Please Help Me Run in Chicago to Help Mitchell Swaback Charities

Shortly after becoming the lead web developer for Ignition Studio in early 2007, I was introduced to one of our clients, Bob Swaback and Mitchell Swaback Charities. I don't care who you are, or what your background is...if all you do is read the story of Bob and Gaye's son Mitch and why this organization even exists today...you can't help but be inspired. If you continue to read his journal entries, the testimonials, and the lives that have been touched by this group, you will be moved. I've watched from the sidelines; posting story after story, reading everyones comments, posting new projects, events, and all of the updates, pictures and videos that go along with them. I've attended the annual golf outings and dinners and listened as friends and family shared their memories of Mitch. I've helped put together the monthly e-blasts...and yes, even the ones on Mitch's Anniversary.

Isn't it beautiful though, to see all of the great things that have been done with the loss of this young man?  It's painful...and beautiful...all at the same time.

However, the impetus for me to run the half marathon this year goes back to that first year I became involved. In 2007, MSC had a similar fundraiser where several people signed up to run either the half of full marathon in Chicago. Mitch's dad, Bob, committed to running both!  Together, they raised nearly $100,000 that year. At that time, I was nearly sixty pounds heavier and wouldn't have been able to run around the block without taking a break...trust me, I tried.  I told my coworkers at Ignition Studio that if MSC would do this fundraiser again, I would run...well, here I am.

I might not be ready to run the full thirteen miles yet, but with the help of my son Parker, my daugher Meredith and all of my family, friends and supporters....I'm gonna run...one step at a time.

Please consider supporting me with either a kind word, or even a token donation to Mitchell Swaback Charities by sponsoring my run.

If you're interested, please feel free to follow my training activites and updates at http://twitter.com/RunWithSteve

Thank you.

Steve Withington Joins Blue River Interactive Group / Team Mura

I am excited to announce that I have formally accepted a position as an Application Engineer with Blue River Interactive Group, the creators of Mura CMS. Anyone who follows or knows me in any way should not be shocked by this announcement. I have been working with Mura CMS since cf.Objective() 2009. (Speaking of which, I am also happy to announce that I have been given the honor of serving on the cf.Objective() 2011 Steering Committee!) In addition to using Mura CMS on a vast number of projects at my day job, I have also been using it on nearly all of my freelance projects as well as providing support for a number of clients. So, needless to say, I have been active in the Mura Support Forums and worked directly with many team members from Blue River over the past year or so. Obviously, Blue River does much more than content management, and so do I. Mura has simply become one of my favorite tools in my 'software development toolbox.'

Whenever an opportunity presents itself, often difficult decisions have to be made... and trust me, this has not been as easy of a decision as one might think. Accepting this new position meant that I would be leaving my position with my current company, Ignition Studio, Inc.

I have been extremely fortunate over the past several years to have had the opportunity to work with an extraordinarily talented and fun group of people at Ignition Studio. It's so rare these days to find a job that does not feel like a job and one that you can actually look forward to doing each and every day. That is exactly how I felt working with Lee, Gordon, Jaci, Greg, Kristen and Jessica ... the people who over the years have been a part of Team Ignition. In addition, I have had the honor of working on numerous projects with some of the best clients anyone could ever hope for. I sincerely wish my former teammates and clients continued success and hope we will continue our friendships into the future.

I do not want to end on such a sad note though ... so, to all of my future teammates at Blue River, I cannot wait to begin working with you! I look forward to seeing many of you next week on my visit to Sacramento, California.

Cheers!

Fast Company Social Media Experiment

Ok, this is pretty slick ... a friend of mine (Andy Matthews) tweeted something about an awesome social media experiment thrown together by Fast Company, so I just had to check it out and thought I should spread the word too. When you follow this link http://fcinf.com/v/dmqa, you'll be taken to the page that contains tons of photos (think facebook and twitter profile pics). When you click on one, you're given some brief info on that person such as their 'influence rank', bio (picked up from either facebook or twitter), etc. Then, if you click to see a person's 'influence' you're whisked off to another area to visually see the people they've 'influenced' to stop by. There's so much more, but you'll just have to see it for yourself.

In the end, you're given a link and the ability to either tweet or post on your facebook status something similar to this:

Fast Company is searching for 2010's Most Influential Person Online. You are more influential than you think. http://fcinf.com/v/dmqa.

In any event, it's a cool idea and thought others might like it too.

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