How Many Ways To Say Thank You? (Part I – Thanks)

Thanks - Flickr - vernhartMy entire life has been spent pouring every ounce of energy into every single thing I do – both personally and professionally. From applying to be the next Apprentice to running for School Board in Durham, NC to being the biggest Bronto advocate I could possibly be, I only know one way:

All In

Most recently, this “all in” attitude helped me to secure my role as Director of Community at Blue Sky Factory (BSF). However, there is absolutely no way on earth that I’d have had the guts or the confidence to pursue the BSF job if not for other people. As this blog is all about people, I thought it was appropriate that the first few posts be dedicated to thanking them.

Please note: I agonized over this first post. It was originally one mega post (>3k words). Thanks to some twitter advice, I opted to break my “thank you’s” into a series of  3 posts.

Part I focuses on people that I know (and have met) in real life. The list is in no way comprehensive and is in no particular order.

1. K-Dawg – For those that know me, K-Dawg is my wife … also known as Kristina or K. I met K in Rochester, NY (my hometown) at a bar Thanksgiving weekend, 2001. I’ve followed her through 4 years of Medical School and 4 years of Ob/Gyn Residency (UNC Chapel-Hill), and even decided to move to Salt Lake City with her as she embarks on the next chapter – a 3-year fellowship at the U of Utah in Maternal Fetal Medicine. K-Dawg, while nearly as competitive as I, does not enjoy the spotlight as I do. She doesn’t like to be the center of attention. However, Kristina is always the first to support me in any new (often whacky) endeavor that I choose to embark on. My new gig at Blue Sky Factory is no exception. K-Dawg is the best. Oh yeah, today (July 14th) is her 31st birthday. Thanks, K!

2. Maddy Hubbard – I’ve actually only met Maddy in person once. I’ve only spoken with her on the phone 2 or 3 times. However, my IM/Twitter relationship with Maddy is very powerful. Maddy is the kind of person you feel as though you’ve known your entire life. She’s an incredible listener, a confident woman, a wonderful mother/wife, and someone who I’d be honored to work with some day. I’ve confided in Maddy on many occasions in the past and hope that our paths will continue to cross well into the future. Thanks, Maddy!

3. Jason Baer – I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Jason as the co-chair of the eec/DMA Consumer Education Roundtable. We’ve met only once (Email Evolution Conference in Arizona, Feb ’09), but have had countless phone conversations and exchanged many tweets. Jason cares deeply about those around him and rarely passes up an opportunity to publicly recognize individuals for their work. An incredible individual himself, Jason is the kind of guy who you could ask a favor and he’d either help himself or connect you with the correct person. He also happens to write for one of my favorite blogs, Convince & Convert. Thanks, Jay!

4. Tamara Gielen – I first became “aware” of Tamara a few years ago as I was an avid reader of her blog, BeRelevant. I’ve followed Tamara (with business cards to prove it) through her time at eBay, the Email Marketers Club, Ogilivy, and now as she’s ventured into the scary/exciting path of entrepreneurship. Besides being one of the sharpest minds in the world of email marketing, Tamara is one of the friendliest (always smiling!) individuals I’ve ever met. Like Maddy, I’ve confided in Tamara on many occasions. She’s always been supportive, encouraging, and willing to lend a hand. One of the best! Thanks, Tamara!

5. Stephanie Miller – If you don’t know (or know of) Stephanie Miller, you are in the minority. Stephanie (aka “SAM”) is one of those unique individuals who knows just about everyone in the world; she’s a connector. If SAM is talking with a group of people and you approach her, she’ll stop, introduce everyone, and be the first to say not only what you do (professionally & personally), but also why you rock. SAM seems to create extra hours in the day and is always the first to volunteer to help out. She’s been integral in the process of helping me land my new role. I’m really looking forward to working with her even more in the coming years. Thanks, SAM!

6. Amy Garland – I first connected with Amy when we discovered our mutual, true love – Lost (of course). During the season, Amy is the first person I IM with on Thursday morning – recapping & dissecting the previous night’s show and predicting what will happen next. I’m sure Amy was not surprised when she learned I was joining the BSF team. As my “inside” into BSF before I even knew I may work there, Amy provided a glimpse of the culture that exists at Blue Sky Factory…one that is positively contagious. Thanks, Amy!

7. Greg Cangialosi – I have an entire future blog post dedicated to Greg (how I landed my new gig via Twitter), so I’ll save the real juice until then. Suffice to say, without Greg’s willingness to take a chance on me – creating a new role – I would not be BSF’s new Director of Community. Now…time to exceed expectations. Thanks, Greg!

8. Joe Colopy, Chaz Felix & the entire Bronto crew – Without being given the opportunity 4 years ago to jump back into the business world (I spent the previous 4 years teaching middle schoolers), I would never be in the position I’m in today. I’m truly grateful to Joe, Chaz and my good friends at Bronto for their support and for encouraging me to continue growing professionally. While not thrilled, they were gracious in seeing me off. I would have expected nothing less. Thanks, Bronto!

9. Stefan Pollard, Chad White, Loren McDonald, Dylan Boyd, Al Iverson, etc etc etc – This list could go on forever. These are just a handful of the many people in the email marketing ecosystem that I’ve learned so much from. Group hug. Thanks, all!

10. Mike Rundle – I’ve known Mike for the past few years. Bronto was fortunate enough to nab him. I know him as the dude who works barefoot, has 100 things going on at once (talks & types fast), designs cool/practical crap like Beak (a twitter client for Mac), and kicks my butt in foosball. However, what I also forget about Mike is that he is THE MAN. I’ve been meaning to buy him this shirt for some time now as Mike is kind of a big deal. If you don’t know Mike, it’s likely that you don’t own a Mac or have no connection to the design world. Oh yeah, speaking of big deals, Mike didn’t want me to make one…but he designed the site logo/header, sidebar logos, and helped me a ton with SEO. Thanks, Mike!

Stay tuned for Parts II & III.

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

DJ Waldow