Happy Birthday, Gina!

Gina Fe Reyes - 2007 (age 4)

My how time flies!  8 years ago today, Julianne and I were sitting in a delivery room at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan with a 9 pound 12 ounce baby girl named Gina Fe Reyes.  What I distinctly remember is being woken up at 6am when the nurse brought Gina into our room from the nursery and said, “she is hungry and needs to be fed.”  Um…what?  Now Julianne and I took all of the parenting classes needed before Gina was born but you are never really prepared for having a precious life to care for until you are sitting in that seat!  We were able to successfully get Gina fed…thankfully God instills parenting skills we never knew we had and they just kicked in!

Gina is now 8 years old.  I can’t believe it.

What I do know is that my time with my children is precious.  I loved the post that my friend Justin Brackett did last week on my By Dads For Dads series.  The purest form of discipleship is the way we love our children.  I said this before but it’s worth repeating.  Many of us talk about change and making our society better.  If you’re a parent, look to your immediate circle of influence…your family and children.  Change the world by raising children that learn to love and care for others.  That is the best way to pay it forward and be a catalyst for change.

Happy birthday, Gina.  Mommy and Daddy love you bunches!

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My thoughts on Future Midwest 2010 (#FMW10)

We are almost 1 week removed from Future Midwest 2010.  I can’t tell you how much of a joy it’s been to read the other recaps and thoughts from bloggers in the area throughout the week.  One thing is for certain, if the goal of the organizers of Future Midwest 2010 was to educate, inspire and motivate the attendees…mission accomplished!  The overwhelming themes I’ve been reading are about taking this energy and excitement beyond just a 2 day conference and making it a part of every day life in metro Detroit.

If you haven’t read a blog about Future Midwest, here are four you can choose from:

Soul Excursion (@bryanwillmert)

Detroit Moxie (@becksdavis)

I’m Working On It (@beckyjohns)

How to be Amazing, and Take Over the World (@CAGarland)

You may ask, “So Patrick, what did you take away from Future Midwest?”  Well…a lot!

  • I got a lot of great quotes (which I share later this week).
  • I received confirmation that what I believe about the social web is true…customer focus and building relationships always wins.
  • I once again realized the true value of the social web is getting to meet the people I’ve interacted with online in person!
  • Detroit and the Midwest can come back because of the amount of talent and smarts that I saw at the Royal Oak Music Theater on April 16 and 17
  • This technology is here to help bring us back to the roots of business…relationships.
  • The value of online community is research…finding out the questions we didn’t even think to ask (Thanks Ben Smithee for that one!)

The greater challenge will be the “what’s next” that I mentioned above.  How can we make an impact now and carry this momentum forward?  It will take passion, hard work, and an idea that the area can rally around.  That’s where I think you can help.  Stay tuned later this week as Bryan Willmert and I propose an idea to Detroit’s tech community.  We’ve all talked and blogged about making a difference.  Now is the time to take you up on that.

Have a great week everyone!

P.S. If you attended Future Midwest, the organizers are seeking your feedback.  Click here for the survey!

Future Midwest 2010

On April 16 and 17, I attended Future Midwest 2010 in Royal Oak, Michigan.  This conference brought together some of the brightest minds in the digital and technology world for 2 days in Metro Detroit.

At a high level, the words “inspiring” and “motivating” capture the spirit of what this conference was all about.  Below is the opening video that represents Future Midwest.  It’s great to see the reaction of everyone as we watched this on Friday and again on Saturday.  It still brings a chill…

Over the next few days, my good friend Bryan Willmert (@BryanWillmert) and myself will be recapping for you our experiences and thoughts of Future Midwest.  We hope ours and the other blogs and stories that are written about it will give you hope that Detroit and the Midwest can be known as a hub of digital technology and innovation for years to come.

Future Midwest…Innovate.  Collaborate.  Communicate.