2019 Year in Review

2019 has been a wild ride that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I’m blessed to have my family, friends, the vCommunity and most importantly my faith and health on my side. The list of accomplishments and friendships created including places I’ve visited are simply incredible. As I reflect on 2019 and look ahead to 2020, I have so many people, organizations, tech advocacy\influencer groups and so many more to thank for supporting my efforts!

In the event I have neglected to mention someone, a group or company by name, please accept my sincere apology and know that I will be forever thankful for everything you’ve done for me and the entire #vCommunity.

The year started with a bang! My goal was to become more involved in the tech community including tech advocacy groups like Veeam Vanguard, Nutanix Technology Champions, Cisco Champions and the VMware vExpert Program. Thank you to everyone involved for accepting me into your respective group but more so for allowing me to become a part of your tech family. Additionally, thank you to each of the members in each group for your friendship and kindness. 

Professional accomplishments included passing the Nutanix NCP 5.5 certification exam, the VMware VCP-NV2019 exampresenting with fellow Veeam Vanguards at VeeamON, the Dallas UserCon and receiving the VMUG President’s Award at VMworld.

Additionally, I’ve traveled a ton this year (more than I can ever imagine) which includes the VeeamON conference, the Veeam Vanguard Summit in Prague, the VMUG Leader SummitTech Field Day events which included Cisco Live EuropeIntel Data-Centric Innovation Day, Cloud Field Day 5, and Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2019

Thank you Tech Field Day for connecting me to so many wonderful organizations and people throughout the various TFD events I’ve been blessed to attend. Furthermore, you’ve provided me with a wonderful opportunity to write for SolarWinds which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and I’m eager to take on new assignments as needed. Thank you Mel Zura for your friendship, support and for also introducing me to Leon Adato and Josh Biggley from the Technically Religious Podcast.

Thank you Stephen Foskett, Tom Hollingsworth, Ben Gage, Claire Chaplais, Ken Nalbone, Mel Zura, Tiffany Lardomita, Alissa Nivens, and Rich Stroffolino for providing such a wonderful platform for so many including myself but more importantly for your friendship. I’d also like to thank the various companies that have sponsored the TFD events I’ve been blessed to attend and they include (in no particular order) Cisco, Avi Networks, Forward Networks, Intel, Cohesity, Datrium, Juniper Networks, NGINX, Pure Storage, Rubrik, Sysdig, VMware, Veeam, Apstra, NetApp, and Virtual Instruments.

Thank you Melissa Palmer, Victor Wu, Rohan Naggi, Nick Marshall, Paul Cunningham and many others for supporting DC VMUG by donating your books to our MyVMUG events. Also, thank you VMware NSX and Crystal Lowe from Spousetivities for donating swag that was used as giveaways at DC VMUG events. A special thank you to Rohan and Victor for going the extra mile and donating their respective books (see below) to Emerald Cove Middle School towards the IT program my cousin Salam Shuhaiber teaches without asking for anything in return.

Thank you Nick Horton, Joe DePasquale, Scott Lowe, Michael Merritt, Nick ScuolaAriel Sanchez Mora, Kat Nelson Troyer, John Mark Troyer, Liz Bronson, Yadin Porter de Leon, Nate Hudson, Jad El-Zein, Tim Davis, Matt Crape, Michael Stanclift, Heath Johnson, Jeff Goodall, Jorge Torres, Azarya Shaulov, Tommy Berry, Matt Callaway, Brad Tompkins, Caitlin Allison, Prabhu Barathi, Rohan Naggi, Luigi Danakos, Britton Johnson, Tony Reeves, Jason Shiplett, Joe Houghes, Eric Wright, Angelo Luciano, Nick Korte, John White, Johnny Elzein, Julie O’Brien, Adil Elhajiz, Craig Waters, Jon Hildebrand, Chris Colotti, Theresa Miller, Chestin Hay, Val Carvalho, Jonathan Frappier, Keith Townsend, Matt Langguth, Brian Graf, Pat Gelsinger, Sanjay Poonen, Kit Colbert, Niran Even-chen, Anton Gostov, Danny Allan, Dheeraj Pandey, Elaine Morris, Michael Cade, Anthony Spiteri, David Hill, Jim JonesStan Markov, Clint Wyckoff, Jason Mashak, and Ched Smokovic for believing in me. We’re almost there but I’m not about to give up anytime soon!

On a personal side, I’ve shared my experiences in my professional career. This post means the world to me and my hope is that it sheds light on a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Thank you Cody De Arkland, Eric Lee, Michael Stanclift , Craig Dalrymple, and Christian Reilly for sharing your experiences as well. Additional credit goes to Britton Johnson and Tony Reeves from the Gigacast podcast, Ethan Banks, Drew Conry-Murray and Chris Wahl from the Packet Pushers – Datanauts podcast. And while we’re on the topic of podcasts, thank you Pete Flecha and John Nicholson from Virtually Speaking Podcast and Leon Adato and Josh Biggley from the Technically Religious Podcast for allowing me to join you on your respective shows. Additionally, thank you Eric Wright, Angelo Luciani, and Melissa Palmer for allowing me to join you on the Virtual Design Master Hackathon.

Thank you Dan BelmonteMax Mortillaro, Tim Davis, Wences Michel and Jason Shiplett for taking time out of your day while I was visiting your respective cities (Barcelona, Prague, and Dallas Fort Worth) to give me a personal tour but more importantly sharing your knowledge with me. Anytime you’re in the DC area, please do not hesitate to let me know so I can return the favor.

Thank you MyVMUG, VMware, Dallas Fort-Worth VMUG, Rick Vanover, Kirsten StonerNikola Pejková, Aubrey GalenChelsea Curtis, Breana Jordan, Lauren M Friedman, Eric L Nielsen, Kripa SitaramanJenni Gonzales, and Corey Romero for coordinating the various community events throughout the US and abroad which I’ve been a part of (Angelo – I still owe you a .NEXT  and I promise to make it up in 2020). 

Thank you Nico Stein, Mammo Tesfaye, and Mary Frances Mondo for holding down the fort at DC VMUG while I’ve been away and for also doing a wonderful job supporting the vCommunity. We’ve hosted 5 events in 2019 and none of it is possible without you and our wonderful sponsors (NTT Communications, Cohesity, Datrium, Fornetix and MyVMUG), members, speakers and the great staff at the VMware Reston Office. As we look ahead to 2020 and if you’re interested in sponsoring a DC VMUG event, please reach out to Nico, Mammo, Mary Frances or me.

What’s in store for 2020? I’m going to reach for the stars but along the way, I’m happy to help anyone reach their goals as well. As I’ve stated before, I want to give back in the same manner in which I received. On a professional level, I have my sights set on passing the VMCE exam, the AWS CSA – Associate exam, blogging with technical content, supporting the #vCommunity, and last but not least…. (well, let’s keep this a secret for now but most of you are aware of my professional aspirations).

To my friend, supporter and awesome human being Angelo Luciani – we’ll need to update the following for 2020!

Screen Shot 2019-07-27 at 6.54.55 PMGod bless you all for the contributions towards a successful 2019 and best wishes for healthy and prosperous 2020!

One final note and if you’re in the DC area, you know how much I love The Junkies. To everyone on the show, thanks for your support and for providing a way to release Monday thru Friday! #LoveTheJunks #LaughterIsTheBestMedicine


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