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"On My Mind" - What a Great Twenty-Five Years!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Here we are in the crush of Holiday times, shopping, and getting together with friends and family!

As many of you know, December is my last month as your official President.  I have recently retired from the fun and challenges of running hi-tech education businesses, and moved on to more personal goals and projects.  Thus, I am leaving the Board in the very capable and experienced hands of Pat Durante, our current Vice President, and a former CEdMA President for four years of terrific accomplishments.  As of January 1, 2016, Pat will take over as the President, and the Board has appointed Tom Kimmel to fulfill the remainder of the Vice President term.

So for this last official blog message to you, I just want to recap some of the great benefits I have had from about twenty-five years as a CEdMA member

  • Terrific CEdMA conferences, as exemplified by our most recent Fall Conference hosted by Math Works in the Boston area.  Throughout our history, the variety of high quality speakers, the diverse content, and the expertise shared in sessions like our keynotes, break-out and case study sessions, and general conversations among all levels within our industry cannot be surpassed by any other organization.  So many attendees over the years have commented on the terrific networking and the ability to get answers to questions they have needed to examine! I love these and know that you look forward to the insights we deliver.
  • The ability to interact informally for coaching and problem solving with any member, whether at the top of the “food chain” or just starting in management has been so rewarding.  Whether it’s the Ask the Members forums and community discussions, or simply scheduling a one-on-one conference on the phone or over lunch, the ability to personalize our experience with our CEdMA colleagues is so helpful
  • The freedom to be innovative, and different, and have it acknowledged and supported by our members with honest, helpful feedback.  The CEdMA team has always been behind trying new things, “without penalty for failure,” as Tom Kimmel would say. This experimentation includes the addition of the wonderful CEdMA Awards program begun by Jon and carried on by Liz and now Rob.
  • The opportunities to speak and discuss, whether at SIGs, at CEdMA Conferences, or on special webinars.  These have been terrific experiences.  They are fun!  They are confidence builders and help prep a person for that next big QBR or board room presentation where you know you will be grilled with questions. 
  • The many wonderful and lasting friendships I have been so fortunate to have formed from interactions with colleagues like: Pete Broderick, Terry Vyas, Tom Kimmel, Lynn Viduya, Pat Durante, Craig Santos, Bonnie Becker, Doug Thomas, Sara Sedgman, Spencer Cutting, Dirk Braune,  Donna Weber, Bonnie Willoughby, Ken Hirsohn, Darrell Walker, Liz Burns, Terry Lydon, Rob Castaneda, Kathy Navone, Christine Souza, Khalid Shaikh,  -- the list goes on and on with too many to name (apologies to those not named!).
  • The sense of accomplishment from serving on the CEdMA Board with so many talented folks, many included in the above list.  Having held several different Board positions, I can tell you that you learn lots from taking on these roles, and you gain great insights into different leader perspectives that help shape your own creativity regarding your day job.  A favorite activity has turned out to be facilitating the CEdMA Executive Advisory Council as a Vice President – now Pat and Tom get to share it!  And I have had fun in lively discussions with Bob Lucas, Bonnie Willoughby, Mike Lennox, Nick Xenos, Dick Laforge, and other previous Board members as time has passed – we are indeed a passionate bunch!
  • The terrific repository that is the CEdMA Gold Mine.  I have used survey information, informal polls, and previous presentations in doing business planning and in prepping the validations and justifications for programs I’ve wanted to run – we have the best place in the industry to find things out.
  • Wonderful learning over and over and over again, whatever the topic.  This organization reminds you that you are never too experienced or too high up the ladder to learn something else new.  And it doesn’t just have to be about running education businesses – can be about what consulting worries about or how to work with your support or sales teams, or why do we think the designation “customer success” is a new thing(?!).  We have a CEdMA ‘encyclopedia.’

Thank you all so much for coming into my world for all of these years, for sharing with me, and for giving me the opportunities to try to give some things back. I am hoping that I will be able to continue to contribute to you through CEdMA, or simply as a friend, in some way as time proceeds.

My very best wishes reach out for highly successful year ends to 2015 for all of you and for very safe, happy, and healthy holiday times with your families and friends.

Many Regards,

Jesse Finn

M: 415-309-9058

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Comments on this post...

Pat Durante, Black Duck Software says...
Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Jesse - you will be GREATLY missed by this organization and I cannot thank you enough for your leadership, friendship, and sharing your insights whenever I had a question about leading CEdMA or succeeding in my day job. Thank you so very much! I will do my very best to carry CEdMA forward as the PREMIER organization for education leaders in our industry!
Permalink to this Comment }

Christine Souza, AppDynamics/Cisco says...
Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Jesse, Thank you so much for all your years of friendship and support. I look forward to hearing about the new chapter in your life! Gordesi la vita amica mia!
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Joe O'Dowd, IBM says...
Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2015
So well said Jesse. Written with your earnest style and passion for whatever you do. Those of us who go back with you (ahem a few years) know you've never lost your zest for learning and for helping people. I know many of us are happy to call you a good friend. All the best Jesse.
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Kristine Kukich, Oracle says...
Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Thank you, Jesse. As both my boss, and my mentor, you have helped me keep my passion for this business alive. I wish you all the best as you move forward on your next adventure.
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Terri Karpel, Veritas Technologies LLC says...
Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015
Jesse - Thank you for sharing your time, insights and friendship with us. Here's to the next phase of a stellar career!
Permalink to this Comment }

Katherine Navone, Altera Corporation says...
Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015
Jesse thank you for so many years of dedication to CEdMA. Your passion, work ethic, attention to detail, and transparency make you a truly inspiring leader. Thank you for always making yourself available to me and to so many people - you were very generous with your time. As Pat said, you will be GREATLY missed.
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Khalid Shaikh, DataStax says...
Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and support for CEdMA. Our friendship will remain in-tact.
Please stay in touch.
Best wishes
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Richard Huie-Buckius, MuleSoft says...
Posted Saturday, December 19, 2015
The community of technical education leaders is a much better place from having gained so much from you over all these years, Jesse. All the best to you in your new ventures!
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Donna Weber, Springboard Solutions says...
Posted Monday, December 21, 2015
What a pleasure and a privilege to learn so much from you! Thank you for sharing your passion, and stay in touch!
Permalink to this Comment }

Ken Hirsohn, AlienVault says...
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2015
It's been an honor and a pleasure to serve with you on the board and learn from you for all these years. I hope you enjoy the next phase of your life, and I hope that includes continued work with all of us!
Permalink to this Comment }

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