Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The "A Team", Part II

The thing I will miss most about the CSC Experience is the people I met.  Professionally and personally, these are individuals I respect & admire, people whose skills in the workplace are exceptional and whose perspectives on living and working I value.  They are also funny and friendly.  Some are silly and some are serious; some are musical and some are athletic; some are pragmatists and others are dreamers.  

Before I left, I wrote a post on my anticipation for how great this experience would be by drawing what I hoped were humorous parallels to the “A” Team series.  Afterwards I worried that I might have been tempting fate with that post, but fortune was more than kind.  Everyone on this team was different but contributed something important and unique to the successful group dynamic.  

Meet this “A” Team (in alphabetical order), and what I'll miss most about them from our short time together:

Jane Antova was the first IBMer I met from the CSC team; we flew in, bought strawberries, and got lost twice in the Casablanca Medina before most of the team even arrived.  She is full of fun and takes every experience to its fullest; this is what I will miss most, and this is why I will be calling her when I take my family to Ireland in August.

Edwin Baby is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met.  Despite my giving him a hard time for wandering off a few times early in the trip (yes, Edwin is Waldo), I am so glad he got put on my team.

What I will miss most about Fabian Bourdin is his sense of humor.  A lot of people on this team had a great sense of humor, but no one made me laugh as hard as Fabian.  His humor permeates his professionalism and makes him a wonderful teammate.

What I will miss most about Kavya Gowda is the way she balances her creativity and humor with a sense of urgency in her work.  This woman, who I had the privilege of working closely with every day, is a creative soul who only accepts greatness in her work.

Jette Gustaffson might be the coolest person from the Morocco 6 crew.  She has seen much of the world and you can sense that in her demeanor and her sense of humor; nothing too much seems to ruffle her but she finds fun everywhere.  She’s also incredibly tech-savvy.  If you don’t believe me, check out these amazing videos she made of our trip:  (;;

Although it would be a stretch to say I’ll “miss” Jordan Heichel (he and I work in the same business unit in Washington DC and I will most certainly see him again soon), I have great respect for his professionalism.  He’s one of those rare “up and coming” types who facilitates participation from all corners of the group.

Sarah Power is a confident and capable professional with a deep interest in the world around her.  I will miss her sharp humor and her willingness to debate.  The world needs more people like her who think hard about important issues.

What I will miss most about Tania Garcia Rueda is her laugh.  She is an incredibly warm and friendly person, and when she laughs she GOES for it.  No matter how poor the joke, or mundane the situation, Tani found every inch of joy in everything and laughed a laugh that no one could ignore.

Masafumi Takahashi is about as down to earth as it gets.  What I will miss most about him is that he was consistently a realist but that he always found the good in and around the grit.  No matter how irritating the situation, no matter how exhausted we all were, Masa was right there agreeing with us but able to find light and humor.

Samantha Milena Novaes Tomeotti (or Sami, as we called her) is just a delight.  A delight to talk to, a delight to joke with, a delight to work with, a delight to simply be around.  There is no other way to describe her on paper, because to truly pay her tribute I’d have to use my hands in describing her to you.

And last but never least, the man we affectionately nicknamed “Scrooge” for much of the trip.  Although Juani Espinosa Torroija is quiet and measured by nature, he is precise and thorough in his work.  And his sense of humor is as dry and sharp as they come.  Scrooge made me laugh every day in the office.  It’s a rare thing to find someone who takes their work seriously even when they see irony in task, and that it what I will miss most about him.

Hopefully, Morocco will be better for having this team’s professional focus for the month – but regardless, I can say definitively that I am better professionally for having been one of this group in Morocco.  

Thank you all.  And (really and truly!) come and visit if you ever find yourselves stateside.   

Next post - pictures of #ibmcsc morocco6

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