Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bragging Rights

Each year, Atlanta Magazine publishes Law and Politics' selections of the top lawyers in Georgia - the "Super Lawyers." The process of selection has several phases - Creation of the Candidate Pool, Evaluation of Candidates, Peer Evaluation by Practice Area, Final Selection and Before Publishing - during which candidates are evaluated using a long list of criteria. It is an honor to be selected.

For the past five years, our DAD lawyer (TLC) has been selected to be among this group. For the past two years, he was also listed in a special category: The Top 100! "These lawyers received the highest point totals in the Georgia Super Lawyers nomination, research and blue ribbon review process." Terrence has worked tirelessly in his efforts to be the best at what he does. I marvel at his professional work ethic and willingness to give back to the legal community. He has been part of every legal organization and has had a position of leadership in them all. Super Lawyer, you are my dear, and I salute you and your many years of dedication.

When this years publication came out last week, I got a phone call from Terr during office hours. Not one word was mentioned about him being listed as a 2009 Super Lawyer - and in his excitement, I didn't even ask if he was! - he was calling with pride at the good news that our son, Michael, made the Super Lawyer list, and he couldn't wait to share the news with me.

I knew just how he felt. Every once in a while when we run into Mike (and Mary) at a legal function, it takes my breath away to see my son looking so dapper, shaking hands, talking the talk and walking the walk. I nearly burst with pride when he introduces me to someone or Terr introduces him as our son. As Mike has made his way up in the legal world, more and more lawyers have mentioned his name to me and I feel proud to be his mother. A BIG congratulations to Mike for making such a good name for yourself professionally.

It is a privilege to see our children in their professional worlds. I hear Kristin's knowledge and confidence while on the phone with clients, when she is here visiting or on business. I know Beth has been studying for weeks to take the very difficult California bar exam this week and now has to wait to see what the future holds in store for her. Before that, she kept long hours as a tireless manager with The Princeton Review. Kim has a keen aesthetic eye, and is so savvy when we are at the Mart or ADAC and she is dealing with vendors. I love the way she talks to clients; so confident, patient and helpful. Tom is always up working late hours perfecting his work, and consistently delivers the best. Playful Shannon get so serious and sage when he is asked a question about a child's mental health, and Molly gets excited about everything that is happening at GA Tech; she is so dedicated to its excellence that raising money for the school seems almost a privilege. Mary tirelessly works at running a personal training business (which includes leading an exercise class in the parking lot before morning carpool), as well as giving many volunteer hours to the school. Plus, all these kids are 100% excellent at being good parents!

...and that leaves Kate...KATE GOT A JOB! SURPRISE!!! An update from her:

Big news! As of yesterday, I am officially a consultant/program coordinator for the Eat Well Guide, a Grace Foundation nonprofit supporting sustainable food systems. Sort of like a green food Google, the Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of thousands of US and Canadian family farms, restaurants, CSAs, and other outlets for fresh, sustainable, locally grown food. You can search by location, keyword or category to find good food, download beautiful customized guides, or plan a trip with the innovative mapping tool Eat Well Everywhere. Eat Well is also home to The Green Fork blog and the free print and online book Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement.

I'm excited about all the things I get to do there, from creating partnerships, to writing for the blog, to updating the book, to developing media kits, to maintaining and expanding the database, to attending conferences and events nationwide on behalf of Eat Well. My midtown office is a really positive, collaborative environment, and I'm looking forward to working with everyone there.

This all kind of fell into my lap, and I can really only call it a blessing. I was actually set up to interview for a clerical position in their sister organization, Sustainable Table, when I got a call from Eat Well's Executive Director, asking me to come in early and speak with her about a possible job opportunity. Imagine my surprise when I came in and found out that she was looking to hire a new coordinator, and that my name had come up!

I've had a lot of valuable time to self-evaluate and hone in on a career direction, and I'm grateful for it. Times have been tough, though, and I'm relieved to have somewhere to finally channel my energy. (I'm also relieved to be getting paid to do it!) So, Funemployment, it's been real - really, really real. But it's time for me to peace out. I've got to go to work!

We're shouting, "Kate! CONGRATULATIONS!"

From Kate, continued: A quick moment to brag on Jeremy's behalf - he's had a couple of major successes recently, as well! In addition to getting a front-page writeup in the Chronicle for Higher Education - complete with very handsome photograph - today, Jeremy gave an all-day workshop on creating an effective campus greening initiative at Northwestern University! NU hired him as an independent consultant, and the lecture and subsequent workshop (which was with a spectrum of NU folks, from students to staff to deans) were a huge success. NU even tried to hire him. I am so proud of him, and I hope that this can be a springboard for Jeremy to launch his career in green consulting!

So many people are having such a hard time in today's spiraling economy. I am so grateful you all are doing so well.

Thanks be to God.
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Kate said...

Woohoo! Me!

Seriously, though - I'm so proud of everybody (especially Mike and Dad! Rock on!), and unbelievably grateful that none of us seem to be getting too hard by the economic situation yet. Since my own demographic (22 to 28-year-olds with one degree) has just passed 20% unemployment (with an even higher statistic in New York), I've seen so many friends lose their jobs, and even more friends finish school with virtually no opportunity to start a new career.

On the other hand, I'm also proud to see how so many folks have handled the challenges the economy has handed them - whether unemployment, reduced pay, less work, or depleted investments. Rather than despairing, people seem to be successfully adapting their lifestyles, and in some cases, taking advantage of free time to develop new skills and spend time with friends and family. A lot of folks are living much more sustainably by virtue of its cost-effectiveness, too; and people are benefiting from getting rid of cable, changing their attitudes about spending, cooking at home, and generally taking time to assess what expenses really are, in a word expendable.

This seems to be the case nationally, too - unlike any other recession in history, alcohol sales are down, while social activities (movie tickets, board game sales) are actually on the rise. Go team America!

Love you all.

juju said...

Way to go,Kate. They will never regret hiring you. You've got what it takes! To everybody, especially Terr, Job well done. We are proud of all of you.

tschafee said...

congrats terr (again) and mike (as a worthy first timer.) also, big congrats to kate on finally landing, not just a job, but a great opportunity that sounds like a perfect fit on so many levels. hope it turns out to be all it sounds like it will be. and to echo both mimi and kate, a prayer of thanks that we seem to be faring well in this economy, keeping and even gaining jobs. a sign that we have a talented bunch of folks at what they do and that God is good to this family.