to be a MMC SIFE alum and have inspired me to give back even more.  
Thank you!!
Well, on top of all that goodness, I also had the final practice of the year for the En Fuego soccer team.  Although we didn't finish the season with a stellar record (1-9, ouch) the kids have grown so much not just in their skills, but as a team.  I had another great set of parents this year, so we held my 3rd consecutive Parent/Kid scrimmage.  Every kid had at least one parent or family member participate as the adults played against the kids.  Again, the parents came through victorious, but everyone had an absolute blast and I couldn't have asked for anything more ... except maybe less rain so we could've practiced more.
O, and one last thing ... last Monday I learned that effective this Friday, I am officially done with the SIFE Analyst rotation that I have been doing for the past 20 months because I was offered a promotion to be the Supervisor of the Process Innovation team.  I am elated to now be a part of the leadership team moving forward into the future.  The six person team I have is running on all cylinders and I can't wait to see what the future will hold for us.  There are a great deal of expectations, but I think we're all up to the challenge ... I can't wait!
Well, that's about the extent of my novel (and yes Travis, I am going to start writing my book, thanks for the encouragement and good luck with the job:).  I'll tell you more in the weeks, months and most likely years to come on that one!
Until next time, you have a great rest of the week.

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