Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008- In a matter of hours, I’ll be seated around a festive Fall table reflecting on the past year and, as is our tradition, sharing with my family the many things for which I am thankful. My nephew will take the lead and let us know he is thankful for his mom, dad, teacher and 12 soccer goals… as always, a tough act to follow. Beyond those things in my personal life that I am thankful for, I wanted to share some holiday thoughts with my ConnectEDU family…

This has been a fantastic year for ConnectEDU. If you’ve read previous posts you know that our network has grown by leaps and bounds – resulting from lots of hard work. Less than a few years ago we were virtually unknown, and after months of knocking on doors, I am thankful that we no longer have that problem.

Thankfully, this Fall we’ve seen a shift in the network as it begins to grow on its own. In the old days (less than two years ago) the team did plenty of leg-work to get a school to join. Lots of school visits, voice mails, emails, and presentations and then more follow up presentations, school visits, voice mails and emails. It was an era of long sales cycles, sore knuckles, and living out of a suitcase. Nothing unusual for a start-up, right?

So while the son in me will be thankful for my parents; and the husband in me will be thankful for my wife; and the brother in me will be thankful for my extended family; the CEO in me will be thankful for the small milestones that represent a new era for ConnectEDU like:

• I am thankful that we’ve more than quadrupled the number of students visiting Connect! in last three months and are beyond measurement relative to a year ago.

• I am thankful that high schools join the Network within days of their online demo.

• I am thankful that one of our champion colleges invited over 50 high schools with the network’s new invite to Connect! tool in one day, demonstrating their ability to impact these problems directly.

• I am thankful that a high school in Michigan could send nearly 60% of their transcripts electronically in their first admission cycle using the Network as a result of our rapidly expanding college partnerships.

• And, I’m most thankful for the wonderful people that give their heart and soul to our organization and mission! As well as the fantastic counselors, admission officers, students and parents that we have the privilege of working with on a daily basis.

Happy Thanksgiving! 'Tis the season of thanks!

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