Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Sorry I missed you on Sunday; I didn't get in from Jacksonville till about 11pm, and I was up since 3am, so I basically set the coffee machine, brushed my teeth, and collapsed into bed. Then, last night, I sat down to write this, but got totally sucked into "The Blacklist." I'll tell you more about Jacksonville in a minute… let me get to the real juice.
Ang has been on a secret agent mission for Verizon Wireless since January code named "Atlas." Verizon Wireless made a bold decision to completely redesign their 'destination stores,' which are their flagship stores nationwide.
So, if you ever saw her flying to Philly on Facebook, she was flying into a factory building where they built a complete replica of their new store inside… a building inside a building… so no competitors would see what they were up to.
If you saw her flying to Houston on Facebook… yup, that was Atlas store redesign.
If you saw her flying to Minneapolis on Facebook, yup, that was store number one… Mall of America.
The day finally came last week when the curtains were opened up, the red carpet was rolled out, and Verizon Wireless unleashed the next generation of their stores, and it was AWESOME for all there. Not only was Selena Gomez their first customer, but Verizon threw a private concert for all the employees that worked their butts off launching this massive project that featured Train and Owl City, and Angelique was in the front row!
Pretty awesome. So, if you live in the twin cities, make sure to head to MOA to see the new store. Ang's job was to create the blueprint for the overall training experience, and to manage the curriculum development team that put it all together.
My wife is kind of a big deal. :-)
Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, FL, the American Music Therapy Association held its annual national conference last week. Usually around 1200 or so music therapists attend, making it the largest gathering of music therapists in the country each year. Hundreds of classes are taught in the form of pre-conference institutes, workshops, and concurrent sessions. About 80 vendors come to share their wares in the exhibit hall, and all the committees and assemblies and regional boards all meet to do business to help advance the profession.
The view from over the river of where conference was held…
For me, as a regional president-elect, I have to attend, but even without my participation on the regional board, I'd never miss conference. I live for it. I work by myself, and as an extrovert, I am not only energized when around others, but increasingly so when around other music therapists. After all, their my people! LOL. There were many highlights this time around, and it could be said that it was the best conference I've attended. I taught a 5 hour work shop, and gave two concurrent sessions, one 60-minute, and one 90-minute. Between the three classes, I probably taught about 150 music therapists business and personal development skills to empower them not only in their own careers, but I also taught a student-specific class that had about 80 college students in it.
However, the professional highlight was when the Executive Director of the AMTA gave her plenary address, and within the first five minutes of it, acknowledged me for my TEDx talk, and had me stand to receive a round of applause from her… and my roughly 1,199 peers in the hall at the same time. It meant so much to be acknowledged like that. I was so lucky to be given the opportunity to give a TEDx talk; I was just giving a talk at an event where the TEDx organizer was in attendance, and the rest, as they say, is history. I look up to so many of my colleagues, and to be recognized by them for a job well done in advocating for music therapy (the video has been viewed just under 15,000 times on the YouTube channel and who knows how many times it was viewed when it was on the AMTA's home page for 3 months earlier this year), well, that just about made my heart burst.
Our Executive Director, Dr. Andi Farbman on stage…
So, all of that is great for Ang and me, but NONE of it would be possible without grandma and grandpa. Rodger and Carolyn Rhinehart by name, they are the glue that keeps this family together as mommy and daddy attempt to balance simultaneous career growth with family cohesion. Angelique and I are so lucky to have them just 30 minutes from us, and Ali and Julian are so lucky to have a regular relationship with their grandparents. Neither Ang nor I got to grow up with regular interactions with our grandparents. The relationships they are building just warm Ang's and my heart. There is so much love going on in both directions, and our crazy schedule creates lots of opportunities for interaction! LOL. We are very lucky in life, and as we roll into Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for Ang's parents, for once again, without them, I don't even know how we'd keep it all together. We love you grandma and grandpa!