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 chuck@chuckhester.com 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!
Stay well,

Stay connected,

Continue to Pay it Forward

Chuck

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14 Responses to “End of an Era, Beginning of an Adventure”

  1. Chuck … so thrilled to hear that you instantly saw this as a gift … a gift for a new, adventurous RIDE into and through life. I love imagining a world where everyone adopts this wonderful attitude. All the best is not only on the way … it’s already here for you!
    Leslie Flowers

  2. That is a shock. I am sure with all your great contacts you will be in high demand quickly! With LinkedIn Live you build one of the largest business networking events in the RTP area, in the shortest time of anyone, I know. I wish you and Stephanie the very best and let me know if I can help. You are an amazing promoter and you have proved that with LinkedIn Live every time you have the event.

    Martin Brossman

  3. Ryan Boyles says:

    Chuck,
    Some of my best connections have sprung from networking at LinkedIn Live, and that is due to you. I am glad to see you sailing towards your next big thing with a positive attitude. If I can help you in any way, let me know.
    Sincerely,
    – Ryan

  4. Angel says:

    Chuck, I know how much you loved your job at i-Contact. Please let me know what I can do to help you and Stephanie. Warmly, Angel

  5. Chuck, sorry to hear about your position. But enlightened to see your passion and vigor is has not dimmed one bit. I only see great days ahead for you and can’t wait to see what your next adventure is. Thanks to all that you have done to bring people together with LIL and create awareness for the Triangle community!

  6. Chris Duke says:

    The journey is the reward my friend – and I am confident that you will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

    March on Brother!!!

  7. I just picked up your LinkedIn book last night. You certainly have mastered networking and social media. Chuck Hester Enterprises certainly sounds like a great opportunity to let your light shine! I wish you the best.

    By the way, great logo!!!

  8. Just correcting my name!!!

  9. John Cass says:

    Chuck, I’m looking forward to seeing the next company you join because I’m betting that company will really grow. You are one of the best communications people in the business, and really understand social media and community. Thanks for helping me out, and welcoming me to North Carolina. Anything I can do to help, just ask.

  10. Ike says:

    Chuck, I have no doubt you’ll land somewhere great, because you’ve spent years wisely investing in people.

    We’re excited to see where you end up, and just reach out if I can help in any way.

  11. Hi Chuck, here’s wishing you the future you’d wish for yourself: every ending is a brand new beginning!

  12. Gregory Ng says:

    Good luck Chuck! Am excited to hear about what’s next.

  13. Jeff Tippett says:

    My best to you, Chuck. You have always reached out to help others around you. I’m sure that all you have sown in the past will reap a new harvest for you. Good luck.

  14. Ally Loprete says:

    What a great perspective! For those of us who have also had experiences in being “handed our hats” I don’t think I was quite as mature and hopeful at the time, but thank you for the inspiration! I am sure it won’t be long before a new up-and-coming company offers you a new position heading up their PR. If I had the budget, you’d be my first choice. Looking forward to following your journey, Chuck.

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