It’s amazing how things happen sometimes.
Just five months after joining Sony Online Entertainment, opportunity has called again and I am about to take on a new adventure, a new job and a new home.
Yesterday, I announced that I will be leaving SOE in a few weeks to join Applebee’s as their first Director of Social Media & Digital Content. It’s an exciting and challenging move for me as I dive deeper into the world of online/social media marketing full-time. After years of a mixed role including public relations, I’ll now focus on helping the worlds largest casual dining chain with engaging with their customers in new ways.
The one thing in life that remains constant is change. After a blissful 1o years at Intuit, I took a chance on a company that didn’t work out. It wasn’t the right fit. But you must always follow your passions and new interests to challenge yourself professionally and personally. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great folks at SOE. I’ve met some great folks I know I’ll continue to develop strong professional and personal relationships with.
I was also blessed to have a great team at SOE. Tai Rodriguez, Ryan Peters, Jordan Fraser, Michael Shelling and Sara Kaplan: thank you for making it fun and rewarding to come into work every day. Leading you was a pleasure I hope, and believe, my presence helped you get better. You’re all talented people and I am excited about each and everyone of you and the future that lies ahead.
And to my high school chum of 26 years, Tim Granich, who really was the catalyst to get me to join SOE, thanks buddy. And…”A one, a two…let me hear ya!” Ok, time to take off my Harry Caray glasses.
The job is based in Kansas City, Kansas. Actually Lenexa, which is outside of where I spent my early childhood (ages 2-10) in Overland Park, KS. That’s where me and the family will buy a house and call our home later this month. The entire clan is excited about moving to what Money Magazine called the No. 7 Best Place to Live in America. It’s an inviting community full of families, kids, amazing parks and trails and a multitude of activities for all of us. 30 years after I left the area as a young boy, I’ll return there to raise my kids. Amazing.
The reason we’re going there is, of course, my opportunity with Applebee’s. It’s a great company filled with an experienced and focused management team. It’s part of DineEquity, which also owns the IHOP brand. It’s run by a great CEO and despite tough economic times, and some slumping sales, the company and Applebee’s are doing really well. I’ll join a team there where I’ll learn a lot and teach a lot. This newly created position shows how Applebee’s recognizes the importance of having new and engaging relationships in social channels with its customers.
It’s an exciting time for me and my family. For me, professionally I am also super jazzed. I can’t wait to get started in my new role.
Alas, Â must say goodbye to San Diego. I’ve spent 22 of the last 30 years of my life here and it will be hard to be separated from family and friends. But thanks to technology and social media – the reason I have a new job – we’ll be able to stay in touch.
In the immortal words of Fat’s Domino:
“Well I might take a plane, I might take a train
But if I have to walk I’m going just the same
I’m going to Kansas City
Kansas City here I come.”