Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life is good ... Happy Holidays - 11/26/11

Hey there, hi there and a longtime hello there. It's been a while since the last blog, a good few months I suppose. Not like I had anything going on at the time, except for that whole graduating Emory, work, volunteering and o ya, that wedding:) So, since I have a little free time now, thought I would reconnect with all the good people out there! I suppose I should probably go in chronological order and give you the read

ers digest plus some pictures and videos for your viewing pleasure.

This past August, I took my final exam (and passed thankfully), to graduate from Emory University with my Masters in Business Administration. In all, 54,312 miles to and from Emory, 648 hours in class, an amazing education across 2 continents and unforgettable friends - the Emory MBA is finally done! Funny news though, after a few months sitting on the couch, I decided to go after the next best thing ... my doctorate. Just this week I got the call that I was accepted into Creighton University's Interdisciplinary Education Doctorate in Leadership (they need an acronym) as I begin my journey to become a university professor. I start in January, and in just three short years, I will have my doctorate and be ready to operate … ok, maybe teach!

The Duck has been crazy good as well in my new role managing our Process Innovation and Control team.Our team is absolutely amazing and because of the hard work, we’ve continued to prove our value and grow our team. This afforded me a great opportunity to hire a few more people, a process I hadn’t gotten to go through in a few years, so it was funJ We have our 3rd Ann
ual Chili/Bake Off coming up as well as our 3rd Annual Canned Food Drive combined with our team service activity at the local shelter, a team full of servant leaders indeed! Additionally, Aflac afforded me a great opportunity to go through Emergenetics ( training this past Spring. It’s a great team tool that identifies your true thought and behavioral preferences creating the most comprehensive self assessment tool I’ve taken part of.After certification, I was able to be a trainer for a week and led a training class for over 100 analysts at Aflac which was an amazing experience indeed! I hope to use these skills as I progress throughout the career to consult organizations and provide them tools to help build successful teams.
The volunteer front has beenfun as well with continued work at the Literacy Alliance, Young Professionals and United Way. My two year term as Chair of the Literacy Alliance is coming to an end, so we’re pulling out all of the stops applying for grants, meeting with the Mayor to secure funding and building relationships to try and continue our amazingly impactful programs. If this video doesn’t make you want to give your time, talents and treasuresto support literacy, I don’t know what would ( Young Professionals has been fun as well focusing on getting our YPs engaged in the community. They recently asked that I be the VP of Membership to help drive new members and retention efforts which will be exciting indeed. United Way has been good times as well as we wrapped up a successful campaign for 2010/11 and jump started a great effort for this year. One of the main focus areas I recommended along with other board members is to continually engage in volunteer events for the community and the youth, which has turned into a great opportunity for our United Way to start up the Live United Youth Council. We have 15 high school students that have come together to Give, Advocate and Volunteer for local agencies. They have been learning about community needs, volunteering at a local shelter and will soon start FUNdraising efforts to raise money that they get to allocate to a local agency … it’s a great movement to truly engage our youth in the community!
And now for some randomness as well ... back in August I had the great pleasure of being asked to be in a wedding for a great pal of mine, Stefan D back in Iowa which was a blast indeed:) After that, Steph and Dad made an adventure out of it as we went to see the sacred Butter Cow at the Iowa State Fair and yes, I did eat fried butter as my heart stopped twice:) In honor of trying to lose those calories, Jenny decided that we would also run a marathon before we got married. It was great pre-marriage counseling, spending hours and miles upon end just running ... and running some more. October 16 marked my first, and last, marathon in Chattanooga, TN on a brisk morning where yes, we did get beat by a 70 year old:) Also, I have been very fortunate over the last few years to have the opportunities at Aflac and in the community, and thanks to my wife Jenny for nominating me, I was honored to be selected as one of Columbus and the Valley’s Top 5 Under 40 for 2011 ( Additionally, I have tried to stay engaged at the ol’ alma mater every time I come back and through SIFE, and a big thanks to one of my mentors for nominating me for the Mount Mercy Alumni Certificate of Merit Award (
O yes, I saved the best for last. It was between about 55 degrees and perfect on October 29, 2011 when Jenny and I got married a few weeks ago. Jenny was indeed a beautiful bride, and we can’t say thank you enough to all of the family and friends that helped make the day so memorable, from the early morning sky dive ( to the day full of fun that ensued, it was everything we wanted it to beJ Since pictures can tell a better story than words, check out what our amazing photographer put together for the day, capturing every moment wondermously (

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