My life both personally and professionally has always been defined by achieving goals and milestones. Whether it was playing college basketball in Boston, paying off student loans, or living and working in Europe, I have always been charged up by setting ever-evolving targets and challenging myself to achieve them.
2008, the same year my mother traded in Minnesota winters by joining our west coast family for the California sunshine, I was a year out of college and joined a small tech company 30 minutes north of Boston that helped software pro’s become more efficient at their jobs. Eight years later, in the winter of 2016 as my two-year expat assignment wraps up I am stepping down from my position as head of Europe for SmartBear.
My time at SmartBear has been nothing short of amazing, and now it is time to write a new chapter. This spring I am packing my bags for California. I will deeply miss the charm and buzz of Galway and its people but I can’t wait to spend more time with family, enjoy some sunshine, finally learn to surf in Manhattan Beach and dive into the exciting and daunting west coast tech universe.
Over the last eight years I’ve been fortunate to serve in several different sales leadership roles for SmartBear, each more challenging and rewarding than the last, culminating with the last two years building and scaling a new EMEA HQ in Ireland. We profitably grew revenues 15X during this period, acquired several game changing technologies along the way and today count millions of users worldwide who depend on SmartBear tools to get their job done daily. More important than these achievements though are the people I’ve been able to share these experiences with. Close relationships from all over the US and Europe I will cherish the rest of my life. No matter how much money you are making or how cool your technology is, without the right people along for the ride it isn’t worth it. If I find a company for my next gig that is half as fun and successful as SmartBear I will be sitting pretty.
My advice for any budding sales pros in Boston or Galway: fight like hell to get a job at SmartBear. Not only will you get a crash course in professional selling, you will also learn a tremendous amount about how modern software is built, a critical skill for anyone looking to build a successful career in tech. Tell Gerry I sent you.
To my team in Galway, you’ve heard it already but it bears repeating: thank you for playing an integral part of making this dream of mine a reality. Years ago when I first started thinking about working overseas I never could have imagined I would get as lucky as I did to be paired up with such a fun, talented and loyal bunch of people. You made me excited to come into the office every day. You challenged me in the best ways possible. There simply aren’t enough words to describe how proud I am of each of you and how lucky I feel to have gotten to spend this time together. I look forward to our final night out in a few weeks. First round is on me at Neachtain’s.
The Galway Original 6
Lastly, thanks to all my family and friends for your encouragement and for following my travels the last few years in Ireland and across Europe. Dream come true sounds cliché but it couldn’t be more spot on. Sometimes in life all you need is someone to open the door for you. Thanks to Jim McD for taking a chance on me all those years ago. What fun it has been, and it is only just the beginning.
To quote Mr. Springsteen (seriously, did you expect anything less?) “I’ll meet you further on up the road.”