A Birthday Thank You from Las Vegas.

Me, birthday girl, pigtails, 70’s Free Former Skateboard. Photo Credit: Mom

Me, birthday girl, pigtails, 70’s Free Former Skateboard. Photo Credit: Mom

From a city where I turned 21, a long time ago, I wanted to say thank you to the loving Joyner family for having me tag along to their family reunion at The Jockey Club way back when to celebrate with Shannan, Beth, Tina, and Meganne, my wonderful high school girlfriends. I turned 21 on the dot in the Aladdin which is now where Planet Hollywood stands — that was such a great trip. Respects to Dick and Dottie Joyner who are no longer with us and were such kind, dear, fun people who made me part of their family during my high school years in Wheaton, IL.

I’ve been to this city many times for work and celebrations. I have been fortunate to work inside and around Microsoft and SharePoint for the past seventeen years. As such I’ve had the luxury of usually working on the Microsoft Inspire (the old Worldwide Partner Conference) for over a decade in some capacity, so I’ve had birthdays in so many beautiful cities across North America — New Orleans, Washington DC, Toronto, Minneapolis, Denver, Houston and my 40th in Los Angeles. It’s always been fun to celebrate with the other July birthday folks in our industry.

I see birthdays as one’s new year, (thank you Tracy Talley) like our January New Years, so to me it’s a moment of renewal and reflection and the chance to set yourself up for your North Star for the year to where you summit six months out (January 18th) for me. The past few years have brought a lot of change in my life, and I am truly blessed with amazing friends and family who are beautiful sparks in my life, you yes you.

This year my focus is on continuing to champion women and male allies, at work, in technology and to build diversity and inclusion programs and illuminate social justice issues around the world. I want to say thank you to so many of you for your inspiration, guidance, sharing and support of my talking, speaking, writing, noodling, visiting your cities and homes, and hopefully shining a light on things, people, movements, and organizations that I appreciate. Connecting people is one of my passions, and I love bringing you all together to know one another. It is why I get up out of bed in the morning.

I think that at the heart of humans, we all want the same things — the basics of safety and security for ourselves and our families. But what we also want or need is to be loved, seen and heard, for the things we do, the things we bring to the table, the little things we do every day to make the world one that we want to live in.

I am always so impressed with everyone that I have had the privilege to know in my life. It is mind-blowing to me all the extraordinary things all of you are always doing. From the way you raise your kids, give back to your communities, create beautiful art, businesses, products, projects, to fiercely support each other and to move mountains for what you believe. I think for our world to come together it will be this want and need that continuously reaches across the divides, fear, and loathing that we unfortunately have in our universe and will be and is the common ground, the connective tissue that will get us to the same page over time. That is my grand hope anyway. Empathy makes us human, action makes us warriors. Empower Everyone.

So my utter thanks and admiration to each of you as I thankfully and gratefully have passed another year around the sun on this big beautiful blue spinning sphere.

With much love, hope, and joy and 24 carat magic in the air.


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Written by Head Maven & CEO, Heather Newman, Creative Maven

Want more Maven Moments? Once a month we share where to find Heather in the world and the most “maven/expert” opinions on marketing, brand, travel, music, and culture that we like from the internet.

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