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Farewell 2016, You've Been a Good Year


Normally I wouldn’t do a review of the previous year, but I had some pretty big things happen professionally and personally in 2016. I’ll start with the personal items as the family wouldn’t let me live it down if i didn’t.

The Family Grew by One

My wife and I welcomed an addition to our family in April, Jack Charles came screaming into the world and hasn’t looked back. Parenthood has been an amazing experience and pushed me in ways I would’ve never thought. Out little guy is pretty awesome and I just want to do everything I can to give him the best life possible (as cliche as that sounds). I just wish he would let me sleep more, I’m hoping Jack is setting 2017 goals that include walking, talking and letting his parents sleep. I’m really looking forward to watching Jack grow in 2017 and the adventures he’ll be taking my wife and I on.

Baby Jack

I Completed my MBA

Getting a masters degree was always something I had thought about, and back in 2008 I decided I was ready to start working towards that goal. I studied and took the GMAT that year, life then happened and I delayed the start of my first class until 2010. I took a class or two the first couple years as I was trying to decide if this was something I really wanted to persue personally and financially.

Then in the fall of 2012, I decided I was going to take the plunge and make the full commitment to getting my MBA. It took until January of 2016, but I can now officially say I have a Masters degree.

There were times I questioned why I was doing all this school work will also holding down a full time job. But looking back, the process of getting my MBA will go down as one of the bigger highlights and proudest moments of my life.

MBA Graduation

If you have that the internal drive to get your MBA, I would encourage you to chase those dreams. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

Took New Role as Manager and Product Owner

With the completion of my MBA, a promotion came shortly after. This is something I’d been working towards for a few years, taking on more and more leadership roles within my team over that time. In March, I was finally promoted and assigned a couple developers and given the opportunity to hire a third. The team works on a set of applications that I helped build, I am now the product owner of those applications.

Over the course of the year I’ve helped the team transition to scrum and also implemented a number of operational improvements to help the developers improve their day to day output. The team is starting to click and with the addition of a tester, scrum master, and BA we are really starting to move through the backlog.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the job change, but I’ve really enjoyed the move to management and from early reports I’m doing pretty well. I still have a lot to learn but thankfully I have some of the most forgiving people working around me, they’ll laugh at my mistakes but are also willing to give me another chance.

I hope 2017 brings more improvements for our team and continued success.


I traveled a lot this year for work and MBA related reasons and got to see places I’ve never been to before.

For the last class of my MBA I traveled to Hong Kong and South China. The trip was amazing and the opportunity to meet executives and hear them speak to our MBA class was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I also met some amazing people and created some great new friendships from the Hong Kong trip. I was lucky enough to spend a few additional days in Hong Kong for work and spent time with some coworkers I’d never met. My Hong Kong coworkers made sure to show me the true parts of Hong Kong, which was an awesome treat.

Hong Kong Trip

I did a bit more traveling for work this year than I have in the past and got to see some new places. I took 2 trips to Alabama and knocked that state off my list. While in Alabama I enjoyed some good food and southern hospitality at our office down there. I got the chance to tour the Chicago Board of Trade while in Chicago, don’t skip the opportunity to experience the CBOT if you ever get the chance. I had the opportunity to travel to our companies bi-annual Global Sales Meeting in Orlanda where we got to hear Sugar Ray Leonard speak as well as our corporate executives. And finally spent some fun days and nights in Kansas City.

Sugar Ray and I

My wife took up a career in IT

The final highlight was not my own, but of seeing my wife make the career change into software testing. This is something she has talked about for a few years and had done quite a bit of research on. I was really happy and proud of her for taking the steps she did to make this dream come true. She’s only been doing the job for half a year but she seems to love the career change and seems happier when she’s at home (Happy Wife, Happy Life).

Here’s to hoping 2017 has just as many good quality highlights!

Written with StackEdit.

Tags: Personal and Reviews

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