My favorite tradition on SlopeFillers, hands down, is the post you’re reading right now.
Within a few months of starting this project back in 2010, it didn’t take a deep dive into Google Analytics to figure out why it was growing so quickly. SlopeFillers succeeded because of the support from lots of really generous, patient, good people.
People like you.
So, the following year – 2011 – I started the first Thanksgiving shout out. I didn’t want to just vaguely give thanks, but tell specific people how much I appreciated them and why, all in a public format so everyone could know how awesome they are.
And so, today, I’m continuing the tradition. The names on past lists are just as relevant as those I’ll share today, so let’s start with a recap.
Eric Hoffman, Christian Knapp, Corey Ryan, Dave Amirault, Kim (my wife), Jon Slaughter, Evan Reece, Doug Holton, Brian Rodine, The Utah Joes (Johnson & Myers)
Missy W Larsen, Milena Regos, Shawn Alain, Thomas Prindle, Ben Zeeb, Kim Blanchard, Ryan Blanchard, Alex Kaufman, Troy Thompson, Davy Ratchford, and everyone who drinks (the ski industry).
Callie Blanchard, Shawn Gallagher, Mark While, Steve Pope, Krista Parry, Paul Allen, Corey Ryan, Kory Samson, Dave Gibson, Kim Blanchard.
The Origin Crew, My Parents (Paul & Kim), Halley O’Brien, Brad Larsen, Patrick Sande, Jason Dyer, Chandler Burgess, Greg Kwasnik, Mary Jo Tarallo, Kim & Callie, James Keddington, Rob Megnin, Bruce Rosard.
Steve Wright, Mike Swanson & Jackie Megnin, Sam Blanchard, Rick Kahl, Jamie Ippolito, Patrick Crawford, Trevor Crist, Kurt Gellert, Jeremy Davis, Chris Bradford<
Now, the 2016 list.
1) Kim Blanchard
I can’t start any list about gratitude without her. Kim is awesome. When society said it would be a waste to “just be a mom” after she got her masters (in molecular biology, by the way), she did what she’s wanted to do for years: stay at home and raise two awesome kids. Her support of me and my job and the unknown ahead is unwavering.
2) Larry Bird
I’m not the most naturally talented marketer in the world, so knowing that a slow white guy that couldn’t jump could be MVP in a league with Magic and MJ is a boost to my morale. It’s why I wear The Larries when I speak, because I’m genuinely nervous and it’s heartening to be reminded of another guy out there who wasn’t as naturally gifted as others but found success with hard work and creativity.
3) Craig Deluca
This transition with Inntopia has been an exciting one, but very much a learning experience for me. The biggest company I’d ever worked for as a marketer was Ryan Solutions when I was employee #9 (previous companies were 6, 7, and 2). Suddenly I was part of a 60+ person organization with big goals. Craig’s (Inntopia president) patience with me as I learned the nuances of a this larger, more complex organization has been incredible and his trust in my abilities deeply appreciated.
4) Pascale Savard
Speaking of which, Pascale (also with Inntopia) has been extremely patient as I learn how to delegate things I’m so used to tackling on my own. When others would be frustrated or annoyed, she’s been understanding and complimentary. It’s tricky to know what to pass off and what to keep on your plate when deadlines are tight and roles fuzzy, but her patience has made all the difference in the world.
5) Trevor Crist
Last Inntopia one, I promise :) (but can you tell what’s on my mind?). I’ve included him in a previous list, but Trevor’s been someone whose friendship and support I’ve been extremely appreciative of over the years. Now, as my boss, that’s only increased. My brain likes to wrap itself around a problem as much as problem before I dig in, and with deadlines looming, Trevor’s patience and time taken to help me do just that with so much changing and so many moving pieces has taken multiple layers of stress off my shoulders so I could focus on what matters and have confidence in this transition.
6) Richard Elwood
Richard is my father-in-law and a calming example in a society drunk on the idea of changing the world. Instead of chasing the top, he’s stuck with a good job for years, paid off his home, raised an incredible family, and never missed a basketball game or soccer match or chance to help someone out along the way. Talk about changing the world, you look at the quality of his family versus the discord caused by prominent people who supposedly have “changed the world” and I tend to think he’s made a more positive impact than they have.
7) Paul Allen
Not that Paul Allen, but another talented man by the same name was doing quite a bit in the internet marketing space in the early 2000’s. One day I stumbled upon a video of him talking about the nuances of online marketing and something clicked. The excitement and creativity he brought to analytics and optimization got my imagination going and before I knew it my career path was set. I appreciate Paul not just for being excited about his work, but sharing that at a time when sharing wasn’t yet a best practice or content strategy.
8) Dr John Goshert
I’d always enjoyed writing to some degree, but also felt handcuffed by the things I was asked to write during school. One day Dr Goshert asked us, one at a time with the whole class listening, what we would write an upcoming research paper about. Still lost in the thoughts of a recent friends’ suicide, I said “the link between suicide and violent video games.” He stopped, thought for a moment and said, “Hmmm, that’d be a tricky one…” and I braced for some suggestion to rethink my ideas. Instead, he sincerely continued, “…I can’t wait to see what you find.” Talk about life-moments, that one for me began to change writing from a chore to an exploration of new thing and a way to figure out complex topics. Now 700,000+ words of such writing later, I am extremely grateful for Dr Goshert’s belief in his students.
9) Rob Webb
A while back Rob approached me about a piece that ended up being this analysis of how resort marketers can be a force for good against climate change. First and foremost, I appreciate people like Rob that wear their belief on their sleeve and sacrifice to further important causes. But I also appreciate Rob’s patience with me as we worked to find the right words for a very sticky subject. I think the end results came together beautifully, but I was more heavy handed than usual as an editor and Rob’s patience to volley ideas and key points back and forth was key. Thanks Rob and everyone at Liftopia and POW for your belief in what you do and efforts to make a difference.
10) Josh Arneson
Every year I try to do one volunteer design or web-development project for a ski area or initiative or whatever that I really believe in and has a simple need I can assist with. I know I’m not a professional, but I appreciate those who understand my motives and give me the chance to give back. Josh is one of those people. A really good marketer doing some really impressive things, Josh also was willing to let me help out with a small project this year for which I am extremely grateful.
Again, there are so many people that could be on this list that aren’t. This industry and world are full of good people. I’m honored to rub shoulders with each of you.
May each of you have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving.
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