Heading to Orlando – with a tear in my eye

As you read this, I’m on the road.  Why the tears?  I’m a little verklempt because this show will be my last Lotusphere, my last IBM show as an IBM employee.  After 15 years and more conferences that I can count, I’m retiring from IBM by the end of 2015.  IBM knows this, we just haven’t set a date yet.

Funny thing, though –  I am an American baby-boom generation person, so I’ll never be able to actually retire unless I win the lottery, but I will be leaving IBM.  On my own terms, and we’re both happy about it.

For 15 years, I’ve met you and many other IBM customers and partners while representing IBM.  I was a road warrior as part of two different flying fix-it teams and I spoke at a lot of conferences.  If I met you at a non-IBM conference, it was because the conference sponsors or I paid for me to get there.  I’ve never been an “official” IBM conference speaker, except at this January show, so this is truly the end of an era for me.

For all of you who know me – you have an assignment – you must find me and hug me in Orlando.  I promise to cry all over you, but you better say hello  – and goodbye.

And if you’re thinking that this is the last Lotusphere.   It is not.   I have most of the staff shirts since 2002, and I know that the last Lotusphere was in 2011 – the black polo-style staff shirts said Lotusphere and IBM  – with no other Conference names anywhere on them.  That was the last one in my opinion.  I also have one of these shirts still in the original packaging.  Maybe I should auction it off to help with my pension fund.

So, with the car headed south from North Carolina – with a couple of stuffed monkeys and a friend,  I’m headed to Florida to speak, to work and to play with friends.  I’m hoping to see a lot of you.

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About Susan

I am a nerd girl. I currently work for IBM as part of the support group for Connections. While some of the postings here look like work stuff, the opinions and intellect and intellectual property are mine and mine alone. I am a unique individual and my employer in no way defines me. Still, I like the pay check, so thanks for that, IBM.
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19 Responses to Heading to Orlando – with a tear in my eye

  1. Matt White says:

    Susan, IBM are losing a great advocate and person. Sorry I won’t be there to claim my hug! And I have no doubt that you’ll find other work within days! Enjoy the last week in Florida.

  2. As it gets closer and closer, I have been regretting more and more the fact that I stepped up to be the stay behind guy while our other two admins head to Orlando. After reading this, my regret jumped up a few extra levels. Bittersweet to hear this Susan, but I will be interested in hearing about the next stage. Thanks for the opportunities. Thanks for the knowledge. Thanks for the guidance. Thanks for the friendship. Best wishes and please let us know what happens next.

  3. Cathy Crowder says:

    Proud to have been part of the fun found during your fly-and-fix-it days. They won’t be able to fill your shoes – or Spanky’s. Have a great week in Orlando, and if you happen to travel to the left coast in the future, give me a shout. I’d be happy to come find you and collect my hug. Thank you, Susan, for all the work – and the fun.

  4. nickifaulk says:

    Good luck in your future endeavors! Hopefully we will cross paths at some point next week. 🙂

  5. Ken Gaskill says:

    You’ve been one of my favorite speakers / SMEs at both LotuSphere and Admin. It’s been a pleasure to visit with you at both of those and to work with you on various C&S issues down through the years. Enjoy your retirement!

  6. I feared this might be coming, but I’m thrilled for you in equal measures. So sorry I won’t be in Orlando to accept the hug and to offer you mine in return. Thank you for all you’ve done for IBM, for us partners, and for our customers. You’ll be much missed as an IBM employee, though I hope you’ll be even more present in our online communities as you move on to the next phase of your career. Thank you, Susan, for a job extremely well done. As Mat would write… {{hug}}

  7. Ginni Saini says:

    Susan – aka – Nerd girl (I still have those buttons you gave me – will wear it again this year 🙂 You are such a joy and fun to work with! Good luck with future endeavors!

  8. Jamie Magee says:

    Looking forward to seeing you for what I hope will NOT be the last time!

  9. Keith Harvey says:

    I have never been to LotusSphere or any other conference but have had the privilege of working with you for a handful of years. I am personally not looking forward to your “retirement” from IBM but will be happy for you as you will move on to your next great adventure. I will miss you, but for now will enjoy working with you. You have been very helpful to me an have been a good friend.

  10. spankyblogmonkey says:

    A couple of stuffed monkey? really? That’s all we are to you? Well, I never!

  11. Gregg Eldred says:

    While (virtual) hugs will have to do, it pales in comparison to what you have meant to me, your customers, your co-workers. I have to admit that, while I made a hard decision not to attend this year’s event, it hurts even more knowing that this is your last year at IBM and this event. I am extremely sorry I am not there for an in-person hug. Best of luck in your next adventure – where ever you go, what ever you do, you will continue to excel.

  12. David Pricce says:

    Let me add my best wishes and sadness to what others have written and what many others are feeling. Your guidance and shepherding on the Best Practices track has been welcome and appreciated.

  13. spanky762 says:

    I can’t wait to see you and get my hug!

  14. socialshazza says:

    Gutted I will miss you & all the other awesome people that have made me feel like I belong. You have been a massive help and inspiration and I will miss being able to ping you and you are always just there 🙂

    I hope to see you soo and you will get much hugging 😀 xx

  15. Ben Poole says:

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication Susan. We’ve had a hug but I plan on claiming more before the week is out 😀

  16. Mike Friess says:

    Susan, you have always been a great joy. I was just thinking about you the other day as we mused about not attending yet again this year. (We are migrating away from Notes to the vagaries of the O365 cloud. Not the admins choice but, hey, whatever.) Wish I could be there to buy you another hot saki. Kindest regards and best wishes.

  17. John Goverts says:

    Susan, I just witnessed the last time you were on stage in an official capacity. The applause and the tears in the eyes of some of the presenters say it all, you will be missed. In my mind it is impossible to measure what you have contributed to the community, and to IBM.

    Thank you!!

  18. nickifaulk says:

    I’m glad I was able to see you this year. I really appreciate how nice you’ve been to this Lotusphere newbie. You will be missed!

  19. Chris Warden says:

    I have followed you off and on for quite some time and like you, I felt that the last Lotusphere was 2011. Like you, I am also looking for my next career adventure and wish you extra good luck in your search. If I can ever help, please drop me a line.

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