The last year has been awesome for me in so many ways. First and foremost, Trendline has flourished thanks to our incredible customers and awesome employees. There are so many people who have inspired both personally and professionally that I wanted to dedicate this post to them. So without further adieu, here are the 21 people (in no particular order) who have motivated and challenged me in 2011.
Morgan Stewart – Not only is he my business partner and friend, he has also taught me to be a better entrepreneur and has challenged the way I see things in the world.
Loren McDonald – It seems like almost every week, I hear from Loren either on Twitter, Facebook, an article, a post to the Only Influencers where his wisdom and insight get me to think about email and social in a new light. His passion and ideas make him like EF Hutton to me.
Ryan Phelan – I like to think of Ryan as the silent but deadly guy. The guy is uber smart and funny. Whenever we speak we laugh and talk about old times and I truly love his insight on many things.
Alex Williams – Creative has never been my strong suit in email and Alex has taught me so much about design and the web, that I cannot thank him enough. He so smart and so talented, its scary. I thank my lucky stars that he is on our team and I know that our clients do as well.
Bill McCloskey – Bill runs the Only Influencers (A private invite only community for digital marketers) and without him, I would have never had the opportunity to be a part of an incredible community of digital professionals.
Mark Brownlow – If every email blog on the internet were to go away and I had to chose one to stick it around it would Marks blog. Mark writes some incredible stuff over there and while I may not agree with everything he writes, he seems to challenge and even inspire me as an email professional.
Michele Souder – Michele is a rockstar. She keeps me centered and focused with clients and can write a mean SOW. She truly has taught me a lot in the last year and I am secretly holding out hope that she will one day become an Apple lover like me.
Jaffer Ali – Jaffer speaks his mind and I love that. He is controversial and smart and I like that too. We don’t agree on many things and I love that. He challenges me and that’s all I can ask for.
Dylan Boyd – Even though Dylan bowed out of the email industry early this year, I occasionally get and email from him still giving some sort of critique. Plus..if you need a dude to ride in a cab with at 2:30 am in Indy, he is your man.
Dela Quist – I am not sure if Dela knows it, but I sometimes agree with him. His thoughts and words often seem like he is a crazy person but without him, the email marketing community would be pretty boring.
Dave Hendricks – Dave has a great product and outlook for email for the future. I only hope that the rest of industry takes note of what he is doing and it least puts in their consideration set. Dave makes me want to read more.
John Caldwell – John is one of the only email guys who’s passion borders on crazy. Wait..that sounds like me too? Someone who has as much passion for things that are the right thing to do rather than the easy thing to do always gets my admiration. I love working with John and occasionally mixing it up with him as well.
DJ Waldow – DJ has infectious enthusiasm and is one of the most positive people I know. We don’t agree on too much which is great because I love doing webcasts with him since they will always entertain.
Bob Frady – I love Bob’s no nonsense approach on a list I am on. Like me he is not afraid to tell it like it is and despite all of that, he challenges me to think on stuff that I tend to be pig headed about.
Matthew Vernhout – To me, Matt is straight up a deliverability guru and he has saved me on more than on occasion on the new law FISA law in Canada with some killer information
Al Iverson – Al is Matt’s equivalent in the US. I love reading what he writes and again he has saved me a couple of times in terms of educating me on all things deliverability
The Brand Side Marketer Doing Cool Stuff – There are a lot you out there and most of you I don’t know very well. You are doing cool stuff with your programs either on the creative, acquisition or UE side that makes me tingle. You give me great blog fodder and I hope to know you one day.
Chester Bullock – Chester is one heck of a dude. I love his passion, his dedication to help a brother a need and his general smarts in email. I felt honored when he asked for my opinion on a new adventure he wanted to take in email this year and hope that our professional relationship continues to grow.
Jay Baer – In the midst of what seems to be thousands of social media clowns out there, Jay rises above all of them. (only he is by no means a clown) I love reading his content and love hearing him speak. He is one of the only social media people I follow.
Chris Donald – Chris has been around the block a couple of times and has seen it all. This to me makes him a great person to talk to because you can get grounded in his wisdom pretty quickly.
Elizabeth Kordek – Last but not least, Elizabeth is my wife. She is my rock, the love of my life and a really great person who keeps me grounded. Without her, I am nothing and I thank my lucky stars that she has the patience and fortitude to be with me. She makes me whole.
There you have 21 people who inspire and challenge me and will continue to do so for years to come. Until 2012………..