I'm a day late here but read more about Contribupendence Day on Jeff Blankenburg's blog. Our community here in central Ohio runs strong and it's 100% attributable to individual contributions. Thank you to all these folks for the contributions they've made in helping others (especially me) achieve their goals. My props:
Josh Holmes - When first reaching out to the community, Josh went out of his way to provide great advice and some seriously cool opportunities for me to get involved. He regularly writes and presents on topics which help community leaders improve themselves. Additionally, he helped organize CodeMash and the Ann Arbor Give Camp--regional events which often exceed the quality of national, professional, thousands-of-dollars events.
Carey Payette - There isn't a Heartland/Ohio event I don't see Carey attend. She took over the reigns for CONDG and is one of the most selfless people I know. How she manages 3 kids of her own, internal company user groups, CONDG and stuff I'm not even aware of, I'll never know.
Jeff Blankenburg - I've been loving on the Developer Evangelist position from Microsoft since its creation. Our last DE made for a tough act to follow. Now I feel sorry for the next guy. Jeff is that good. I think he was custom molded for the position. His outgoing personality, strong technical skills, clear writing/presenting, and his genuine desire to help truly make a difference in the Heartland. I'm glad he's on the case.
Brian Prince - A one-time competitor of sorts, I'm constantly amazed at Brian's almost paternal-like instincts and attitude. Near immediately following the announcement of his role as Architect Evangelist, with a 1000 things to do, he reached out with, "Hey, how can I help you?" Help me?! Wow. Brian's uber-smarts and services experience makes him a tremendous asset for the Heartland. I'm dreading the day he's tapped to head to Redmond. No Drew, you can't have him! ;-) Along with Drew and Dave, CONDG (and several other user groups in central Ohio) are what they are today because of Brian. Finally, Brian does a tremendous job of breeding leaders. Who's running and contributing to the community in central Ohio? Most have a connection to Brian.
Leon Gersing - Leon contributes by challenging the status quo and making us think. He also contributes by doing. Rather than pitching a fit about developer tools within the Sharepoint arena, he went off and developed a unit test harness solution. Bam. His presentation style is that of a calm, peaceful old friend--and the point really gets across. I'm glad he's still here in Ohio...if not working for my firm. ;-(
Jim Holmes - A lot of folks aren't aware of even half what Jim contributes to the community. He's one of the most humble guys I know. Just FYI, CodeMash is Jim's baby. He has lots of help from Brian, Josh, Jason, et. al. but he's the brainchild. And Central Ohio Day of .Net, Dayton .Net User Group, writing books, reviewing books, presenting, etc. A true contributor. Even when he's griping about TFS, he remains a gentleman. Despite working for a competitor, I'd relish working with him on a project--I'd learn a ton.
Mike Wood - Mike rolls just like Jim: completely humble, just wants to help, always contributing. Just an amazing kind of person. Mike runs the Cincy .Net User Group and the Central Ohio Day of .Net...in addition to touring all over presenting on cool stuff like WF. His creativity with delivering more and more value to the community (CINNUG "special events", tie-ins to Day of .Net, Microsoft, etc.) make the Cincy community significantly stronger.