February 10, 2007
Happy New Year or should I say happy Valentine 's Day? I'm operating on the principle that if I get our annual update posted before tax season I'm doing great.
And that's our theme for 2006. We're doing great. We're blessed with good health (with just a few minor bumps), each other and the great support of family, friends, colleagues and community.
Jessica just turned 17 and is a high school junior. She's been driving for over six months and just earned the privilege (thanks to the State of Connecticut) to drive her friends. She continues to excel in school despite a boat load of honor classes. She was recently asked to join her school's chapter of the National Honor Society. She remains committed to gymnastics and spends 16 hours a week at practice. Unfortunately, Jessica suffered her first major gymnastics injury this past January; she badly tore the ligaments in her left ankle. Fortunately, she's on the mend; off of crutches, doing physical therapy three times a week and getting back her strength and flexibility.
On top of all that, Jessica is well along the long mysterious journey towards getting into college. She's inclined toward a school in the Northeast within driving distance to home (hooray!). Her preference is to go to a school with a serious gymnastics program but because that list of schools is pretty short, she is considering a broader set of options. With all that, the only thing she's not doing is sleeping much. I suppose that's what weekends are for.
Hannah is a high school freshman. She has entered New Canaan High School with real gusto having joined both their diving and gymnastics teams. She's taken to diving so well that her coach has also invited her to join the community team. All told she spends 23 hours a week at both gymnastics and diving practice - sometimes leaving one to join the other. Those who read the New Canaan Advertiser
, the local paper, will have seen frequent reports of Hannah's athletic prowess.
Hannah is also doing well academically and is adjusting to the challenge of high school very well. Topping that off is her ongoing appreciation for “Friends” - both the television show (she received the complete DVD set for Chanukah) and her own. She too keeps pretty busy. She had her braces removed in the Fall and brings joy to all she knows with her bright, beautiful smile.
While Jessica's driving has relieved Susan of some of her former chauffeuring responsibilities, Hannah's complex schedule (and the fact that Jessie usually uses Gary's car requiring Susan to drive him to and from the train) seems to be making up some of the difference. Despite that, she still finds time to work at Banana Republic in Greenwich two days a week where she continues to be one of their leading sales people. She has also elevated her involvement in our synagogue. She joined the Executive Committee, as the Financial Secretary, over a year ago and is expected to take over the Presidency of the congregation this Spring. Beyond making a real difference to the community, Susan continues to provide an excellent role model to both Jessica and Hannah for the importance of both family and giving back to the community.
I'm still the Chief Strategy Officer at Interbrand. I'm still making the 3+ hour a day commute. I'm still enjoying myself and have had the good fortune to work with some really cool clients (e.g., AIG, ADP, Baird, Mellon Financial and McDonald's) on some really interesting projects along side some really capable people. In addition to my day job, I've had the opportunity to speak at Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Ohio State and the University of Chicago as well as at several industry conferences. I love the interaction with students; they ask some provocative and challenging questions. I've also managed to keep off most of the weight that with Susan's help, I lost last year and I continue to work out three or four times a week.
Our 2006 vacations included The Berkshires in July with Susan's dad and Rena, St. Bart's in August which was a last minute substitution for our reluctantly cancelled (due to the fighting) trip to Israel and most recently Christmas in New York City and New Year's in Boston. We truly enjoy each other's company although getting family alignment around specific activities has become increasingly challenging. We've been really fortunate to have been able to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday (with a party in New York) and to have spent every significant holiday with family either in Connecticut or Boston. It doesn't get any better than that.
So despite it being the middle of February, please accept all of our best wishes for a wonderful 2007 and our hope that we will have the opportunity share the year with the people who are most important to us.
(on behalf of Susan, Jessica and Hannah)