When putting my thoughts together to compose this post, it was a challenge because it’s hard to find the words to describe how many of us feel about Tech Field Day. It’s not because we’re not thankful for TFD but more so because there are not enough ways to express your gratitude for a wonderful group of people that include Ben Gage, Benjamin Freedman, Claire Chaplais, Ken Nalbone, Mel Zura, Rich Stroffolino, Stephen Foskett, and Tom Hollingsworth.
Upon reflection and if memory serves me correctly, I reached out to a few community members including Ken Nalbone and Joe Houghes weeks before VMworld 2018 to find out more about TFD. I was relatively new to the community and wasn’t sure how to approach them. I was curious and wanted to get involved (and give back) but was on the fence because I wasn’t sure if I belonged or if I had earned enough street cred. Without hesitation, both provided the information I was looking for including the confidence and support to move forward with the application process. The rest is history and I’m forever thankful for your input!
My first Tech Field Day event was Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2018. Stephen and the entire TFD crew allowed me to feel like I was a part of something unique, like I belonged to an exclusive club which has an open door policy for all community members. I’ll be honest, I was scared out of my mind when the camera in the middle of the U shaped table would pan over in my direction. I started to question myself including my confidence level. I felt like a rookie baseball player at the plate in game 7 of the World Series in the bottom of the ninth inning down 2-1 with a runner on second with a 3-2 count and 2 outs! I won’t go as far as saying I broke the curse or I hit a home run out the park but with time, I slowly started to feel like I belonged thanks to being surrounded by my peers in the room and online.
What I have learned through the various Tech Field Days I’ve attended in person, watched live online or via on demand is that you invested in me including fellow delegates and I hope we’ve been able to provide the proper ROI. I’ve grown so much professionally and have learned what it’s like to observe, analyze, contribute in a constructive and meaningful way for everyone to benefit from which includes the sponsors, the speakers, their products and their approach when under the spotlight. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together and this tweet says it all (thanks for posting Chris). #RelationshipsMatter
Many thanks to the various sponsors throughout the years and moving forward. The relationships and friendships created will always be cherished. It’s my hope I can follow in the footsteps of others like Rick Vanover, Eric Wright, Andrew Miller, Max Mortillaro, Brandon Carroll, Becky Elliott, Kori Younger, Marina Ferreira, Phoummala Schmitt, Theresa Miller, Chris Porter, Chris Wahl, Emad Younis, Jon Hildebrand, and Ethan Banks to name a few. Some of you have moved onto to larger roles for various vendors while others took a chance on themselves but most importantly you’ve created a environment and culture that supports one another across various platforms and continue to cast a ray of hope that someday I’ll do the same for others. For those of you I didn’t mention by name, I assure you there’s no doubt in my mind you’ve had a positive impact on my career and life. Rest assured, you will always be appreciated! In the end, #KindnessMatters and I’m thankful for each and everyone one of you!
Additionally, thank you to each of the delegates that I now refer to as my tech family. You’ve been tremendous in your support and I will forever be thankful for it. If I can return the favor, please do not hesitate to ask.
And before I leave, please allow me to recommended the following posts from Stephen and Max Mortillaro that will provide you with a closer look at how it all started.