MVP Award for 2013 – half a decade ~ wow!

Wow, and I really mean wow! – here in the UK it has been a 4 day holiday due to Easter ~ However, to round off what has been a very cool four days with my family – I received the following e-mail just a few moments ago from Microsoft:

Dear Andy Grogan,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2013 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Exchange Server technical communities during the past year.

I am – again – so pleased and very surprised (I think that each year I am surprised – as at a personal level I always think that I can give more back) that I have been considered to have maintained the required standard to be renewed by Microsoft and the wider community.

Each year – as for most people – has brought many challenges for me personally, again – as per the last award cycle I changed jobs twice (mainly as I have been very indecisive about what I actually want to do within IT).

The last time that I posted about the MVP award was last year – for my fourth where I had just started in a new position within a new company as a very hands on CTO.

I stayed in that role for 6 months (it was a good company ~ but something was missing) – so when I was lucky enough to be offered a new role as Head of Technical delivery for a 15,000 user organisation with a large technical team I had to take it as I thought the scale offered me the chance to really change something – this was perhaps the missing link that I was looking for.

I knew that by accepting this assignment I would not be as “hands on” as I had in mind – but the truth was that I was trying to have my cake and eat it. I felt that the new job offered me a good balance between being highly technically aware – but influence strategy and service delivery ~ a rare and exiting challenge indeed!.

Thankfully my initial gut feelings seem to have been right – as now seven months in, I am enjoying what I do again ~ working with some wonderfully talented people and engaging at a very deep level with a number of the leaders within the industry to aid our technical direction.

Of course this means that when compared to some of the other Exchange guys out there (Steve Goodman, Paul Cunningham, Tony Redmond, Nino Mota ~ plus many others to numerous to mention) I am not as on the ball as I would like to be when compared to these chaps – but I have been trying to cut out my little niche with the time that I have by developing odd Exchange administrative tools – therefore to have been recognised again means so much to me personally.

Many of the names above have continued to keep my passion for Exchange and giving back to the wider community alive (most recently Steve and Tony for various reasons (Steve for being a true gent, and Tony for completely living up to his title as the “god father” of English based MVP’s)).

Anyhow, I still have not lost sight of what gives me any form of credibility (if I had any to start with) or support which is the readers of www.telnetport25.com. Each year the fact that you read, contribute and keep me “honest” is the only reason why I can have the privilege of writing a post such as this – so, once again – and for the fifth time my sincere thanks for all of your continued support!

I have some big plans (well I say “big” ~ ideas) for www.telnetport25.com over the next year – and I look forward to you all coming along with me.

Once again, thank you all so much – and I look forward to keeping the site going over the next year.

Just to sign off, my dad passed away six years ago in May and as I mentioned back in 2009 when I was first awarded – this would not have ever happened without him as he gave me the confidence to “give it a go” ~ thanks dad, I said back then; “this one is for you” – and it still is!

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