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Holiday Countdown 2020 - The lost days part 17 - Kimberly Deal


Due to the article size limit, older days have to be removed from the main article.

Here is day 23:





Song of the day: Memories by … no not Maroon 5 but the One Voice Children's Choir ( - It’s not really a Christmas song, but so heartwarming and amazing - I had to share this with you!

It’s the penultimate day before Christmas Eve, just one day left and today I have an appointment with an award-winning amazing leader! She’s from Columbus, Ohio and her name is Kimberly Deal. I know that she likes the German “Ahoj Brause” Sweets (well, they are quite sour to be honest) and she hosts Community Events with her co-leaders Kevin Stanley, Scott Boisvert and Greg Sprowls. They won an award in 2019 for their local Community and Kimberly also won the Leader's Choice Award! (

Hello Kimberly, I’m so happy to have you in this year’s calendar as the second last leader! Welcome to day 23!


How and when did you become one of Atlassian's Community Leaders?

I became a leader in Nov 2015, and held the first event for Columbus in March 2016


What motivates you being a Community Leader?

I really enjoy bringing new knowledge to people, from the very basic, how does this tool work, to administrative topics, to all sorts of new way to think about and use the software. Atlassian has built some really open tools that can be used for a lot of different processes, and it is really cool watching what people will discover they can do with them.

Your first time using an Atlassian product - Do you remember that?

When I discovered that a person's role I was backfilling was the Atlassian Expert in the Company. Suddenly everyone was coming to me to help them or update the applications and I had to learn to work with them very rapidly. So I really got into the use of them, so I could better understand the ways the users were working in the toolset.

Do you have a favorite Atlassian memory to date?

My first Summit, and it was my first as a leader too. Getting to meet all of the other leaders, and @Mike Cannon-Brookes  and Jay at the Leader Dinner.

If you could go back in time to give yourself an advice, professional or personal. What would it be?

Professional: Same advice I give others now. Just try it, if you can get your hands on it, work with it. Be Curious! Be Okay making mistakes, Be Ok owning your mistakes. Mistakes are your greatest Learning oppertunities.

Personal: Adventure, Go places, Try new things. Be raw with honesty to yourself about what you really want to do in your life. Then go do that. We regret the things we didn't do, and I think that is cause we arn't always honest with ourselves about what we really want.

I asked Kimberly about her New Year's resolutions: 

I don't really set resolutions, I make a list of things I want to do in the year.
Sometimes they are personal improvements and some times they are just fun.
Previous years items have been things like.

  • 2015 -Try the toboggan chutes in Cleveland. I did this one the next year and they were FUN!

    That really looks like fun:

  • 2016 -Improve in a non-native language (Spanish). I'm still bad at this, but managed well enough in Barcelona!

  • 2018 -Add a Puppy to the household. .....well we might be getting on this year. Finally :)


    I hope, your cat Orion and your dog Alistair will like the puppy too

  • 2019 -Be more involved in local community activities. I'm still centered in the local IT community and would like to branch out more

  • 2020 -Travel more. Well.....This one didn't go as planned! :D

Kimberly, do you like Christmas songs? 

I really love the music of the season. I wish we had other seasons that got the same musical attention. I like everything from more modern tunes, Rockin' 'round the Christmas Tree, to Winter Wonderland, to The Holly and the Ivy, to more religious and medieval pieces.
Its all beautiful and wonderful. Though, I could probably do with not hearing Christmas Shoes, more than once a season.

Listen to Kimberly’s song requests:

Rockin' round the Christmas Tree - I chose the original version by Brenda Lee:

The Holly and the Ivy - I love this Annie Lennox version:

No link to Christmas Shoes - listen to that tomorrow, not today at Kimberly's day. She doesn't like it - listen to Brenda Lee or Annie Lennox instead! Thank you :-)


Do you decorate your house for the Holidays?

Yes! We are a bit of a late decorator though. Outdoor lights and lighted garland around the porch and the fence yard go up around the first of December.

2016-12-20 22.27.11.jpg 

Indoor slowly goes up after outdoor and culminate in the tree going up on Yule ( ~ December, 20).


Some evergreens (fake) and poinsettia flowers (also fake, because of pets) around the house and the tree.


OMG, Alistair is really cute!


And your cookies look tasty! You have to bring some with you to the next Summit! Christmas time or not!


Grinch or Santa?

Santa, absolutely. I love nothing more than give things to family and friends that delight them. I'm a bit of a random gifter and spend a lot of time trying to find things that I know they need or will really enjoy. I pretty much shop for gifts the entire year, when I find something just right for someone, I purchase it and tuck it away.


Don’t be sad, Mr. Grinch - we all love you anyway


Kimberly did a quite unusual thing this year: 

We were booked to go on a cruise to Alaska. It was suppose to be a really big trip for us, and when that got cancelled, I decided we still needed a cruise. 

So we had the Back Yard Cruise 2020. I tried to plan us activities at home, that would be the same as you'd do on a cruise ship. Including Fancy Dress Dinner night, a 'Shore Excursion' to see a drive-in movie, Mixed drinks by the Pool (small blow up wading pool), Take out Tea on the High Seas.

So a bit of fun imagination to ease the loss of a fun trip and make the week special anyway.


Backyard Cruise! Unbelievable, that’s a great idea! But I really hope, you can go on that cruise in 2021 in real life! I’ll keep my fingers crossed!


Kimberly's wishes for all of us: 

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season! I am sending you all my Best Wishes for a good 2021!


Thank you Kimberly! I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and all the best for 2021 with Alaska cruises, a new puppy and may all your wishes come true! See you in 2022 - I’ll bring you some new Ahoj Brause, promised!


1 comment

Thanks, Kimberly Deal & Thomas for sharing this awesome annual calendar article for 2020!


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