In 2014, I had the pleasure of attending my first GPUG Summit in St Louis, Missouri. The night of the partner reception, I was introduced to the bubbly, charismatic, one and only, Brooke Smith. I had heard stories and knew that Brooke was well-liked in the community, but I had no idea how far and wide her enthusiasm truly went until I met her myself.
Fast forward to 2017. My cell phone rang, it was Brooke and she was excitedly presenting the concept of what now is called Channel Marketing Alliance; the idea had been rolling around in her head and she wanted my input. Mine. Why mine? Because that was Brooke. I’m quite positive she talked to many people that week, selling her plan and wanting feedback and stakeholders before launching it. She was all-in with people, marketing and ideas. An opportunity to put those three things together and she was not about to let it slide away.
Brooke had a unique predisposition of giving people a voice, a chance to be heard, a way to grow outside of themselves. She loved brainstorming and knew who could help put a plan into motion. She was always there, in the trenches, taking orders as often as she was giving them. Brooke loved Marketing, but more importantly, Brooke loved people.
So, what does winning the Channel Marketing Alliance Booke Webb Smith Award mean to me? It means the world. To be nationally recognized for giving to the community in any capacity close to Brooke’s is an honor. I am humbled to even be in the same category. My hope is that others can see that you don’t have to be well known (or have an easily pronounceable name) to make an impact in the Microsoft Dynamics Community. If you feel shy about contributing, you’re among friends. If you are weighed down by heavy workloads, many can relate. No question is too small, no suggestion is too big. We all have a place, we all work our butts off and we love every bit of it.
How do I plan on using my $1,000 gift? I have not narrowed down a focus; however, in the next calendar year, I look forward to using the funds for Marketing training I can apply for myself, for Integrity Data, and hopefully for the Dynamics Community.
Though we lost Brooke too soon, her incredible strength and memory lives on in every one of us who continues to do work and life with the passion she possessed for her own.
Written by Lindy Belley
Marketing and Communications Manager