My Dad would always say "Take part son, get involved! Never just sit on the sidelines." Sound advice, which as usual I wish I had appreciated more in my younger days. It would have led to different choices, perhaps different hobbies and a different circle of friends. Who knows?
While never a fanboy of any of my employers (past or present) I would consider myself proud to have worked for Bayer Healthcare, Intel and Microsoft. All well known household names. However when you start to work for an Enterprise Software Company that very few people out of the tech industry have heard of, you know you have work to do to explain to anybody who you work for before you even get to the point of explaining what you do for a living.
Trying my best to not do our Marketing department a disservice, the sponsorship of Trek-Segafredo professional cycling team last year stems from our Canadian CEO, Mike Gregoire being a diehard cycling fan. Apart from a generous employee discount, very little internal events or propaganda had taken place until the end of last year. Being in Operations does mean we are party to certain information early. Being on friendly terms with VP of EMEA Sales Ops and Liverpool fan does have it's advantages. We knew this was coming, because they had setup an experience for customers and partners at CA World, in Las Vegas in mid November. The reason for such early notice, we were informing the EMEA Marketing VP that we had a potential champion walking among us mere mortals. The benchmark for pressure I set against Jessica Enis-Hill, the poster girl for London 2012, holding the hopes of a united nation, going into not one but seven events over two days to win Gold and cement her place in Olympic history. While not quite the eyes of millions, but the burden of several hundred co-workers based in the UK office, Nathan got the reassuring "you got this" nod from our UKI & SA SVP Milko while we listened to Ivan Basso open up the event. Ladies and gentleman, that is pressure. Proud to say our colleague and friend did us all proud. Winning both Sprint & Champion Climb to book his place in the finals at the FY18 kick off in Barcelona.
To be frank, I am not a cyclist or a fan of pro cycling but I have the utmost respect for these athletes. These men (and women) putting everything on the line for their sport. Just watching some of the road racing in Rio over the summer proves how competitive the sport is and how it can come down to the narrowest of margins. While I reminisce of the early 1990s and riding around my estate in Wycombe proudly on my Raleigh Grifter. Let me share with you a few photographs from the Trek-Segafredo Experience day at my office including The Smiling Assassin, Ivan Basso set the bench mark for the Champion Climb and Sprint.