End of an Era, Beginning of an Adventure
This week brought news that no one expected – my position as Communications Director for iContact has been eliminated. I was told on Monday of this week and am still processing what has occurred.
This is not going to be a “wonder why this happened” or “the bad guy is…” post. This is going to be a quick look back at my five years at iContact in what I’ve often called my “dream job.” It’s also a look forward to the amazing possibilities that lie ahead.
From the first meeting with Ryan Allis, CEO of iContact at a Council for Entrepreneurial Development event to the present it has been a “hell of a ride.”
During that time I have garnered press coverage for Ryan, his Co-Founder Aaron Houghton and iContact as a company in Entrepreneur magazine, Inc., Fast Company, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, NY Times, Wall Street Journal and many others.
We have raised more that $53 million in VC funding, were named to the Inc. 500 list three years in a row (with the first year’s rank at #87), and we’ve garnered accolades from Ernst & Young, CED, Triangle Business Journal and others.
I have been blessed by working with such great colleagues as James Wong, Brandon Milford, Jeffrey Gray, John Free – and many others that made my time at iContact one of the best jobs in my 30 years in PR.
But now, I’ve been handed my hat and asked to turn in my keys. Am I bitter? No, frankly I’m excited about what comes next.
My last official day at iContact is November 30, but in the meantime I’m working to find “the next big thing” in my life.
Many are asking what I want to do next. I’m open to all possibilities. including:
- Chuck Hester Enterprises – the best darn PR consulting firm in the Triangle
- An in-house position as a senior-level PR/communications professional
- A senior level VP position with an agency – either in the local Triangle area or in California
I’m also exploring other opportunities that have arisen just in the last two days. All intriguing, all potentially fulfilling.
My vast social media network and connections have surrounded me with good messages and well wishes. My wife Stephanie and I are truly blessed with friends and family that care deeply for us and want us to be happy and successful. In particular special thanks to Brian Pittman and Fay Shapiro; Aaron Houghton; Albert Maruggi and John Cass. What you have said and done for us in this challenging time is extraordinary. It means the world to us.
By the way, LinkedIn Live continues on – with the next one taking place November 9th in Raleigh.
What’s next? Stay tuned. I have a feeling wherever I end up, whatever I do, will also be “a hell of a ride.”
For those of you not keyed into my network – I can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can access my LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/chuckhester
I look forward to hearing from you and filling you in on my next adventure!
Continue to Pay it Forward