Leaving North Carolina

I have accepted the position as Manager, Infrastructure & Operations at Bankrate in Detroit. Julie, Max, Sunny, and I will begin moving to Michigan in mid-June! I will be leading DevOps efforts as the Bankrate team transitions software stacks and moves from on-premise data centers to the cloud. I am beyond excited about the position and the work I will be doing.

Making the decision to leave North Carolina did not come easily. Julie and I have TONS of our history here in NC. We met here, first kiss here, engaged near where I was born here in NC, Max’s first home was here. Max’s name is on the studs in his room under the drywall! We built this house here for us to live in for a long, long time. Some things don’t work out how you expect them to. This opportunity is definitely one of those cases.

I have made such great friends here and have morphed into a person I’m proud to be while living in the Triangle. SolarWinds MSP is a fantastic place to work. The team at SolarWinds is built for long-term success. I recently took over Triangle DevOps and joined DevOpsDays RDU’s organizing committee as a result of that. Triangle DevOps will be left in good hands. DevOpsDays RDU is already in good hands but I am still actively involved with the other organizers. I have also offered to assist with DevOpsDays Detroit. I will have to fly to All Things Open for the first time ever. All Things Open is the jolt of open source that I need in my year. Todd Lewis and his team have done a tremendous job creating a premiere event here in North Carolina. I’m very happy I was able to tell him that in person when I spoke at Open Source South Carolina in Columbia, SC last week. I will make every effort to speak at it or at least attend every year.

I have built a network of friends and colleagues in North Carolina that will be missed dearly. Everyone I have met and worked with since moving to the Triangle in 2010 has made an impact on me. The folks I have not enjoyed working with and the folks that I will call friends forever have all molded me into who I am today. I call North Carolina’s Triangle the Palo Alto of the East Coast. It is filled with some of the smartest people and greatest opportunities the east coast has to offer.

It took me a long time to come to grips with the idea of moving to Michigan. If you are shocked by our decision I feel I owe you an explanation. One reason is that I have not spoken to my parents since shortly after Max was born. I won’t go into details but, I severed contact for very good reasons. Couple that with Aubree being in Ohio and it makes a lot of sense to move to Michigan. Ohio and Michigan are where our families live. Lucky for me I have fantastic in-laws. I have two brothers that I can’t wait to spend more time with. I have two sisters that I love dearly. I also have the model of what a great marriage looks like and an outline into how to raise a cohesive family in Joe and Nancy. I definitely married into an amazing family. I look forward to being closer to them in Michigan.

Julie and I both want Max to grow up with his family. I must have had dozens of different addresses growing up. I had a good but turbulent childhood that made me fierce and driven but it also made me callous at times. I felt like I didn’t have time to care about people because once I made those connections they were usually severed. Being near Max’s aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents will definitely be great for him. I hope he can grow up around his friends and build life long connections. I want for Max what I couldn’t have.

Another factor in the decision making is my long thoracic nerve damage. It has gotten progressively worse the past year. Lower humidity and a steadier barometer might do me some good. When the 2017 hurricane forecast came out it was a relief to know we wouldn’t be here for the vast majority of it. I can feel tropical systems approaching and writhing in pain is not a good thing during a natural disaster. Shoveling snow is bad for me too but I can buy a snow thrower to fix that. I did have fantastic doctors from Duke available to me here in NC. But, I do look forward to seeing what the docs from “That School Up North” have in store for me.

When I left North Carolina in 1999 to join the Air Force I never thought I would be living here again. As fortune would have it I’ve spent the past ten years living between Fayetteville and Raleigh. If you would have told me then that my future included Raleigh and Wake Forest I probably would have laughed you right out of the room. But, I have to say, despite all the turmoil of separating from the Air Force, changing jobs more frequently than I should have, and fighting the VA I am very glad to have lived here in the Triangle. I will miss the people and the community. I wish you all way more than luck.

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