Gone with the Wind

As a former Brit I was introduced to the south – as many are I suspect – by Scarlet O’Hara and all 1042 pages of Margaret Mitchell’s opus Gone with the Wind and to this day it is a perfect movie to find on TMC on a cold Indiana day! Just before we headed out to the airport I also discovered that my Dad had spent time in Charleston back on his 1960s road trips to Florida and the southern states and had great things to say about his trip including the immortal “it’s really old for America“!

Among the lessons learned for the 2012 conference in Boston was being organized enough to ship our materials ahead of time to the event so as we boarded our flight we were not burdened with last minute booth items! A personal lesson learned for 2014 in Denver is that if we plan to see and experience the host city we need to do so the day we arrive as once the conference starts and the events roll in it is hard to be a tourist.

mesc group photo sm

Our team were all on deck bright and early Sunday morning to build out the netlogx booth – last year was great but this year we rocked! The plan executed by Tina Smith was wonderful and despite the open bay doors of the convention center sharing the Charleston heat and humidity we had our set up ready to go by 12.30 – which was ideal because netlogx speaker number one – our own Nick Taylor – was up at 1PM to open with a session on security and as ever he set a high bar for our subsequent speakers.

In my own session, Tom DiMartino and I were eclipsed by Diane Walton who flawlessly dealt with her chair exiting the stage – thankfully alone – as she stood to close out the session on multi-vendor management. She claimed she was not a great speaker but with grace and humor she had an 8AM session laughing and listening to the practicalities of grant administration – it seems there really is no such thing as free money.

On the final day our quiet star Scott Van Dyke knocked it out of the park sharing the values of a PMO in supporting the ever increasing workload of state resources balanced against the decreased number of workers and the exiting of the experienced staff.

To wrap up my experience in Charleston it really comes down to having the right people around you and then allowing them to do what they do best. Teams are formed through hard times but also when we are placed in a different environment and so get to know each other just a little better. I am truly proud every day to be part of the netlogx team.