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Day 223: Our gifts arrived early this year.

December 18, 2012. Christmas is around the corner, but as we look back on November 12 through November 16, we can’t help thinking that, for Maestro, the gift-giving season started early this year. Come to think of it, 2012 had already given us many gifts long before the official holiday season rolled onto the scene.

In May we moved into our incredible new office in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. In October we hosted an open house, our official hello and thank-you to clients, families, friends, and the Kalamazoo business community. On the heels of that coming-out party, we unveiled a brand new website—a remarkable blend of function and beauty. So with the approach of Thanksgiving, we already had many gifts and much to be thankful for—all against a backdrop of heartening growth in revenue and staff.

Since Maestro’s beginning, we have sought to make a difference, not just a mark. We wanted to be the difference that mattered, a force for good that wielded knowledge and technology as tools to make people more confident and better at what they do.

We wanted to create for clients tools that redefined the way business gets done. We also wanted to build sales support materials and apps that prepared and propelled sales personnel so they could add value and drive results in the field and on balance sheets. In short, we wanted to help our clients perform beautifully—no matter what their task or challenge.

And, yes, we wanted to become thought leaders in the industries we serve, delivering not only break-through products but modeling new thinking about how to produce them. During the week before Thanksgiving, we enjoyed several gifts of opportunity to do exactly that. Here’s what I mean.

Monday, November 12

  • Maestro participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Week Mentor Mixer hosted by Ryan Goins with Startup Zoo.

Tuesday, November 13

  • Maestro spoke to Dr. Steve Newell’s class from Western Michigan University on Technology in Sales.
  • During the evening of the same day, Maestro hosted an office tour for the Startup Zoo as a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week
  • Also on Tuesday evening, Dr. John Mueller’s Western Michigan University MBA class in Management of Innovation and Technology visited the office and spent time in discussions with us.

Thursday, November 15

  • Maestro spoke to Dr. Laurel Efstein's Entrepreneurship class from Western Michigan University.

Friday, November 16

  • Maestro spoke at Southwest Michigan First's "First and Foremost" event.
  • Maestro accepted two Global Entrepreneurship Awards from Startup Zoo, a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

That week was especially fun to meet with students and professors at Western and to spend time with such passionate entrepreneurs doing great things in our community.  Individuals such as Ryan Goins of Startup Zoo, Carl Brown of Roguebotic, Daniel Jefferies of Newmind Group, Jon Durham of Life Story Network/Ignertia and Matt Mace of Blue Granite, to name a few, give of their time and talents to help support the community and budding entrepreneurs.  Each is an inspiration.

So what does all this mean? Well, we think it means we ought to begin taking heed of a couple of familiar suggestions: “Count your blessings” and “Be careful what you wish for.” Believe us, we do and we are. We’re delighted to have these opportunities and always look forward to sharing. But wait. There’s more.

During 2012 Maestronauts have also spoken at several national industry events.  In fact, just a few days ago, Phil Neal, VP of Business Development, presented at the Learning Technologies conference in Austin, Texas, and served as one of several panelists for another event at the same conference.  In fact, Maestro has presented at more than a dozen conferences this year, and the schedule is already booking up for next year.  What fun!

Yes, we’ve heard all the talk about Christmas “time” and the Christmas “season.” Both suggest that Christmas comes . . . but then goes for another year. But with such gifts of opportunity arriving at our doorstep almost monthly, we’ve come to believe in Santa Claus anew. And we’re not so sure that Christmas can’t last all year long.

Jen Randall

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