The weekend was a good break! We had great fun at the second annual PUMC Choir Epiphany Party. There was lots of great food! I took my Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and tried two savory appetizers (spinach brownies and bacon, onion, tomato cups) that were both keepers!
Saturday morning, we took off pretty early so we could make it to downtown Atlanta before the crowd set in.
Jackrabbit made the list of fastest growing companies owned by UGA grads for the 6th year. Each year we make the trek to Atlanta to see where we rank and enjoy dinner with hundreds of fellow bulldogs. We headed out early because we got there at about 4 last year and ended up in two lines – one to simply get into the drop off area and one inside the hotel to check in. This year, we arrived before 3 and didn’t have to wait in either area!
It’s a nice client event because – unlike many other award events for clients – I can bring Dennis. We always stay overnight because we don’t want to start back to Charlotte at 10pm. It also gives us a chance to spoil ourselves a little and stay at a nice hotel (Atlanta Marriott Marquis) at a great rate and enjoy just goofing off a little.
One of Jackrabbit’s owners, Mark, graduated from UGA (same time as me) and invites a group of his fraternity brothers, his brother Shawn and some other friends who love in Atlanta. Since we’ve done this for several years now, we’ve gotten to know these folks.
So it’s like an annual “reunion” where we can celebrated the great success that Jackrabbit is having.
This year was very exciting because we only fell 6 ranking spots!
Just in case it doesn’t make sense why that is exciting, here’s the simple explanation:
This award basically depends on growth percentage over 4 years. Growth percentages for new, smaller companies can be very high – like in the 100s of percentages. When you have revenue of a few hundred thousand dollars, it’s much easier to do something like quadruple over 4 years than when you’re a larger, more mature company with revenues of several million. It’s rare for companies to even double revenue over 4 years when their revenue could be 8 million. So each year, we grow, but we drop beneath the ranking of the new companies that fellow UGA grads are starting. While we may have some pretty impressive growth over 4 years, it doesn’t earn us a ranking above those with smaller revenues and higher percentages.
It’s just a fact of growth cycles.
We were way up there back when we first submitted 6 years ago…. ranking #5 …. but we’ve gradually moved down the scale revenue figures get bigger – and more difficult to exponentially grow.
We ranked #51 last year and were fully expecting to show up in the 70s. So when we didn’t hear Jackrabbit’s named called until #57, it was a fantastic surprise.
We arrived at the hotel a few hours early so we explored a little. We shopped a little at the Hard Rock Cafe store and just took in some of the local “flavor” – examining the skyline from our window for areas of Atlanta we know and checking out the horses used in the carriage tours…
We headed home this morning with a stop in Greenville in mind. I wanted to stop to see my parents before my upcoming surgery to complete reconstruction (February 16).
This was a good break for me – during my 30 day vacation. I haven’t had an appointment in 17 days! I do start up with a few next week, but at least it’s not chemo. Before surgery on the 16th I have an appointment with my oncologist on Tuesday, Lymphedema therapy on the 4th and a mammogram on the 11th. I may have to do a pre-opp appointment but I don’t know. Since I have blood work and vitals on Tuesday, I don’t see why they would have to be done again within two weeks.
My chemo side effects are still dissipating. Even the neuropathy in my feet is improving. (still driving me nuts – but improving)… The worst thing with this condition is forcing myself to wear high heels. That was required for the formal dinner Saturday evening. Needless to say that by the time I had stood for the hour-long networking happy hour and then made my way to our seating, I was a little miserable. You absolutely dread each step you have to take. The sensitive nails pushed against the toe of the shoe and the pins and needles and numbness that make balancing in your heels a challenge as you don’t quite feel the entire bottom of your foot on the ground.
By the time dinner and the ceremony was completed and everyone was heading to the hotel bar for post-event fun, I was ready to slap anyone who got between me and my ability to take my shoes off and rub my feet.
It didn’t take away from the fact that I really enjoyed the dinner, seeing everyone and the excitement of our ranking. I know it’s going to happen so I’ve sort of learned to tolerate the neuropathy.
My biggest regret in traveling was that we missed the memorial service for Kelli that was held at Lake Wylie on Saturday. We were there with everyone in spirit.