At year 3, a trip to New York City is becoming a birthday tradition for Mr. Kyle Daley. The boy really wants for nothing and he loves Manhattan and Broadway, so Dad antes up. Last years itinerary included Novotel, The Olive Garden and “Mary Poppins,” and this year it’s the Grand Hyatt and “Mamma Mia,” with another big difference being the Pierce Brosnan character in the stage musical will be able to sing. Oh, I kid Pierce Brosnan and give him props for having the courage to try that demanding role. Anyway, I thought an Olive Garden sequel would be automatic this year, but birthday boy is undecided. Sparks Steak House would rock for me, but Kyle will have to be “the decider” on that.

I’m very fortunate to be able to do this for my son, and in this month of thanksgiving, lets give some. First off, if not for Kyle mom, the fabulous Gigi, I would not be writing this or going to New York. Over twenty years ago I was working on a factory floor at NEC and pursuing my first “white collar” job. When the hiring manager changed the interview time at the last minute, I copped an attitude (no, really) that they were simply exercising formality and I had no shot at the job. I wanted to bag the interview, but my wife encouraged me to go…

I got the job and had the good fortune to work for a guy named Steve Cousins for the next 13 years. He was a great boss and one of many who helped push my career. When my NEC gig ended in 2000, I was helped by an NEC friend, Tom Kimmel, to land a great position with Kronos, where Pete Broderick listed his priorities for me as family, personal development and professional achievement, in that order. Then he lived up to them. After that it gets a little blurry by the pace of change. So there was Peter, Paul and Barb, who talked me off a professional ledge and became mentor and friend. She’s one of the smartest people I know and has the best perspective of anyone I know. After that I bounced between a couple guys before being inherited by Joyce Maroney on September 11, 2006. She’s smart and fun and supportive, just like most of my bosses have been. For all the people we hear whining about their job, for the most part, I’ve not been one of them for over twenty years. How lucky is that?

Thank you all. Now I have a train to catch!