Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009 - Happy Holidays!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all and welcome to December, crazy to think it's almost the end of the year. I know it's been a week or so, but travel and getting back in the swing of life in Columbus has kept my blog at bay:)
Aflac has been a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks, but has culminated recently in my realization that I have the most amazing team around. We've been quite busy with projects and we recently moved to a new location at the Paul S Amos campus. Our team finally got a US Steering Committee Project approved which has to be presented to the President and COO in the next couple of weeks. I've continued to help blog for the Duck Pond and help drive improvements for our accounts, which is very exciting. I had somewhat of an intervention with the team this past week, a 1.5 hour session which was some of the best team time we have had in the year+ I have been leading the team. We really laid everything out as to where we think we are as a team and it was amazing to hear how proud they are of the work that we do and the camaraderie we have together, something I am very thankful for! I can't wait to see what the New Year will bring for us.
My first semester at Emory is winding down this week with a recap session tomorrow night and a final on Wednesday. Over the last couple of weeks we've had some group case work and a great presentation the Monday after Thanksgiving. Our class was given the opportunity to look at Atlanta Falcons season ticket holder data, analyze the findings and present our recommendations to our professors and classmates. It was pretty interesting to take what we've learned all semester long and apply it to a real world example, I guess this would be the reason I chose to go to Emory ... the opportunities to truly dive into the learning! Next semester we tackle Marketing and Finance, bring it on!
I will have to admit that the Thanksgiving break back home was just absolutely fantastic. The big 3 F's: family, friends and food:) Have you ever seen that movie "4 Christmases"? Well Jenny and I made the sequel, "6 Thanksgivings and a Christgiving" (yes, a mixture of Thanksgiving and Christmas:). We had meals in Shueyville, Blairstown, Cedar Rapids and Manchester with great family bonding laced in with all of it. We spent a good bit of time with Jenny's family, and of course had a wonderful "Ugly Sweater" party to celebrate birthdays and Christmas. I was really glad we were able to spend quality time with all the family members and even visit with some of our friends where Gump got to see my broken leg and good-lookin' toes for the first time;)
This past week has just flown by and culminated with a great party at the pad. We had our annual Dirty Chinese Elephant SIFE get-together, but this year I thought it'd be a good idea to implement a couple new traditions. First we instituted the ugly sweater contest (of which only 3.5 people participated, boo fun-haters) and then we took our group's philanthropic attitude and contributed to Open Door Community House. Everybody brought two gifts, one for a random gift exchange that was a blast and then another to help brighten the Christmas of those that might not get too much over the holidays. We all picked an age group and gender to purchase gifts for and tomorrow Jenny will take two Santa size garbage bags full of gifts for the children of Open Door, what a great feeling indeed.
Saturday we all got together again for the Easter Seals pancake breakfast. We helped them clear I believe more than $4,500 in sales with our flap-jack flipping skills, but I as the cripple was dubbed as the drink-passer-outer-guy ... which I tried to complete with flair:) Then, last night we all got dolled up for the annual Aflac Christmas party at the Civic Center. Jenny and I cut a rug with all our friends (including my mentor and a fellow cripple Bob Ottman) and did a lot of the one-legged shuffle.
This week looks to be a great one as I wrap up the semester at Emory and start helping the team get to the next level at work. O yes, I just heard from my old pal Todd Dunford that since our dear Iowa Hawkeyes just got a BCS invite, he had extra tickets ... so Jenny and I are going to start the New Year off right with a trip to Miami, Florida with 40,000 of our nearest and dearest Iowa friends. It will be a fantacular time indeed.
Hope you all continue to have a great December in preparation of the holiday season.

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