Friends of Buckeye Interactive,
Year-End is a great time for reflection and planning for the upcoming new year. We ended 2020 still fully in the clutches of a pandemic. And for some, it doesn’t feel like a lot has changed in that regard by the end of 2021. I’m an eternal optimist, though I try to maintain some sense of perspective from those who have had different life experiences. I’m reminded frequently that my challenges in life are quite minor relative to those some face, and I’m grateful for the many blessings I enjoy in life.
My gratitude this year has to start first with my family who hasn’t deserted me despite excessive togetherness this year. We’ve been quite isolated from society until just recently. Our daughters (now 7 and 11) both became eligible and received their COVID vaccinations. My wife, Abbey, still loves me and puts up with me at home, which I imagine must be challenging. Our girls have been so patient through the pandemic while we sheltered them as much as we felt was necessary. We’re continuing to exercise great caution, but it’s been so heartwarming seeing the joy they get out of youth sports (soccer and softball), homeschooling, robotics, music (flute and piano), and trying out for the school play. Maintaining mental health and a sense of belonging are big challenges for young girls these days, and I’m fortunately blessed with a wife who supports our family emotionally like none other and with two amazingly empathetic and loving children. I’m grateful this year for patience through the pandemic, for my family’s eternal care for each other, and for the miracles of medical science.
My team at work has been incredible this year. I want to share with you my appreciation for all of their hard work and dedication.
As an employer, I struggle daily with balancing the needs of our team with the needs of clients. I’m so proud of what we’ve built together and the great work we’ve done. The scale and quality of our work wouldn’t be possible without such an amazing team. They’ve stepped up to many challenges and have found ways to be highly productive under new remote work conditions. The personal growth the team has experienced this past year has been a delight to watch. It has included marriages, new pets, Taylor and her husband bringing a new Buckeye Baby into the world, and more. I know everyone is facing their own personal challenges outside work, but we’ve found camaraderie and fulfillment in our mission to amplify the impact of growing, innovative businesses and organizations. We continue to identify new ways to help clients innovate and grow. I am so grateful for the ongoing commitment our team makes to our mission.
With that said, we’ve had our share of setbacks and challenges as a team. We saw several team members move on to great new opportunities in product-focused roles with new leadership responsibilities. It’s always bittersweet losing someone from our team, but I’m proud of the growth those team members have seen. And it’s nice seeing them when they attend my TIGER Talk, refer us clients, or just check in to see how we’re doing.
Our clients this year have grown dramatically in multiple ways.
We have more web application development projects this year than in past years. This indicates to me that our clients’ needs are evolving with the state of the world. Our clients are taking on bigger challenges, adding employees to their teams, and trying new growth strategies. Not every potential client or project is the right fit for our team. This makes me so grateful to have found a set of clients who want to innovate and grow with us. From our work helping Opportunity Port bring greater equity in the justice involved community to continuing to grow the impact of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and to supporting Easton Town Center in a challenging time for retail, we have a lot of really amazing clients. I appreciate all of your continued trust in our team. I look forward to what great work we can do together in 2022 and beyond!
This year I’ve added two new board positions where I’m working to help bring an entrepreneurial tech perspective and a passion for solving community challenges. Through Can’t Stop Columbus as a project lead and organizer, I was fortunate to work on VaccinateOH and voter information initiatives. I also joined the City Year Columbus board, and I hope to bring new technology to our board meetings to support engagement. Everyone needs a good geek on their board, right? I’ve been very fortunate over the years to receive great advice and support from my community. I’m glad to give back some of my time and talent to great causes.
In the coming year, I hope you will stay in touch with our team and me.
There are plenty of pandemic and other challenges still to be addressed. Total solutions and a “return to normal” may not be within reach, but between our team and family and yours, I look forward to doing great work together. Let the new year bring new opportunities to show our love and care for one another as a community.