Re-awarded as an MVP for the 11th Year

MVP_Logo_Secondary_Blue288_RGB_300ppiFor the last 10 years July 1st has always been a day that I both looked forward to and dreaded.  I’ve looked forward to it because its anniversary of the day that I was awarded the honor of being named as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for the first time. But I’ve also dreaded it.  Because no matter how many presentations you’ve made or how much you’ve answered questions on the forums or active you’ve been in the community, you always wonder if its been enough. But then sometime around mid-day the email arrives saying that you have been re-awarded for another year as an MVP.  That email arrived for me today around 11:40 AM (9:40 AM Redmond time). So for the 11th year Microsoft has decided that my contributions to the SharePoint and Office 365 community were sufficient to earn  me an MVP award again for the category of “Office Servers and Services”. 

But this coming year will be a little different than previous years because I plan to move towards partial retirement from my consulting career. Before you get the idea that I’ll be less involved as an MVP, think again. Being an MVP has always been about your contributions to the technical community over and above your regular job. So in the past I often took vacation time to speak at conferences or spent time on the forums before and after work.  Since I won’t be focusing on “earning a paycheck” anymore I’ll be able to devote even more time to community activities. I’m expecting my contributions to the community will go up as I move to retirement, not fade away.

So, I make this offer to Community Leaders

If you are looking for a SharePoint or Office 365 speaker for your event, and you can help me defray travel expenses, I will be willing to travel almost anywhere, at anytime to share what I have learned over the years.

SharePoint, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM are subjects that I’m passionate about. And my moving towards retirement is just a partial thing. I still plan to continue to do consulting and training for many years to come. If consulting/training opportunities come my way I will continue to work. Because that’s now I keep learning new things. But if paying jobs don’t happen to come my way then I’ll live off my retirement savings and spend even more time speaking and answering questions. 

So here’s to another year as an MVP. I think it will be an exciting one.

MVP for the 10th Year!

MVP_Logo_Secondary_Blue288_RGB_300ppiFor me July 1st has always been an anxious day.  No matter how many times I’ve been awarded as an MVP I’m always nervous when my anniversary comes around and its time to be evaluated for a re-award. This year I am being joined by all the other MVPs as Microsoft consolidates and makes July 1st the re-award date for everyone.  But other changes in the program made this year’s wait more disconcerting than normal.  You can now have community contributions noted in multiple areas, but that also means that your contributions may be diluted by being split up.  But for the 10th year Microsoft has decided that my contributions to the SharePoint and Office 365 community were sufficient to earn  me an MVP award again for the category of “Office Servers and Services”.  In the coming year I will continue to focus on SharePoint and Office 365. But this year I hope to also expand by digging back into Dynamics CRM, especially how it integrates with Office 365.

I continue to start each day by answering a few questions on the MSDN and TechNet Forums.  But am also hoping to expand my presence on the public Yammer forums and the Microsoft Tech Community.  As a former trainer I still get excited by providing answers to interesting questions for people. Finding the answers to these questions often teaches me new things about SharePoint and Office 365.  I’m also looking forward to continuing to share what I know at several conferences this year.  I’m always looking for new topics that people would like to hear about.  If you have a question or a topic then drop me a line and my next talk may be inspired by you.

I’m also always inspired by my friends and colleagues in the MVP program.  The knowledge they have continues to amaze me and its a definite advantage to have so many intelligent friends. This last year has seen a number of my MVP friends leave the program to join Microsoft as employees. That is a constant reminder of all the great people who work for Microsoft.  Being able to network with them is also a great privilege.

But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the SharePoint community. Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked. As long as you keep asking questions and listening to me at conferences I’ll keep trying to learn more and share what I’ve learned with all of you.  Without you I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint and Office 365 community.

SharePoint MVP for the 9th Year

Most people look forward to July 1st because it means the July 4th holiday weekend is close.  For me as an MVP it has an entirely different excitement. No matter how many times I’ve been awarded as an MVP I’m always nervous when my anniversary comes around and its time to be evaluated for a re-award. But I’m happy to say that I received an email Friday morning saying that I’ve been awarded an MVP award again this year.  The categories have changed over the last year, so instead of an award for SharePoint server my new category is called “Office Servers and Services”. This of course includes SharePoint and Office 365 which are my focuses. No matter how the program changes I continue to be more excited every year.  This is my ninth year and I hope to continued my contributions for years to come. SharePoint and Office 365 continue to be exciting products to work on and there is always a lot more to learn.  This year in particular I will be focusing more on how hybrid environments that include SharePoint online, Azure, and SharePoint on-premises function.   

I continue to start each day by answering a few questions on the MSDN and TechNet Forums.  But am also hoping to expand my presence on the public Yammer forums. I really enjoy being able to help people find answers and frequently find interesting questions that I’ve never thought about that lead me to discover new and different things about SharePoint.  I often wonder how I learned as much as I did before I gained access to the resources and contacts available to me as an MVP.  I’m also looking forward to continuing to share what I know at several conferences this year.  I’m always looking for new topics that people would like to hear about.  If you have a question or a topic then drop me a line and my next talk may be on that topic.

This year I’m particularly excited that one of my colleagues at work was just awarded his first MVP award. Gareth Gudger works on Exchange and Office 365 and has a well read BLOG at https://supertekboy.com/. Gareth and I haven’t worked a project together yet since he is based in Cincinnati and I am based in Cleveland. But I hope to find more time to connect with him on Office 365 this year as he begins his MVP journey.

But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the SharePoint community. Recently I’ve been running into a number of people who have heard me speak at conferences or have seen me answering questions on the Forums.  Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked. As long as you keep asking questions and listening to me at conferences I’ll keep trying to learn more and share what I’ve learned with all of you.  Without you I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint community.

SharePoint MVPs Volunteer for Typhoon Relief

MVP

A few days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines one of my fellow MVPs, Dux Raymond (@meetdux), suggested that we should all band together and do something to support the relief effort.  His idea was that we would all volunteer an hour or two of phone consulting time for anyone who would contribute to a charity for the relief of the victims of Typhoon Haihayn.  I’m happy to report that almost 50 MVPs, including me, have volunteered to contribute to the effort.  If you would be interested in some consulting time with an MVP check out Dux’s blog where the list of MVPs who are contributing to the effort is being kept up to date.  YOu can find it here:

http://meetdux.com/2013/11/12/operation-sharelove-help-typhoon-haiyan-victims-sharepoint-experts-will-help-you-rescueph/

 

Unfortunately, my contribution to the effort has already been snapped up by a contributor.  But there are lots of other knowledgeable MVPs waiting to help you (and the people of the Philippines) out.

SharePoint MVP for the 5th Year!

Last weekend was really exciting for two reasons.  First, because my eldest daughter got married on Saturday.  We were so busy getting ready for the wedding that I almost forgot about my MVP award date on July 1st.  But soon enough the wedding was over and things started to get back to normal on Sunday and there was my the email announcing my MVP award again this year for SharePoint. This is my fifth year and I get more EXCITED about the program every year. Every year I make more friends and contacts through the program.  Their help and support is invaluable when it comes to learning all the nooks and crannies in this product.  I often wonder how I learned as much as I did before I gained access to the resources and contacts available to me as an MVP.  And every year brings more opportunities for learning and sharing that knowledge with others in the community.

But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the community. In the last year I’ve begun to run into a number of people who recognize my name from the MSDN Forums. Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked.  Some of them provide an easy outlet for sharing what I already know.  But others provide challenges to learn new things so I can help answer questions.  Without your stimulating questions I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint community.