Taking a break from the marketing talk…
I believe that when we leave a place, a part of it goes with us, and part of us remains. Go anywhere in these halls, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all of our conversations, every thought and word we’ve exchanged. Long after we are gone, our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit that the part of me that is going will very much miss the part of you that is staying.
– Citizen G’Kar, “Babylon 5″
Outside of brief travels (generally for business, occasionally for leisure), I have spent my entire life in the Midwest, from growing up in Chicago to briefly going to college in Wisconsin, finishing my education in Iowa and living there until spring 2010, and having set up shop in Madison, Wisconsin, since then. I had originally planned to be in the Capital City for a long, long time to come … but, as we know, sometimes life doesn’t always go as we plan.
Change comes to us all; sometimes we expect it, sometimes we don’t. And, in just a few short weeks, the next step of my journey begins.
I’m going to Baltimore.
I’m joining the Baltimore office of Atlanta-headquartered email service provider WhatCounts as a strategic account manager. I’ve known several members of the WhatCounts team for a few years, now, and top-to-bottom, they’re an excellent crew of smart, focused and creative professionals with an unparalleled dedication to customer service. I’m incredibly honored to be joining that team, and I look forward to learning from them.
However, even more importantly for right now, I have to thank Madison. Not just the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau and my amazing colleagues there, not just my family and friends here in town, but Madison itself, and everyone and everything that makes this an amazing place in which to live, work and play. I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into moving here, and I never imagined that I would call this city “home.” And yet now, leaving it is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
And so I thank you, Madison. Thank you for being such an amazing community, from the people to the scenery of the lakes to the vibrant arts to the farmers’ market to the restaurants to … well, you get the idea. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the team that tells your story 365 days a year.
The economic impact of tourism each year is staggering: Every convention and event here, no matter how large or small, brings temporary taxpayers to the destination, and those taxpayers sleep in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, drink at our bars, shop at our stores, and in general spend money here. In the massive engine that we call our economy, tourism isn’t just a spoke in a wheel, it’s a life-essential component — and I am supremely honored to have been a part of Greater Madison’s tourism effort for the past two years.
As the saying goes, as one door closes, another one opens. The next chapter of my life begins in just a few short weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited.
So long, Madison, and thanks for all the fish. We’ll meet again.