Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19, 2010 - Christmas is almost here:)

Hey there, hi there and a Merry Christmas hello to you:) A special happy birthday goes out to Nicolasa on her December birthday, can't wait to celebrate with you later this week! Also, this week marks Jenny, Caden and my initial adventure to drive back to Iowa ... yes, DRIVE back to Iowa ... which hopefully will only take 16 hours!!
The past couple weeks of new responsibilities at work have taken me away from my ability to have good 1v1 time with the team, so hopefully I can pick that up again after the New Year. Some of the new projects I'm getting some exposure on are pretty fun, so we'll see how everything shakes down. I love this time of year at work though because we get to look back on everything that we've done, sit back, relax (maybe for 15 minutes) and celebrate all the success.Had a great Leading Change seminar this week and a fun division wide luncheon. In addition to the fun, our team sponsored the 3rd annual PIC team canned food drive where we exceeded our 550 can total last year and nearly hit 800 with 799 cans accounting for 750 pounds of food for a local shelter ... made us feel pretty darn good:)
Had some fun volunteer action over the last couple of weeks with a half day YP board retreat to chat about our 2011 plans. Also had our nice United Way 2010 volunteer committee wrap up with some tasty soup and great discussion about our 2011 Live United Youth Camp, which is going to be quite exciting! Then, the Literacy Alliance is having our budget wrap up and planning for all our 2011 activities, on a slim budget of course. Sounds like there is a lot of not for profit planning going on, now it's time for the fun part ... executing the plan!!
We've had lots of parties with friends over the last couple of weeks, ending in one amazing Dirty Chinese Elephant gift exchange with the SIFE crew. After some Networks & Organization class up at Emory, I met up with the guys for a weekend in the wilderness (as seen in the pictures this week). After picking up some double cheeseburgers, ya ... really hoofin' it you could say, I hiked with some pals into the night for a sleepover in the woods. A wonderful fire and great guy time was had by all nine of us. This morning brought about a seven mile hike back to reality and the comforts of indoor plumbing;)
Welp, just a few more days until the voyage back home and Jenny, Caden and I can't wait to see everyone ... fingers crossed for decent driving weather!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5, 2010 - It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Hope everyone is having a terrific start to the final month of the year, where has the time gone?
Aflac hasn't been too crazy as the year winds down, just finishing up the year's projects and planning for 2011 is getting finalized. Had good times out with a couple of our customers as we work with a vendor to improve our online services. It was fun to sit down with all the team members this week for some 1v1 goal action. We finished out the week at Haleigh's house for our annual Dirty Santa party where the most popular item came from the Klein residence, and yes, it was an Iowa Hawkeye Snuggie, passed three times:) What a great team and good times had as usual.
Pretty darn good week at school too with a final presentation for our Integrated Marketing Communication class, which went swimmingly. Then Wednesday brought our final in-class case negotiation to wrap up the semester. Only six more classes to go and I have a whole week and a half break before my next one starts, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself:) Then Thursday, the Blue Steel Kickball team hoisted another Co-ed Kickball championship trophy with a 3-1 win ... ya, it was amazing!
We had a couple more parties that wrapped up the weekend including one at Runci's for the soccer team. Then Saturday morning, before the Aflac Christmas party, we flipped some flap jacks for a fundraiser at the Easter Seals organization. I tell you what, that is one organization that truly knows how to make their volunteers feel welcome ... plus there was some tasty breakfast action indeed. The night brought all the friends together for a great eve at the Aflac Christmas Prom ... yes, that is a burgundy suit and Jenny all dresed up as, welp, an elf I suppose.
A great week ahead with the Wizard of Oz, Fantasy in Lights and a visit from one of Jenny's friends all on the docket. Plus, we finished all Christmas shopping and the Christmas card poem today ... so, an amazingly productive weekend indeed. Hope you all have a fantacular week ahead.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28, 2010 - Happy Turkey Day!

Hey there, hi there and hello there to all you turkey lovers. I may be a week tardy, but too many good times were had in Iowa to sit down and blog:)
Guess I'll go backward over the last couple of weeks starting this past weekend with an amazing Klein wedding up in Manchester for cousin Kacie and Ron. It was an absolute blast to be around all the family, the crazy cousins and the dancing aunts/uncles. Made Jenny and I pretty excited about the possibilities for our gig in 11 months from tomorrow, wow! In the week leading up to the wedding, there was a good bit of family and friend time had. Everything from lunch with the ol' MMC SIFErs to breakfast with some of the P Hawks of old. Had a great visit at the Mount aswell ... would love to be a prof there someday, just some wonderful people indeed.
Lots of thanks and giving was had as well throughout the week with Jenny's family on Thanksgiving and my family a few different times:) Jenny picked out a wedding dress (yahoo, and it was under budget), then I was able to see the reception hall at Bella Sala after we did some taste testing with Hy-Vee. Pretty productive wedding planning week I must say! It was fun to hang out with the siblings of mine as well as Jenny's and see all of the nieces and nephews and how much they have grown. Crazy to think we'll be back in less than a month with the pooch to visit everyone for Christmas.
We had our big quarterly Literacy Alliance board meeting, not the greatest of turnouts, but an influential group nonetheless. We made some tremendous progress on our goals for each of the four committees and had some much needed discussions revolving around our board's diversity as well as our financials moving into the next year. Just hope that the funds continue andincrease the flowage moving forward!! Also had a YP lunch over the last couple of weeks too that is going to lead up to our board retreat here in a couple weeks with the exec committee.
We moved again at the Duck, so the whole PIC team picked up our gear and headed back downstairs again. I still have yet to unpack all of my stuff, but hope to accomplish that all tomorrow. Also, we had our quasi-annual Chili/Bakeoff where I had to redeem myself from two years ago finishing in dead last. Apparently my chili this year was much better, but still wasn't deemed "chili" by the esteemed panel of judges ... but at least I wasn't boo'd off the stage:) I did pull out the Marketing Award for my chili's brochure. Additionally, I've been given some additional responsibilities at work, similar to what I had done before as an undercover SIFE supervisor where some more tasks have been put on the plate. I'm pumped to continue to work with such a great team and see how we can get better for next year.
Should be a busy week ahead too with my final marketing class presentation tomorrow night and final negotiation on Wednesday night to round out the fall semester, only 6 more classes to go! Then we have the kickball championship game on Thursday, PIC team Christmas party on Friday followed by some pancake breakfast volunteering and the Aflac Christmas party Saturday night. O yes, we're squeezing holiday decorating in there somewhere ... maybe Tuesday:)
Hope you all had a tremendous Turkey Day and that these last few days of November bring you wondermous warmth!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14, 2010 - Homeward bound

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all. Two weeks in a row on the blog circuit, haven't done that in a while! A special happy birthday wish out to my niece Lindsay, hope you had a great party. O yes, and Jenny, Caden and I can't wait for the trip back home this weekend for an extended Turkey Day celebration.
Last week was pretty fun on the volunteer front with our monthly Literacy Alliance exec meeting where we narrowed down our new list of officers to help build the bench for 2011. Wednesday was a day full of United Way when Jenny, Rick and I started off the morning down at the UW office to kick-start the planning for the 2nd Annual Live United Youth Camp. Looks like we're moving it to Thursday through Saturday with our main focus continuing to be on poverty/homelessness since it had such a huge impact on the students last year. Then over lunch I led the UW Volunteer Advisory Council meeting where we laid the foundation for some new marketing efforts including a monthly volunteer spotlight and another volunteer activity, Stuff the Bus. Should be a great year for that group, I'm looking forward to making progress with some great volunteers:) This week the we have our end of the year Literacy Alliance full board meeting all morning on Thursday where we vote in our new members and have a great time recapping the success we've had over the last year. A couple days before I am taking part in the annual Young Professionals luncheon as I'm being sworn in on the Exec Committee as the Secretary which should greatly help me work on my active listening and name remembering skillz!! This Thursday eve I get to speak with my mentor Bob Ottman at a CSU SIFE Presidential Dinner which I am pumped about, going with the trusty LIVE speech to educate students that they should Learn, Inspire, Volunteer and Enjoy life.
Had a pretty good time with school action this week up at Emory, even though I didn't have to go up for one of my classes! The highlight was this weekend during Leadership Academy when we went to an acting studio for our second installment entitled improvU, a full day of learning how the art of improv can improve your leadership style. It was pretty fun to get up on stage, do some skits and a bit of learning along the way. They reiterated one of the best concepts I have experienced in my professional life - create a "Yes, if" culture vs. a "No, because." They took the spin of saying, "Yes, and" vs. "No, and" because in every scenario, if you say Yes, and vs. the alternative, you create a very welcoming and innovative environment. People feel like you are engaged with them and care about their thoughts, even if they are wayyyyy out there. It was so much fun that I may try to figure out how to start an improv group at the Duck to help people overcome their fears of public speaking.
Speaking of overcoming your fears of public speaking at work, last week marked the first of many to come presentations I had one of my team members do. Public speaking is one of the most feared things to do in life, sometimes ahead of being bit by a snake, but everyone needs to have some comfort in doing it if they want to move on up the ladder. This week wasn't too crazy, which afforded me a good bit of time to have numerous 1v1 sessions with my team, my favorite part of the job:) This week we're kicking off a big usability study with a 3rd party vendor that will really shape the next year's worth of work, so fingers crossed it works well. More importantly though, we have our annual team chili cook-off. Sorry mom, your recipe doesn't go over well down here in the South where they want some spicy action (although I still love it:), so I'm mixin' it up this year to hopefully not come in last place!
Looking forward to the week ahead, but especially some kickball tournament action and the visit back home to Iowa to see old friends and family. Can't wait to see you all, and hopefully it'll warm up a bit so I don't freeze my southern hiney off:)
Welp, suppose I should leave a morsel for the week and it comes again from my buddy Robert Greenleaf - "Too much concern with how others did it may be inhibitive." Don't rest on the laurels or the way things have always been, venture out to create something new and give life a shot!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7, 2010 - Back in the saddle again

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Holy schnikes, it's been a month since the last post ... I guess I would try to blame it on Jenny putting me up to wedding planning, but in reality ... there is no excuse:) Happy birthday wishes to all the October and November birthdays, which included my own and Steph's yesterday!!
Let's start with the excitement of a 26th birthday, yes, 26 can be fun. Jenny, Caden and I had a couple visitors over my birthday weekend as Dad and Barb came down to Columbus for a weekend of food and relaxation. Many a walk with the dog and relaxing at the house was coupled with a visit to downtown Columbus for an unexpected farmer's market followed by a relaxing bike ride on the Riverwalk. Ribs, monkey bread, a delectable dinner at Cheddar's and of course great birthday gifts made for a wondermous weekend. That's not where the birthday celebratory activities stopped though, as Rick and I continued our birthday week into the following weekend with the first annual birthday bash on a budget. After the home opener for the Columbus Cottonmouths, it was back to our place with the posse for ping pong until3am and then yes, we set up three tents in our front yard for the ultimate sleepover ... camping style! About 12 people made the venture, which the next morning we awoke to cars driving by asking if we were having a yard sale, amazing!A day at the park playing disc golf and grilling out wrapped up the birthday in wonderful fashion. Thanks everyone for the cards, gifts and birthday wishes!!
Wedding planning, although still a year away, is in full swing. Planning an event of this nature 1,000 miles away has presented some obstacles, but I think Jenny and I have gotten a good enough jump start to feel comfy. Apparently when the guest list is greater than the total number of people from both of the hometowns the couple grew up in, you will find only a few venues to host. So, we're on at St.Ludmilla's and Bella Sala ( for October 29, 2011. The colors have been chosen, the photographer, the shoes, the photo booth and we've started on the invites. Yes, there have been many a night when a wedding hurricane has taken over the living room, but we're pumped for the event and excited so many of our Columbus friends have said they will make the maiden Iowa voyage:)
School up at Emory has kept my quite busy as well, just not as intense as semesters in the past (which is nice:). I'm taking a Negotiations and Integrated Marketing Communication class right now and just recently signed up for my final electives ... ya, last electives!! I can see the end of the rainbow, but am still very excited about the classes ahead. In Dec/Jan I have an ACE course on Networks/Organizations to learn about howpeople work/connect in an organization. Then the spring semester I have signed up for Customer Relationship Management, Project Management and a week-long course over spring break in Washington DC to learn about politics in business. After I finish those up, I close out with two core courses in Accounting and Leadership.O yes, I was recently accepted into the Emory Leadership Academy as well where 25 of my classmates and I are taking a interpersonal dive into our leadership style to learn and grow. We have about one session/month for the next six months or so. Next weekend I will head up there to learn about leadership improv, should be exhilirating.To put the icing on the cake though, I was one of 1,500 folks that had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Dalai Lama's visit to Emory University. It was an enlightening experience which included a morning session where he discussed the importance of optimism and consistency before the afternoon session with Richard Gere on the arts, science and religion and the effects they have on creativity. I walked away feeling very privelaged to have been a part of such an amazing conference.
Then, a couple weeks later my team at Aflac (about 20 of us) went up to the Atlanta Georgia Dome for another amazing leadership experience at the Get Motivated workshop. Colin Powell, Lou Holtz and Bill Cosby headlined a star-studded group of motivational speakers. So many nuggets of knowledge were passed through the crowds, but Lou Holtz stole the show with his light-hearted conversation on truth, commitment and compassionate leadership. Following that conference, I worked with a few other folks to put on the semi-annual leadership conference for the Customer Assurance Organization where 150 supervisors, managers and executives gathered for a conference based on the concept of Emergenetics. We received great feedback from everyone, including our Sr. VP and other VPs who said it was so good that they want to roll it out to the various leads and analysts throughout the organization. I'll consider that one a success!!
Work at the Duck has been pretty hot-n-heavy over the last couple of months I must say (including over Halloween when we dressed up as Alvin and the Chipmunks:). In addition to the infamous performance appraisal season, we've also elevated a few different enhancements to the systems that my team maintains. Many long weeks spilling over into the weekend resulted in a very successful project completion and now it's on to a usability study for our accounts. It's been fun working with a 3rd party vendor to identify improvement opportunities which may even lead to me being able to head up to Atlanta for lab testing (sounds pretty scientific eh?). I'm also getting the opportunity to help some of my peers with their Precision Leadership Certification presentations ... gotta love this leadership shtuff!
Finally, life on the volunteer front has been a little slower as of late. A high note though was finding out the MMC SIFE alum put together $10K over the last year to help build an endowment for the future Mount Mercy SIFE generations ( ... nice work team! Still keeping busy as the chair of the Literacy Alliance where we're on the brink of a new website and logo to help build our brand image in the community. More than that though, we're meeting this week to set our 2011 budget, 2011 slate of officers and maybe some other 2011 things. Crazy to think how much for-profit planning resembles not-for-profit planning, love the learning:) A couple weeks ago my ol' pal Kim Weaver called from the Young Professionals to see if I'd be interested in joining the exec committee. Although YP and I have had a bumpy road together, I still really believe in the mission they have to engage more young professionals in our community. After having a nice long conversation with her about the rest of the committee members, and of course Jenny, I accepted a position as the Secretary. So, between those two organizations and continuing work on the United Way board of directors, things are still hummin' right along.
Don't worry, Caden is doing well too with our morning runs and afternoon play times. Jenny also decided that we needed to turn the heat on for the first time of the year, so yes, it's getting a bit chilly in Ctown.
Well, I know that was a lot of catching up ... but it's been a couple months, so hope you enjoyed. Special thoughts and prayers out to the Rettenmeir family and those at the Arc that were so close to Stacie. I hope you all have a wonderful week and until next time, here's a morsel from my latest endeavor to better understand Servant Leadership from Robert Greenleaf, "But if one is servant, either leader or follower, one is always searching, listening, expecting that a better wheel for these times is in the making." Never settle for what is, always strive for what could be!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 4, 2010 - She said yes!

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Well, I never thought this day would be here, but it is and Jenny said yes! It was a fantacular surprise, but am glad I was able to share it with family and friends over the phone. I know Jenny was pretty excited to head back home this week to spend time with family and I'm sure a few decisions about the wedding will be made along the way;)
Instead of a long drawn out story, I figured a picture/video/music would speak so many more words ... so I hope you enjoy the Hang Glide Engagement as much as Jenny and I did:)
My Emory studies are now over halfway done and now I'm getting excited to get into some of my electives ... negotiations and integrated marketing communications starting tomorrow! In addition to that, I just found out today that my name was picked from a lottery of 1,500 Emory students to go listen to the Dalai Lama in October ... amazing!
Welp, just hanging out with Caden a bit for the week and off for an early night of rest. Hope you enjoy the video and can't wait to share this day with you all in the future, possibly spring of 2012 we're thinking. As we go through this process, I have to side with a quote he had in his book The Art of Happiness, "His hope is based on the belief that while attaining genuine and lasting happiness is not easy, it nevertheless can be done." Hope I can keep on that path!
Until then, or before, have a great week!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 29, 2010 - Happy Birthday Eve Pops

Well hey there, hi there and a belated hello there to one and all. Wow, it's been about three weeks since the last blogging ... where did the time go eh? Special birthday wishes today to Sammy Phillips, auntie Diane tomorrow and of course dad on his "I'm getting pretty old" year birthday:) Hope you all have great celebrations indeed!
What can I say, but work has been wonderfully busy as usual. We're on the doorstep of performance appraisal season, but I guess that doesn't mean that the other work will slow down. The execs are still in decision mode about the projects we've submitted, but heard that the business plans we spent so much time on went over quite well.
We've got some new SIFErs that have come into the company over the last few weeks, hard to believe that I'm their senior by three years now! Another exciting event occurred when an interesting job profile crossed my desk a few weeks ago, so I applied for a marketing project coordinator position reporting directly to our Chief Marketing Officer. I've gone through four interviews now, even one with the CMO which was quite different I must say, but fun nonetheless! I think it'd be a great opportunity, so we'll see if I made the cut over the next week or so.
Jenny and I went back home a few weeks ago for a couple weddings as well as some time with the fam. Just wanted to say congrats to Rabbit and Katie on their wedding, it was a wondermously good time. Fun times were had with the fam as well, even though I had to beat Becca in a Capri Sun chugging contest. I've become pretty good at that, I'm thinking of going pro!
I also took Jenny up for the lasties of her birthday week to see Jack Johnson in concert at the Lakewood Ampitheatre. As you can tell by the glistening, we got a little wet. Ok, we got soaked, but were there with great friends and listened to some amazing live music. While up there I went to class as well and in a matter of 3 weeks, I've pretty much hammered out an entire course in Entrepreneurship. We presented our final business plan yesterday and our write-up is due Tuesday, then it is on to the fall semester with Integrated Marketing Communications and Negotiations ... less than a year left, yahoo!
Had quite a bit of fun on the soccer pitch as well. A few weeks ago we had Brandi Chastain sports bra night and we capped off the regular season with a win for Yo Momma to take us into the semis. We decided to go with Breast Cancer Awareness night, so we all donned the pink shirts, v-neck of course, for a victory into the finals where the team pulled off an upset W to win the summer league ship, what a great feeling!
Last week also marked our 2nd Annual Columbus Heroes Read event where over 100 students came to interact with local heroes, pick up free comic books, draw their own superheroes and just have a good time. It was a great event for the Literacy Alliance indeed. Couple weeks ago I also had a great chance to go speak with some amazing volunteers. I was asked to come and talk on the importance of motivating your volunteers and how to attract/retain them in the long haul. I spoke on Getting your ACT together, which was of course an acronym for Ask-Challenge-Thank. It went over quite well, but I am more excited for the speakers at the Jimmy Blanchard Leadership Forum. Aflac invited me to attend and tomorrow night Laura Bush kicks off the festivities before the full day on Tuesday, which includes one of my new favorite authors Malcolm Gladwell. Should be a great event which I am truly looking forward to!!
Welp, off to bed, but hope you all have sweet dreams and don't let the bed bugs bite. Happy birthday again dad and can't wait to see you in a couple months.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8, 2010 - Happy Birthday Week Jenny!

Hey there, hi there and hello there. Welp, it's been some time, but thought I would let everyone get warmed up to August before the next blog; literally, since it's been over 100 for the last month! Also been pretty busy with not just birthday, but birthweek celebratory activities with Jenny. Thursday markedher 25th birthday, but last week marked the celebration we'll chat about later.
Work has continued with the craziness over the last week as business planning wraps up and execution continues on. I've had some good time to sit down with team members over the last week and chat about their performance over the last few months and see how I can help them where they need to be moving forward, which is always the most rewarding part of the job. Additionally though, a position in the Marketing department opened up - Project Coordinator. Basically, this position would be similar to what I am doing now managing projects, just without direct reports and the projects are on a much larger scale with bigger execs:) It sounds like a fantacular job, so I put my name in the hat and got into the round of interviews of which there are four ... wow! Two down, and two to go ... one with our Chief Marketing Officer in a week or so. I'm in a great place where I love what I do, but also realize that in order to grow, I have to break out of my shell a bit and that would be what this job is all about, so, we'll see.
Emory is wrapping up the Summer semester this week as I just turned in my last paper for Social Enterprise, my independent study course. I've learned and enjoyed this one the most of them all because I've truly been able to apply what I've learned and feel I've taken away a great deal of new knowledge. Saturday marks the start of my August course, Entrepreneurship, which should be a blast.
Soccer has been going great over the last week with team Yo Momma. We currently sit in the middle of the pack of the third tier league, but last Tuesday we strapped on the big boy pants and took down the only undefeated team in our league. O ya, and Jenny scored the game-winning goal off I throw in I had to her. You could tell she'd never scored before in her life, because her celebration was priceless. Then tonight we played a friendly against the #1 ranked team in the league above us, whom also was undefeated ... until tonight! We planned Brandy Chastain night where everyone, including the dudes, wore a sports bra in honor of the famous Brandy Chastain goal celebration. After our first goal of the evening, we all ran over to the sideline and de-shirted for a team picture, instant classic.
That game wrapped up a great week of celebrating, yes, everyday. I started last Sunday with a pinata for Jenny filled with candy and gifts. Each day of the week the pinata was refilled with tasty treats and new gifts. Everything from CDs/DVDs to clothes and books were enjoyed. Then her actual birthday came and Jenny started the morning off with muffins in bed followed by the gift of guitar lessons from Caden and Jack Johnson concert tickets from me, as you can see ... surpriseness came upon her!
Friday night the celebration continued downtown with some dancing and good fun. This was followed by a weekend trip to Atlanta with about ten folks for some fun at the mall, by the pool and the Braves game. It was great good fun at the game where the Braves won and Sara Evans came around afterwards for a free performance. We stayed the night up in Atlanta and had a relaxing day at Lenox Mall before coming back to C-Town.
Although this was a fun weekend, we're both looking forward to some time back home this weekend in Iowa. Can't wait for Rabbit's wedding and some time with family/friends. Hope everyone has a great week and all is well, catch you on the flip side.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2010 - Happy Belated Birthday Ma!

Hey there, hi there and hello there with a special happy birthday to my mom. Been saying that for 25 years now, that's crazy ... not all on a blog I suppose, but many renditions of the birthday song have occurred:) Also, a big congrats to cousin Chad and his wife Kristal on finding out they have a little one on the way. O yes, then another congratulations to Jenny's sister Kim and her husband Ryan on their first born ... what a busy week!!
It's been a couple weeks since the last blog, it's been one of those crazy times in life where work is full of craziness, school is gearing up for finals, soccer started up and volunteer work is in full swing. If I were to complain though, I don't think anyone would listen ... and heck, that's the way I like it anyways!! I think this picture of Caden somewhat represents how crazy it has been lately;)
Work has been full of 2011 business planning for the last few weeks and it came to a climax this last week with our final deliverable being turned in Thursday ... yahoo! O wait, now all the revisions are coming down the pipe. We turned in a couple project profiles that combines would save the company nearly $1,000,000 in their first year!!! My team did the competitor analysis, captured the customer desires, analyzed all of the cost benefits and put together a pretty compelling story in my eyes ... but my eyes don't make the decisions I guess, so keep your fingers crossed that they get accepted. Had some wonderful 1v1 sessions again this past week too,which is always the most rewarding part of the job. Just spending time with my team members to give them some feedback, listen to their thoughts and figure out ways we can improve ... lovin' some leadership!
School has been crazy busy as well with finals starting tomorrow eve. Bring on some Strategery ... yes, that's Strategery:) Wednesday I'm going to need some help as Finance has been kickin' my hiney over the last few weeks, but I'm confident I can at least pass. My favorite course though is this Social Enterprise gig. I've learned quite a bit in the hundreds of pages of casework I've read and already been able to apply it to my work with the not-for-profits I am a part of. I've got a big analysis due in a couple weeks, so after finals the work will continue on. In a few weeks I'll put an end to year number one at Emory and Entrepreneurship will start my final year of studies for the fall. Class on Tuesday and Thursday nights wouldn't be bad, but then add a full Saturday curriculum and this August could get a bit crazy!
Time outside of work and school has been great too! I had my first United Way Board of Directors meeting a week and a half ago where I was the youngest by about 10 or more years, but an enthusiastic bunch there was indeed. Truly the movers/shakers of the community, I just hope I'm able to make some sort of impact. It may have been accomplished as they asked me to take over the reigns of the volunteer outreach committee. My first meeting as chair was this past week and we shook things up a bit with a strategy session. Great ideas were had and more involvement from committee members is on the horizon, it's exciting indeed! Then we had our quarterly Literacy Alliance board meeting. Although not as well attended as I had hoped, we accomplished a good bit. It's always reassuring to hear the founders say how far we've come in the last couple of years, but hard work is on the road ahead with limited funding and board members being able to give less and less time. We'll keep on truckin' though!
Been spending some quality time with the lady and the pooch as well. Had a couple dates over the last couple weeks, one was to the Meritage where a wonderful meal was almost spoiled by me spilling/throwing water right in Jenny's lap. Fortunately, she's awesome and it didn't phase her too much ... I'm sure my face was a bit of a cherry shade. We've been playing some soccer together and even played the field at a softball tourney to benefit Easter Seals this past weekend. Today we dominated the yard and the 110 degree weather helped us lose about 5 pounds a piece, this weather is crazy.
Sounds like folks back home are having a bit more difficulty with Mother Nature, wishing everyone back home and especially in Manchester the best in their recovery from the torrential downpours. Also wishing Steph the best on her inaugural RAGBRAI ride across Iowa, what a studette! I need to get on calling some people back home, but until then ... I wish you all the best of weekends and weeks ahead!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11, 2010 - Sibling Reunion ... Classic

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all. Just hangin' with Jenny, Steph and Blake for a fun-filled weekend.
Aflac, although only about 3.5 days last week, felt like about 6 days worth of work. We're still in the midst of the business planning season and successfully had our first deliverable last week turned in with another due this week for all the projects we want for next year. It's crazy to think how much time, energy and high-pressure is spent spent planning for the next year when the day-to-day execution is just another day, maybe that's just backwards to me:) O yeah, then one of our VPs said we should pick up another system to be in charge of on the team, just have to take it with a smile on the face I suppose. This week I have my Tier II Precision Leadership Certification Presentation for the Sr VP and other execs ... fingers crossed!
Only a couple more weeks of class left and I am lovin' me some Social Enterprise, learning about fundraising, strategy and how to make organizations a bit better. I'm really looking forward to this getting these core courses done though so I can focus on some more fun classwork.
Best part of the weekend was not the 17 meetings in three days, or wonderful strategic management knowledge ... it was Blake and Steph making the voyage from Shueyville to Columbus for a week of fun in the sun! They came in Thursday night, hung out Friday morning before a visit to Dinglewood for a scrambledog ... mmm tasty. Afterwards, the siblings and I went down to the Riverwalk for an awesome bike ride and photo shoot in the rain. Saturday brought about another visit to the Flint River for a five mile excursion down in the kayaks/canoes with Pat. It was great good fun in the sun floatin' down the river with family and friends. The evening was another BYO beef and beverage with 10-15 good pals. Blake and I dominated some ping pong and we grilled a massive amount of meat with lots of friends. We also had some intense around the world ping pong for a good three straight hours, it was awesomee sweaty-ness.
Sunday Blake and I headed to Maple Ridge for a good nine holes of golf and let's just say that we stopped keeping score after the first hole ... ya, it was fun indeed to go off-roading for another photo-shoot. After some church, we hung out before our first soccer match of the season. I'm looking forward to a foursome of golf tomorrow morning before work too, should be fun.
Welp, it's time to play some cards with the visitors ... hope you all have a great night and a wonderful week.