Last week I finished up a great season helping build an amazing company in San Antonio, TX. I just began working for the College of Communication and Arts at Michigan State University as the Director of the M.A. in Strategic Communication. I’ll be helping build this new program as well as teach in the department. It’s an amazing opportunity. However, last week I traveled to San Antonio and spent time with the team that felt more like a family, I began reflecting on some of my favorite moments to celebrate what we did together. As I turn the page vocationally, I wanted to share some of my favorite memories of my season at MediaFusion.
Andy and Missy
I’ve known Andy for nearly 8 years. While at FMCUSA, we hired MediaFusion to help us design and build the web platform for every department. That structure still exists today. As I was leaving FMCUSA, Andy and I connected and he literally invited my family to join his. It was an amazing odyssey. Andy is one of the most dynamic dreamers I’ve ever met. Missy is the perfect compliment to him with a graceful steadiness and commitment to do what’s right – not necessarily what’s easy. Both Andy and Missy are committed not only to the mission, but to the people they’re on mission with. It’s because of this, we remain friends and I remain as a consultant/ambassador for MediaFusion moving forward. One of my favorite moments with Andy and Missy is when Micki and I were visiting San Antonio to try and decide if MediaFusion was a good fit. After spending a weekend together, we both knew these were people we wanted to partner with. After dinner one night we went back to their house and after their kids were in bed, Andy said, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve got a bottle of wine I’ve been saving for a long time.” Micki and I said not to waste it on us as we wouldn’t know a $200 bottle of wine or wine in a box. But they love to lavish. And both of them model this well for the company with their loyalty and care.
The people you work with matter deeply to me. Those on this journey have been kind, compassionate, driven, and talented beyond measure. Bob, Jim, Cronk, Altaira, English, Steve, Tim, Mark, Melanie, Jonnie, Gabi, Derek, Chris, Jenna, Luther, Brian and Apollo, I’ll miss you greatly.
We built a relationship with one of the largest leadership development organizations through a cold call. Over time, we wound up becoming a title partner, streamed Catalyst Live, and this year we will be at every Catalyst event in the US. That was pretty cool.
Andy, Missy and Max have friendship that goes many years back. Because of this, we were able to produce two live streamed events for Max. Those I’m really proud of. One of my favorite moments was after we produced one of those events, Max was gathering some friends and family to grab a bite to eat. We really didn’t know each other. But he invited me personally to join the group to dine. As we sat down, he was engaging and asked me to share my story. Totally pastoral. He asked about FMCUSA, my service there, and about my family. It was at that moment when I realized why he’s been so successful. It’s because he’s the real deal. The evening turned into a fun time to share stories, share life, and celebrate a successful event. Sometimes we see folks from afar and when you meet them you’re disappointed. Max is not one of those people. One of the events we did for Max failed when we went live. We recovered, but during that live event rolling out his book “Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe”, God used him to help bring some comfort and healing in my personal journey. I wrote about it here. Bottom line: It was a privilege to rub shoulders with you, Pastor Max. You and your family are above average, brother.
We pulled off something pretty cool. Our president was able to negotiate a partnership with NewTek to join them in a premium space at National Association of Broadcasters. We pulled together a FireTV app, demo channel, booth, marketing materials and rocked it out. We’re still reaping the rewards from that trip as well as the time spent just being together as a team. One of the highlights for me was a party with Jason and Tim in the penthouse of the Mandalay Bay. My first “velvet rope” party. That was fun fellas.
A few folks that worked at Mediafusion in the beginning invited me to stay with them when I was in San Antonio. Brett, Jenna, Chris and Katie live out in a quiet, beautiful place called Helotes, TX. Many times when I would come down to work, they offered their home and guest spaces for me to stay. More than that, they offered their hearts and time. One of my favorite memories of my visits was an evening I brought stuff to make pizzas on the grill. As we were eating and sitting around a campfire sharing stories, we heard some music. Brett mentioned that nearby is a famous venue where people come to play. That night it was Willie Nelson. He and his sister were playing old hymns and we would hear it in the distance. Gentle breeze. Stars out. Cool people Campfire. Beautiful music. Sweet vulnerable conversations about life, purpose, family and God. As I went through my pics, it occurred to me that I never took pictures of our time together. I just enjoyed it. Thanks, guys. The images are in my heart.