Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30, 2009 - Happy Birthday Dad!

Hey there, hi there and hello there one and all ... and a special howdy dooody and happy birthday to you pops! I'm glad to hear Wisconsin was a good time and I hope that you have a good rest of your birthday, look out for the card:) I have to give a belated shout-out to my aunt Anne as well, then to Diane and Sam too ... a wonderful week of birthdays I must say!
It was another great week at Aflac, only about 16 meetings in the four days I worked so lots of time to be at the cube and get stuff done. I spent some more time with my team hammering out 2010 projections and getting them in on this whole Precision Leadership business. Tuesday was also the day when I got the email that let me know I had luckily passed the Six Sigma Green Belt exam:) It was one of, if not, the most difficult test I have taken and to be one of the seven that passed was a great feeling ... to know, I will forever be a green belt, because there's no way I'm taking that Master Black Belt exam! My boss' boss presented our team's proposal to the Executive VP and apparently it went over very well, yahoo! This week I actually have 1.5 days of off site planning for two separate gigs, which is pretty exciting!
I handed off my Miss Georgia Pageant duties to a pal of mine, Whitney Parsons, at the Board meeting on Monday. So, there is one less thing on the plate ... o, and you'll be proud to know that the Young Professionals group I used to work with asked me to come back on the board, but instead of just automatically saying yes, I weighed the options and deferred participation to another year ... phew:) O yes, and our kickball team dominated over the weekend without me so we can move on to the semi-finals this Thursday. Wish us luck!
This weekend also started the course work for my MBA up at Emory. We had a Friday-Saturday Leadership Immersion course where we dove introspectively as well as found out whom our teams would be comprised of. We analyzed the results of the Birkman test which showed that I am a green/blue individual. So, they found out that I am someone who is: people oriented, energetic, direct/straightforward, persuasive and like to lead. They identified my interests as musical, involved in the social services and persuasive activities. Well, I guess that test was pretty good then I suppose;) We learned about leadership communication and how it differs from management (tactical) communication. Saturday was full of team activities where I met the five other students that would be in my class. I have to admit, we have a pretty awesome, and young, team. Everyone seems very motivated and we got along well during the Go-Game team building activity where yes, I stuffed 11 big marsh-mellows in my mouth before I couldn't say chubby bunny anymore:) Looks like this will an intense endeavor, but with good people on board it'll be great!
It's the one week countdown for Jenny and my cardio endeavors. Jenny leaves Wednesday for her marathon in Hawaii (I don't even like driving 26.2 miles, let along run:). She's pretty excited to see the fam and of course the volcanos. This is also my last week of training for the Olympic Triathlon at Callaway Gardens. I'm pretty stoked, so look for some cool pictures next weekend!
Welp, that's about all I have for this week (other than the Spongebob interpretation of the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil:). I hope you all continue to have good times and that water will forevermore stay out of my sister's basement! Have a great Labor Day weekend all.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009 - Love some yardwork!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all. Ok, so I'm another day late on the blog but I thought I would keep everyone on the edge of their seat ... or, I burnt my back so bad out in the sun all day Sunday riding my new bike and working in the yard that I couldn't sit down to write:) Six days until your birthday pops, hope you've got some big plans to celebrate the big day!
Aflac continues to go by in a whirlwind of business planning, community forums and 2010 goal setting. We've really dove into this whole Precision Leadership bit and it's starting to catch on with the team. Instead of the typical "Thank you," accolades are always accompanied by a reasoning for the praise and constant positive feedback are the cornerstones of the new leadership science. Aflac also had Diversity Week last week where we showcased the ethnic, geographical and racial diversity of our great company. The Future State PIC squad definitely dominated the team games from Ghana and Mexico, good times!
In the community, our Live United Youth Camp is coming together nicely as we heard Aflac will sponsor the whole camp with a $1,000 grant:) Twelve 7th grade students are going to have a blast, I can't wait for October! Also, we learned about the Time Raisers event that we will try and put together next year ( It's the whole concept that people don't always have the money to give at an auction, so why not auction off your time ... it's going to be fantacular!
We also finished the season 2nd in the kickball league with tourney time right around the corner. It was a great time and although we're losing a lot of players for next season, but we're pickin' up some great new pals:)
This past weekend happened to be one of my most productive outdoor work weekends I've had since I've been down in Georgia. Jenny and I decided that we would lay down some pavers for Caden's kennel and then some pavement later down the road for a patio extension. It was a lot of work digging up the grass and laying the pavers, but that wasn't it:) We decided to fancy up the mailbox as well, got to love the tiki man as well as the other nice pavers ... pretty fancy I must say.
Triathlon training is going great and Emory starts up this Friday with a leadership immersion two-day course. I'm pretty excited to get back into the classroom and meet some new folks, it should be exciting!
I hope you all have an absolutely fantastic week to wrap up the month of August ... before you know it, Christmas will be here;)

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009 - What a fast week!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to you all and a special hello and happy birthday to my step-dad Dan ... hard to believe you just turned 40:) I hope you have an absolutely wonderful birthday and a great week!
It was the last few days of prep work for our execs before they headed off for 2010 business planning, so Monday thru Wednesday of last week were crazy! We were pulling in budget projections, project wish-lists and gathering our various success stories to share. It's been fun being a part of this process, and apparently just because they presented it ... doesn't mean it's over since I have a breakfast meeting at Waffle House this morning:) This week is also the infamous Six Sigma green belt exam, which will be a dooooozy, so we've been studying all the time to cram for the exam ... keep your fingers crossed for me!
Our soccer season ended this week with a farewell and so-long for the next couple of years with school starting up soon. I had my Emory Orientation on Saturday up in Atlanta where I met some fantastic folks and learned about the commitment I have made for the next couple of years. We even had the chance to go to the Alumni House for some after-orientation mingle time, yes, they have a mansion they use as the alumni house. It's going to be an intense couple of years, but it'll be well worth it.
We also had Jenny's sisters Kim and Becca join us this last week as Jenny began her first week of work. Although we didn't get to hang out during the day, we made the most of our evenings with numerous nights out to eat, deep belly laughter, Wii sports games and yes ... Becca and I finally hung up the little chef dudes in the kitchen! It was great to have you ladies, I will have a chat with Mother Nature so next time you get at least one day of sunshine to enjoy the Georgia weather!
This weekend Jenny and I also got back in the volunteering groove by helping out Easter Seals for their Pancake Breakfast. It's an annual tradition that we burn some jacks, drink some juice and enjoy the fellowship at one of the best non-profits in town. I truly enjoy helping those folks out, it's been a pleasure.
Well, I better get off to the Waffle House for some business planning and waffle eating. I hope you all have a great week and happy birthday again Dad, hope it's a great one!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 9, 2009 - Happy Birthday to Jenny!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all. I know it's been a couple weeks, but last Sunday I did not return until 2am and so many fun nightly activities kept me off the computer this week, so here we go. First, I must tell you that my girlfriend Jenny's birthday was this past week and I'm pretty sure she had a blast:) Also, I have to say congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Votroubek on their wedding yesterday as well as my buddy Rabbit (Bryan Jones') engagement, look at everyone growing up!
It is that time of year at Aflac, 2010 business planning and strategery time (or strategy as some people call it). Since I head up the future state team, it only seems fitting that a lot of the planning comes from our team. It's great to have the opportunity at this age to come up with and propose ideas on how to improve the department in the years to come. At times it does feel like I am back in school writing 10-15 page papers, turning in reports and putting together presentations ... but I wouldn't have it any other way! I also get to work with some consultants that came in to help us improve our business, pretty interesting viewpoints I must say. Our social forum initiative is continuing and our team just found out that we're taking on more responsibilities for the company. Since we're in charge of online services for our accounts, it only makes sense that we should be the hub for policyholder web services as well ... bring it on;)
The sports front has been pretty fun over the last couple of weeks with soccer and kickball about coming to a close. Our soccer team has put together a string of wins as I am getting my touch back and putting the ball in the back of the ol' onion bag (or scoring goals as people from America would say:) But the most exciting game was when Jenny scored her first goal ever, granted she kicked it off someone before it went in, but it still counted! Our kickball team is still at the top of the 10 team league at 4-0-1. This last week was theme week, so it got a little crazy as we all dressed as our opposites, but we had a blast.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to help facilitate's Diversity Leadership Program down in Orlando, Florida. Sophomore through Junior aged top college students from throughout the region were brought together for a program where they learned about diversity inclusion, leadership styles and even had the opportunity to work with numerous sponsors to improve their resume and interviewing skills. I was in charge of team 2 and basically my job was to ensure all of the team members worked together, help them to interact with the sponsors and get them jazzed up for a weekend of wondermousness! There was a challenge posed at the beginning of camp to all of the 8 groups to see which team would have the most hype and energy, of course ... I couldn't let the Trump Award slip through. My group came up with a team chant and we waltzed our way to the award stage on Sunday, it was an amazing experience.
I think I even scored some brownie points last week for Jenny's birthday when I rocked the 'happy birthday' song in the morning with warm (not store made:) blueberry muffins. Our pooch Caden was Jenny's big gift, but she also got some great things from family and friends back in Iowa which she greatly appreciated.
Friday night was the celebration evening out on the the town with a big group of friends. After a fantacular dinner, it was down to the Loft to hang out with Peggy Jenkins and the Biznass ... yes, that's the name of their group. She's about 350 pounds of soul and entertainment, we had an absolute blast and Jenny joined me on the dance floor for the white hurricane dance. Saturday a few of the guys headed over to Abalama to golf the Robert Trent Jones course, way out of my league, but I ended up playing quite well for myself. Then today was the six mile run, holy schnikes that was long!
Jenny and I are pretty excited for the upcoming week with so much going on. Her sisters Kim and Boo are coming into town tomorrow evening and Jenny also starts work at St. Francis tomorrow morning. Then, next Saturday I have orientation for my MBA at Emory ... o how time flies when you're having fun:)
Well, I hope you are all well back home in Iowa. I'm looking forward to coming home in a couple months. I wish you all a wonderful week.
PS, some of you have asked when we could get some pictures of the house since it's finished, so I put together a little video for your viewing pleasure; hope you enjoy! (