Back at the beginning of July, when GPUG Director Kim Peterson wrote to tell me that I’d been nominated, I was… startled. Yes, I’d been pretty active (read: noisy) on the GPUG Forum. But, as I wrote to Kim,
I don’t know what to say. Everyone in the Accounting Department here is happy for me, while the developers want video of me on-stage in Reno fielding questions for which I don’t know the answers!
I look at the list of past honorees and I feel unqualified-to-the-max. I mean, these are people who give presentations on GP topics that I want to see… and some of them have written the books I use every day. I’m not on that plane by any stretch.
I wrote to my boss after I’d been nominated, too:
Hey, wait a second! I know maybe this much about it! And [they’re] going to put me in the same group as these other folks who’ve been working at it for years? Eek!
After 4+ days at the Summit in Reno, I sat down at one of the tables near the stage along with past All Star award winners, Dynamics GP MVP’s, and all of the nominees for this year’s award. Next to me sat All Star nominee Frank Heslin from ExamWorks in Georgia. Frank has become a friend over the past year and I was thinking, “Man! Frank’s got this nailed. I can hoot and holler when he’s named ‘All Star’!”
Kim Peterson presented the first All Star award to David Musgrave, creator of the Support Debugging Tool and GP Power Tools. An entirely logical and popular choice for the All Star award. He’s the man who de-mystified the arcane inner workings of GP for years as a Microsoft employee, and since last year as an independent consultant. I’m very happy that my company bought a license for his product.
Then Kim began speaking about the next winner, and I knew she was talking about me. She said, “About a year ago I called him and said, ‘Who are you?’“ I felt very light-headed. I think I was having an out-of-body experience. I knew that being named an All Star was the result of a vote of the GPUG members; but holy cow! (That’s, like, an expression we have here in Wisconsin, eh?) They voted for me!
So I found myself climbing the steps to the stage with my ears ringing from the applause. Actually being on-stage doesn’t faze me much. I’ve been a group President for several organizations; I’ve acted in a dozen plays; and I was in radio for half-a-dozen years (WMKC and WOSH/WYTL in Oshkosh, WI); so public speaking (read: making a fool of myself in public!) isn’t a problem. But I’ve never been in front of an audience that was nigh unto a thousand people!
I sit here now thinking of the path that led to Reno and the All Star award: becoming the “accidental” GP Administrator for WOW Logistics in January, 2014… Management Reporter newbie… getting comfortable with Receivables Management, Report Writer, Excel refreshable workbooks… starting to go to Wisconsin Chapter meetings and meeting all the great people there, like GPUG All Star Michelle Kocher... buying books by Richard Whaley, Mark Polino, Leslie Vail, Jan Harrigan… talking by phone with Derek Krebs, Mariano Gomez, Leslie Vail, Kim Peterson... logging onto GPUG Collaborate to start asking questions… eventually starting to answer questions… and re-discovering that I really like online forums, going back to bulletin boards in the late 80s and CompuServe in the 90s... definitely pre-Internet.
All of this because I was thrown into the deep end of the pool at work and had to stretch myself to grok Management Reporter to satisfy our Excel-happy CFO’s requests.
Now I find myself in the company of some very, very bright people. And I’m there because of the GPUG members on Collaborate. I hope that I can keep up!
Thank you GPUG members, one and all. That was one heck of a birthday present!
Sincerely and respectfully,
newly-minted GPUG All Star
VP for Communications, Wisconsin GPUG Chapter
WOW Logistics Company
I’m a Jeep Hugger! Get it? GPUGger… oh, never mind! Weak, I know!