Appirio Reflects on Growing Up for Future of the Cloud Day

June 16, 2016 Jiordan Castle


Every June on Future of the Cloud Day (FOTCD), everyone at Appirio takes a collective break from the cloud to give back to our community. For this year’s FOTCD, Appirians around the globe will be spending time packing vegetables at local food banks, cleaning up public parks, writing letters to veterans and homeless teens, and more. FOTCD is a labor of love put together by Appirio’s own Silver Lining, which was launched in 2010 to champion community-based volunteer efforts. This year, we’ve also introduced Silver Lining Cloud Clinics — free sessions for nonprofits and other organizations to ask questions and receive hands-on help from experts at Appirio.

It’s my belief that everyone at Appirio is an expert at something, whether it’s business analysis, project management, consulting, recruiting, sales, or marketing. To kick off this year’s FOTCD, I asked some of our Appirians what they wanted to be when they were children and, in some cases, to name an adult who had a positive influence on their life growing up.

Ellen Humphrey, SVP of HR: My dad and I were just talking about all the things I wanted to be when I grew up! The most prevalent was art teacher, and then lawyer. My mother, Jaci Phillips, was the ultimate influence on my childhood (and into adulthood). During my early childhood, she was a stay-at-home mom. She went to nursing school and became an RN, worked as a nurse, and then was a full-time firefighter during my middle school and high school years. She got a master’s degree in informatics later in her life and went to work in that field in her late 50s, while keeping her roots working in hospice (both pediatric and for adults). She was on Task Force One and was in one of the first teams on site on 9/11. She was an amazing woman!

My mother taught me that I could do whatever I wanted, that it’s never too late to shift gears, and that you can learn new skills at any age. I’m an accountant by education who shifted to HR and discovered a great love and fit in the technology industry.

Lori Williams, GM of Acceleration Practices: When I was a child, I wanted to be an orchestra conductor. The positive influence was Judy Briscoe, my English teacher.

John Gorup, Director of Content: I wanted to play center field for the Cleveland Indians. My positive influence was my cross country coach (and biology teacher), Mr. Goglin. He always pushed me to be better, and yet had a sense of humor.

Glenn Weinstein, CIO and VP of Global Services: I wanted to be a magician or a banker (so I could pick out all the best coins for my coin collection). But once I got a Commodore 64 and wrote my first BASIC program, I wanted to be a programmer.

When I was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, I was chosen to take a leadership course taught by Vice Admiral Bill Lawrence. Admiral Lawrence was a legendary graduate who’d played a key role in forming the Naval Academy’s honor concept in the 1950s, then became a naval aviator who spent 6 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. I learned from Admiral Lawrence that true leadership is quiet, humble, and service-focused, and that leadership itself is a teachable skill, not necessarily an innate characteristic. The course had a profound effect on me, and helped inspire me to choose naval aviation when I graduated. When I encounter leadership challenges in business, I often find myself thinking, How would Admiral Lawrence have addressed this one?

Latane Conant, SVP of Marketing: I wanted to be a soccer mom.

Katie Boehner, Program Manager of Employee Engagement: At my preschool graduation, I embarrassed my mom by announcing that I wanted to be Sally Jessy Raphael when I grew up. But really I wanted to be a mom, vet, and TV morning show host simultaneously.

My mom had the biggest influence on me as a child. I have endless respect and appreciation for the woman who earned her MBA and excelled in business before women excelling in business was cool. She chose to stay at home with me and was the epitome of patient, kind, funny, generous, and all-around adorable. Today, there are even Appirians who can’t help but hug her when she comes around.

Jiordan Castle, Managing Editor (that’s me!): It says “scientist” under my kindergarten yearbook photo. That was never going to happen though, as I then moved on to cartoonist and settled on writer around the age of 11. My sister Leslie wrote and illustrated elaborate picture books for me when I was a kid. (The protagonist’s name was Sheila, and Sheila was always the same age as me.) I remember those small miracles — the art of creating something as extraordinary as a story all by yourself for someone else.

My mom — who has always worked tirelessly at high-powered jobs and still managed to make time to read Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh and countless other book series to me when I was growing up — has everything to do with my career. She taught me the beauty and power of reading, writing, and good grammar.

Christopher Bruzzi, VP of Technology: I wanted to be something (anything!) “with computers.” My teacher, Mr. Hibbard, was so kind to lend me his personal Commodore 64 for a week in fifth grade. Things have come a long way since having to type programs in machine language, but that sparked my love of programming. The power to build that programming holds sticks with me to this day.

Nicole Klemp, Staff Writer: I wanted to be a writer. My brother was a big influence. (He wasn’t an adult, but he was much older than me.) He would read to me all the time and he taught me to read even before I started kindergarten. He also let me use his electric typewriter to write my stories.

Erika Ocampo, Inside Sales Intern: I wanted to be an astronaut, of course! I always thought (and still think) that studying the galaxy was super exciting, considering Earth is just this tiny speck in a bigger system. Fun fact: I used to work as a tour guide at Butler University’s Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium — meaning I got to learn how to use the 2 old telescopes. One of them was built in the 1880s!

From the Philippines to America, my mom had the most positive influence on me growing up. She taught my sister and I that hard work and never giving up goes a long way. She was a single mother raising 2 kids by herself in a completely different country while trying to get accustomed to the new culture and traditions.

Karlee Sapp, Recruiting Coordinator: I wanted to be an artist or an art teacher. My grandfather always believed in me and gave me strength when I didn’t know if I had it.

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