Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FOSE - Best Buy On Crack

(April 2008) FOSE - aka Best Buy on crack.

WMAL and Fisher House spent the week running the booth at FOSE - the annual event where government decision makers go to learn it all, see it all and meet everyone they need to know. 20,000 government technology professionals meander through rows of vendor booths  with the intention of meeting vendors and  networking to drive business of government.

Working with Fisher House is one of the most rewarding experiences. The small administrative team puts 150% into their much needed cause and we had a blast hosting our little table together. After a funny introduction - our stress balls starting falling out of the trunk of the car, a very nice man helped pile them back into the clearly marked WMAL truck. But after his good deed - he didn't leave. In fact he followed us to the registration table. Awkward. At the registration desk he signed in as Derrick from Fisher House - woops! In the world of Jen - we were destined to be instant best friends.

What was the take away moment for me that this orgaization was something to get involved in was a chance roundezvous. One of the FH admins manning the table with me was describing her previous role as house manager at the FH in Germany. As she was telling this story, a former resident of that home heard her voice and ran over to the table. This soldier, now a contractor, neared tears as the two were reunited. He described what it meant to him to have his family next to him in Germany while his shoulder gun shot wound healed. It was his story, a living anecdote of Fisher House's mission. I was blown away.

After soliciting donations for Fisher House and throwing stress balls at government employees for 3 days, I ventured away from the booth to check out the show. Following the glow of the gigundous (gigantic and humongous hybrid) neon Google signs suspended from the ceiling, I sat for a quick introduction to gmail. Being completely fluent in Googles gift to millenials, I moved on to explore the world of servers, Ethernet cables, and networking strategies. I do have to say aside from having the the best swag....we had the most personality. But then again - I am not one to get too excited in Best Buy either.

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