This week marks the end of Convio as a distinct company. This is a week of lasts. The last exec staff meeting on Monday, the last Donut/Bagel Tuesday, my last managers meeting on Wednesday, my last 1:1’s on Thursday, culminated with a Convio Closing Ceremonies party on Friday. It feels like graduation week did in high school, except nobody is signing my yearbook and there’s no cap and gown.
When I arrived here almost four years ago (time flies when you are in the best job you’ve ever had) Convio was a gawky teenager—through the start up angst, but not quite ready to be a grown up either. So I did what I do best from a professional standpoint, I helped it mature. The marketing team had a lot of talent already when I got here, but was a little short on process. It was particularly short on processes that could SCALE. And when you’re trying to grow, and grow fast, you have to get really good at lather, rinse, repeat. Enter me. I’m proud of our results, and I’m proud of my team.
The executive team at Convio is really something special. I’m sure everybody thinks that about the people they work with, but in 25 years of doing this I have to say this is the best TEAM I’ve ever worked with. Gene Austin did that, and for that I will be forever grateful. He hired good people, but he didn’t hire superstar ball hogs. He hired the best TEAM. And then he made them better, both as individuals and as team players. Kind of like the 1980 US Hockey team, but without the throwing up at practice. My peers have made this job extraordinary and I thank each and every one of them, particularly those who will leave us: Dave Hart, Jim Offerdahl and Vinay Bhagat. I will miss them and I will miss this team. I’m glad that most of my pals will be part of Blackbaud, although we won’t be sitting around the table together as much as we used to.
Monday marks the first day of a new era, and like a high school senior, I’m anxious, excited, and worried about all the stuff I don’t know. Which, when I think about it is pretty much like every job I’ve ever taken. And if history serves, the jobs I took where I was the most anxious, and feeling the most over my head have always turned out to be the best jobs. So I’m sure this will be no exception. I’m looking forward to all the great things we can do together with all of this combined talent. While competing with Blackbaud has at times been fun, I’m actually looking forward to putting all that competitive energy into something else.
This week is for saying goodbye and preparing to move on. Commencement, we called it in 12th grade. I always thought that was a funny word for the end. But now I realize it really is just the beginning.
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