Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010 - China, here we come!

Hey there, hi there and a belated hello there. Guess I can blame wonderful visitors for my delayed blog from last weekend. It's been a pretty awesome last couple of weeks and the next couple are going to be even more memorable I do believe:)
Aflac has been pretty fast paced, as usual I suppose, the last couple of weeks. We said our final farewell to our pal Alicia as her promotion took effect about a week ago. It was bittersweet to see her go, we'll miss her but this is a great opportunity for her to advance her career ... wishing you the best Alicia! It's pretty impressive to note that less than a handful of people are getting promotions nowadays and one of our own made the cut. Business is quite hectic as well as we begin to prepare for 2011 project planning, I know ... only eight months early:) We've been fighting through some issues with our online services, but great collaboration and lots of customer calls helped us pull through. O yes, we also had a great team building activity this past Friday with our new future state PIC team partners. Helping out at Valley Rescue Mission with some yard work was a blast and a great way for us to get outside the walls to have some fun!
Today marked my last activities for semester number two at Emory. Wednesday I completed my last final, Financial Accounting ... how exhilarating ... not! It is done though, as well as Marketing and today we finalized our group work. It was actually a pretty interesting semester with a great group to do projects with. Now, Jenny, Meg, Jason, myself and 30 other MBA students are getting ready to converge on China for a week long international study program. We're heading out a couple days early to go see Beijing's Great Wall and other sites before making our way to Shanghai for class and the World Expo. Much more to come, probably a video at least:)
Jenny and I also had an extended weekend last week with some great visitors. Dad and Steph flew down for a very relaxing weekend full of food and fun. We started the festivities out with a glorious bike ride on the Riverwalk and a visit to the National Infantry Museum. Then we joined some of my pals at the Civic Center for the Columbus Lions indoor football game. After church on Sunday, lots of ping pong was played as well as more food consumed! Caden got a lot of attention with numerous walks and playing fetch time. After a viewing of Avatar on Sunday night, we spent a good bit of Monday at the park playing catch and fetch with the pooch. It was great good fun to have them down here, but I'm pretty sure I put on about 10 pounds. Thanks guys for a great weekend and magnificent memories.
Earlier this week I felt very humbled to be honored at the Annual Tri-Community Director of Volunteer Services luncheon with their Community Member Volunteer award. It was a huge surprise as both the Literacy Alliance and the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley nominated me of which I was selected ... what a great honor. Also, this past weekend marked the six month reunion with the students from the Live United Youth Camp. We had seven of the students come back out and they each brought a parent and a friend to "pay it forward." We went out to a local food shelter to help pack boxes for those families in need. In a matter of three hours, our group put together 360 boxes, each with 50 lbs. of food ... that's 18,000 lbs. of food packed for families throughout the region. What an amazing feeling and a great time was had with the students. They all shared their stories of giving back and it was inspirational to hear all that they had done in just six months, I can't wait for the 2nd annual event this October;)
Last night we revamped the Aflac SIFE social interchange event at our buddy Bob's house out in Upatoi ... almost as small as Shueyville! We hadn't all gotten together for a while, so it was good to catch up with everyone to see how things have been, pretty awesome group of friends I must say.
Welp, I think I've about exhausted my typing fingers trying to fit two weeks in here ... but hope you enjoyed. I'll be taking another sabbatical her for a couple weeks as we venture to China. I wish you all the best, and Blake, don't forget to work on your golf game before you come down here because I don't want to have to show you up:)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010 - Happy birthday bro

Hey there, hi there and happy birthday there to you Blaker. Hope turning the big 1-3 was all you were hoping for!
The past week at work seemed like it might be the calm before the storm because everything went pretty darn smoothly with no true madness. Best part of the week though came Tuesday whilst I was out of work. I got the call up at SIFE Regionals in Atlanta from one of my team members that she got the call ... a big ol' promotion from a specialist to an analyst in the financial department! It was a bitter-sweet conversation knowing that she would be leaving the team, but at the same time understanding that this is what she has been working so hard for ... very well deserved. It'll be hard this week saying farewell during her final days on the PIC team, but Alicia will only be a phone call and lunch away!We had some big assignment come down the pipe for the team for us to help determine how to better serve our new customers. Then towards the end of the week I was able to do the favorite part of my job, my 1v1 time with the team members to go over their personal/professional goals. It's pretty amazing to see the growth of people month over month and year over year. I even have one gentleman on the squad chairing up a committee for a local non-profit that started out of our goal sessions. Those are the times that are truly reassuring as to why I'm where I am.
It's coming down to the wire for the second semester at Emory. With my final Financial Accounting and Marketing Management courses taking place this week, cases all finished up this weekend and finals next week ... what a whirlwind! I think I have found my opportunity to leave my mark on Emory as well through Social Enterprise. There is a group of full-time MBA students that have a club focused on giving back to the community and outside the country through social enterprise endeavors and mission trips ... so we met up with the professor. We don't have anything like that in the Evening MBA, so we asked what it would take ... apparently I took the lead on it and have about 10 folks that are going to meet with the professor to talk about the opportunities. My goal would be to get a class going, maybe some club representation and the ultimate goal is to get a group of EvMBA students to go on a international service trip to use our business skills to help those in need. Our meeting is set for next week, so I'm sure there will be plenty more to come:)
The Literacy Alliance has our monthly exec board meeting tomorrow which will be exciting because we've made some great progress with funding and projects. We've already met one of my financial goals for the year soliciting a $5K corporate sponsor, now we just need to put together some grants and finalize some new programs. We're looking at innovative ways of engaging local parents in reading with their children because many students are lost before they even get to the classroom.
This week also posted my first experience on the other side of the SIFE presentation table as a judge for the Regionals up in Atlanta. It was an amazing experience to be around that student energy as they work hard to change the world one project at a time. I came back jazzed up and even more excited to learn that on Thursday, my alma mater, MMC SIFE, posted their 12th Regional championship and bid to Nationals in Minnesota next month. They are such an inspiration and I can't wait to one day truly reconnect. For the time being I am trying to savor the SIFE flavor by helping start a local team at Columbus State University. A few of us met with their leadership team on Friday and they wer e amazing. I expect great things from them as they are truly organized and driven to make a difference in the community ... hopefully us SIFE alums can help!
Friday marked some celebrations for our buddy Eric Runci moving into his house on Sesame Streeet ... yup, I called and sang, "Can you tell me how to get ... how to get to Sesame Street:)?" This weekend was also full of 80 degree sunshine, sun burns to include iPod holder tan lines and a trip downtown for the Frogtown Hollow Bluegrass Jam down by the Riverwalk ... yup, that's the real name. You can't beat good times with friends and some live music, what a great weekend.
Welp, Jenny, Caden and I are getting geared up for some visitors this week. Can't wait till you get down here Dad and Steph, it's going to be great to see you and hang out ... good times will be had indeed:) Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010 - Hoppy Easter:)

Hey there, hi there and hello there to one and all ... o yes, and Hoppy Easter to everyone. I know it's been a couple weeks and I have to admit, it's the amazing weather that kept me away from the computer ... can't beat 75-80 degrees:) Hoppy Birthday to Carolyn Klein, Jeff Glau and to my bro Blake ... coming up on the teenage years!

So the Duck has been pretty interesting over the last couple of weeks. Countless meetings and spreadsheets have helped me realize how much work our team truly does do in a work week. I've had to prove the value of our folks and list out the things we do in about six different ways over the last couple of weeks, which has been pretty time consuming. On the other hand, I've got to be a part of a lot of great future state activities which has been a blast ... that's what the job is all about:) Since we're on a budget, we've also got pretty creative with all of the birthday celebrations lately at work which has been quite fun. Planning for Employee Appreciation Week has also begun and Project Seahorse is on the books ... since it's top secret I'll have to wait and tell you about it later;)

Emory has been pretty wonderful as well, with only two weeks left before finals it's pretty amazing to think about where the time has gone. China is only about 4 weeks away now too, Jenny, Jason, Meg and I are getting pretty excited for some travel and study time ... welp, guess I'll be the only one with study time. I signed up for my fall courses as well: Entrepreneurship, Negotiations and Operations Strategy ... should be a great fall!

This past weekend has been great times as well with an extra day thanks to the big guy;) Friday was full of spring cleaning and lawn mowing. Then Friday night I joined a bunch of pals for the 3rd Annual Relay for Life Softball tourney. Our team got together for a scrimmage on Sunday and let's just say that we got waxed. It didn't get too much better after our first game when we were fifteen run ruled after the fifth inning. Then, it was time for us to play the team we scrimmaged on Sunday ... let's just say, the oddsmakers in Vegas didn't give us much of a chance. But, we didn't listen ... and we won. Don't ask me how we did it, but it came down to the last inning and we were up one run and closed it out on a pop fly. Thing is, we were so amazed that we won that none of us had thought about playing the next day so we had all made plans for Saturday and ended up having to forfeit to the team we beat ... hilarious.

Jenny and I were able to hang out all day Saturday and made our way to one of her workmates's homes for an Easter egg hunt. Then it was off to Country's, yup BBQ, for our Easter dinner:) Today was early church followed by some homemade chicken tenders delivered to Jenny at work ... I think some brownie points may have been scored. Then it was on to dominating the yardwork as I spent some quality time with Caden gittin' ir done with three trips to Lowes!

It's been a great Easter day indeed. Jenny and I had some delish Girl Scout cookies and some wonderful Easter cards from family back home ... thank you all so much for thinking of us over the holiday, miss you all.

Until next time, have a great week.