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The Chronicles of a Journey filled with Happiness, Team participation, Plan B, Co-Leaders, and COVID

From the US East to the US West to Patagonia Argentina and beyond

 

This year (2022) I am reaching 12 years as Atlassian Community Leader. I wanted to finish 2021 strong with multiple events and significant social impact. That type of challenge is not just for an individual; it needs a team formed by co-leaders, the Atlassian Community Team, and the Atlassian ecosystem of partners. Considering all the uncertainty we have with Covid, travel, and other challenges, a well-formed team was the critical step for success. So we moved from online meetings to in-person with external players.

The team was glad to go and excited about our opportunities. I should write a well-deserved article dedicated to each one of them. The foundation of Magic and Success is the desire, attitude, and attributes of each one of them. This is the first article sharing some of the events we did and the hurdles we had to overcome. I will follow up with more details about the events and organizations that we supported.

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We tried to plan events with social impact. This picture is from the Atlassian Activity realized in the Botanical Garden of Plottier, Argentina. We planted more than 100 native plans on behalf of Atlassian Community Leaders. Local volunteers and family members participated in the event. (December 22nd, 2021)

 

The Plan

Finishing 2021 with 12 events, including virtual and in-person meetings, and, of course, increase the ripple effect, adding the social impact condiment to the mix. Locations vary to fulfill the needs of the 4 Atlassian groups I am leading: Palm Beach, Florida, Temecula, California, Cordoba, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Coast to Coast and Patagonia Argentina.

The virtual events satisfied the request of our teams to learn more about Portfolio management. I shared my experience using Advanced Roadmap, and we invited the Big Picture team to dive into some key functionalities. They were interesting Spanglish presentations, but our users had a great time learning new tricks.

 The rest of the events were all in person: Bowling night (Palm Beach, Florida), Warfighter Made Open House and Adrenaline Therapy Trips supporting veterans (Temecula, California), Planting native plants in a botanical garden in Patagonia, Argentina, a full day of learning, the Argentina Atlassian Day for the Atlassian Community in Cordoba, Argentina, and a social dinner. The last two supported the Jean Maggi foundation on their challenge of raising funds to build 1,000 adapted bikes for disabled youths. Jean Maggi, an Emmy Award winner and the main character of his epic Climbing to the Himalayas, portrayed in Netflix in the documentary "El Limite Infinito" - highly recommended. (Read more about the Argentina Atlassian Day here)

 

The Organizations

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Warfighter Made is a non-profit organization created to support disabled and wounded veterans. Atlassian partners joined forces with customers and Atlassian Community Leaders to support their activities. Isos Technology supports their Atlassian environment and provided the t-shirts for the Adrenaline Therapy Sessions (ATS), Appfire covered the cost of the kids' corner for the Open House and Deiser donated the water bottles. DSS, Inc. (my employer and Atlassian Customer) donated the lunch for all the ATS events.

 

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The Botanical Garden of the city of Plottier, Neuquen Argentina (Patagonia) is a new garden that has only a couple of years. It has an amazing ecosystem and we donated equipment to maintain the garden as well as more than 100 native plants. Local volunteers and family members planted those plants on behalf of Atlassian Community Leaders all over the world. They will receive a personalized Certificate of Adoption with the specification of the plants and the area location. (Read more about this event)


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The Jean Maggie foundation was created by Jean Maggi to generate awareness and the importance of inclusion. After climbing the Himalayas and publishing a documentary on Netflix he created a foundation and a bike factory to build adapted bikes for disabled kids. He has the challenge of donating 1,000 bikes. The Argentina Atlassian Community and Atlassian partners joined forces to donate 18 bikes. (Appfire, Old Street Solutions, Deiser, and a customer, Bitlogic from Argentina were the ones that made that possible). With this small effort, they changed the life of 18 kids and families. They are now in motion #pormasmovimiento.

 

The Team

I am not sure I can find words to express the level of gratitude for each of the individuals involved. They are the core of our success.

 

  • @Erica Moss  , Senior Atlassian Community Manager, provided the needed words of support with the right attitude and her well-known smile to embark on this journey. Ready to overcome hurdles and provide feedback.
  • @Christopher Heritage  - Palm Beach Atlassian Community Co-leader. A great professional and individual ready to take over the action when needed. Suppose you are an Atlassian Community Leader and have doubts about having a co-leader. Chris is the best example of why having a co-leader is a good idea. Don'tDon't wait; get your colleague onboard.
  • Edgardo Bianco and @Marcos Milanesio, Cordoba Argentina Community Co-leaders. Critical team members to guarantee the success of our events. They also involved their families in being part of our Argentina Atlassian Day Journey. If one co-leader is vital, two is full assurance.
  • Marcos Garcia (EDEP) and Hernan Lopez (UFLO) are behind the Plottier Botanical Garden.
  • And finally, the essential piece of the puzzle, the actual "Glue" that makes this happen. The Atlassian Partners believe in our crusade and provide the funds needed to climb this mountain. Enough funds to cover the cost of the events, buy 18 adapted bikes for disabled kids, equipment, and more than 100 native plants for the Botanical Garden. We had the dream and the wand, but they had the magic powder that sparkled the initiative. Thanks, Appfire, Isos Technology, Deiser, Old Street Solutions, Amoeboids, Blended Perspectives, TSoft, Elite IT Consulting, bit2bit Americas, Vates, and Comalatech.

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Overall Execution - Rely on and trust your team to overcome surprises and manage risks.

 We passed the first group of events, the virtual ones for our community members and the Adrelanine Therapy trips with our veterans. 

And it was time to get ready for the in-person events, Monday, December 6, 2021, the first one. Here we go, on Saturday night, I already checked in for my trip, and my wife realized she had COVID. We tried many tests to be sure, and unfortunately, they all returned positive. So it was time to cancel trips and trigger our risk mitigation plans. Chris took over the execution, and the event was a success. I was relieved to have someone like him running the show, I missed the moment, but I enjoyed the pictures.

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Blended Perspective supported our end-of-the-year special event and our team had a great time. One of the main purposes of the Atlassian Community events is to nurture friendship and solid professional relationships. 

 

The next problem, the following Saturday, we had the Warfighter Made Open House supporting our veterans. The Temecula Atlassian Community was in charge of the Kids Corner. We had the inflatables, and my family was part of the team volunteering to run the area. But, of course, we were out due to COVID. So I saw my plans eroding as a sandcastle on the beach. Nevertheless, the show needs to go on, and the families had a great day thanks to our sponsors and other volunteers.

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The main goal of the Warfighter Made open house is to bring all the families, friends, and veterans to the organization shop where they spend the day and share nice memories creating great moments. 

Was I concerned about missing the other three events in Argentina? Yes, I was. Seventy-two hours before boarding, I needed to present a negative PCR test. Unfortunately, my chances to pass it were going down quickly.

I contacted my team members, Marcos Garcia and Hernan, to run the 100 native plants planting event. In addition, Marcos Milanesio and Edgardo to run both the Argentina Atlassian Day and the end of the year dinner.

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Hernan Lopez (Biologist and Curator of the Botanical Garden) and Marcos Garcia in charge of the government organization running the garden took control of the event and executed it in a great way. They prepared an amazing and memorable Atlassian Community event, including a band and refreshments for volunteers. Bit2Bit, Appfire, OldStreet Solutions, and Deiser provided the funds necessary for this event.

 

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 @Marcos Milanesio and Edgardo Bianco, the Argentina Cordoba co-leaders were ready to execute both events, the Argentina Atlassian Day and the End of the Year social dinner.

 It was sad to end in that way, but it was comforting to know that we have a team in place that shares the passion and enthusiasm. Our sponsors were ready, our team members were in the middle of the action, and I waited for the PCR and my wife's recovery.

Fast forward, my wife and one of my daughters received positive results on their tests. In contrast, my youngest daughter and I had negative test results. Nevertheless, we made it and finally arrived in Argentina! 

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My daughter Isabella and I arrived to Bariloche, Argentina and spent a couple of days before heading to the Botanical Garden. I wanted to be sure she knew those places and participated on the creation of a brand new Botanical Garden. I hope she can visit these places in the future with her family to remember her contribution to the planet.

 

My 2021, after all, was coming to an end, and we were getting close to our Botanical Garden event, December 22, and Argentina Atlassian Day, December 28. Each one of them, despite cancellations due to COVID, ended as a great experience. I will publish follow-up articles to share more about the events and the team involved.

 

The Bottom Line.

  • You can impact many lives with just the right amount of good attitude, like the team from Latam, Aerolineas Argentinas, and immigrations that helped us get to our destination.
  • Please don't do it alone. Involve the directed and indirect team members. They deserve to share the experience and have the opportunity to take over and complete the plans.
  • It is good to have a plan b. However, don't hesitate to create plans C, D, and more.
  • Trust and rely on your co-leaders. Start the boarding process if you don't have a co-leader to help with the Atlassian Community. In that case, you will create moments and memories to nurture the next generation of leaders.
  • Appreciate your extended team. We need to rely on each other and create momentum with the right attitude and good manners.
  • Think outside the box and look for opportunities to impact the lives of others, generate opportunities for colleagues to present, partners to sponsors, members to contribute. Then, identify recipients of those actions and get them involved to have moments to remember.

About my time as Atlassian Community Leader

  • I have no regrets at all. The community provided a channel to find great individuals to nurture a friendship beyond our professional development.
  • With the Atlassian Community team's support, we reached the lives of many individuals by providing opportunities to receive knowledge, getting them involved as volunteers, and helping them find solutions to their technical challenges.
  • It is a healthy ecosystem. I enjoy interacting with the Atlassian team members, the community of users, and the partners. We are all in the same boat with a common purpose: empower the individuals and the teams to reach their maximum potential. See you soon at Teams'22!

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12 comments

A remarkable story. I enjoyed reading that. Well done!

Thanks @Astrid Sieben . I am working on the follow-up articles with more details and pictures. We are also preparing phase 2. Thanks for reading it!

What a ride! it's a path all events should head to, have a social impact to give back to the community 💙💙💙

Excellent job @Fabian A_ Lopez _Community Leader - Argentina_ Florida_ California_. It is a pleasure to work with this team. 

Erica Moss Community Manager Jan 18, 2022

@Fabian A_ Lopez _Community Leader - Argentina_ Florida_ California_ I don't have the words to adequately describe how amazing and Herculean this effort was — and I'm also running out of new ways to thank you for inspiring the entire Community team and your fellow Leaders. Keep shining bright!

Sharon Tan Community Manager Jan 18, 2022

@Fabian A_ Lopez _Community Leader - Argentina_ Florida_ California_ Learning so much from you and grateful for your inspiration as a leader! Thank you for sharing this!!

@Fabian A_ Lopez _Community Leader - Argentina_ Florida_ California_  This is amazing and really inspiring. A true leader without a title. 

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