Still thrilled to be part of such a talented flock of nerds that truly lift one another up.
We all made it through 2021 and us creepy Nice folks here in Minnesota give that a Texas sized uff-da. It had been a year since my first FM annual Roast & Toast and so I knew I was in for a sore mouth from laughing and I brought my Puffs for the inevitable misty eyes. I’m a sensitive type dontcha know? Like last year for me it didn’t disappoint. It was as hilarious as it was heartwarming as you’ll see below. Foster Made is a weird and wonderful bunch that care a lot about one another. And come 2022, I’m ready to hit the brown running. Wut?
Jakob: Who is this person that has suddenly shown up in the weekly dev team meetings and is already providing detailed status updates on miscellaneous tasks!? He also has a GREAT head of hair, and he is very zen. I hope it rubs off me.
Justin: Justin seemed to magically appear and start getting real work done, like, right away. His lego collection makes me smile every time I see them behind him on a call. And I haven’t known him for a long time, but... I feel like I know him, you know?
Lakshami: I picture Lucky in her day to day as a child in a candy store with a limitless credit card, where every new task to undertake, every new person to meet, and every new conversation to have is the next delicious opportunity for delight. She brings it. All of it. She is exuberant AND gets stuff done. BOOM!
Patty: She gives me purpose. No, really, she gives me stuff to do. Like for my job. Patty is also like a magic hat. You think you have a sense of her and then she surprises you with another tidbit about her life. From USO tap-dancing and group fitness to knitting and guinea pigs, Patty has it all and has done it all. Thanks for keeping me at the edge of my seat!
Brian: He has quite a talent for intentionally spelling various “werdz” all funky ‘n’ stuff. He is always willing to pitch in. And always has an appropriate quip. It’s an important life skill. He is ever positive and is always looking for ways to improve things. His sense of humor is refreshing and I can always count on a “you betcha now” or an “uff da” depending on the situation :)
Jamara: She’s so professional and put together while also being incredibly laid back. Get-togethers with her are always pleasantly productive, effortlessly efficient and the phrase “whatcha got for me?” always keeps things light and positive. But she isn’t afraid to lay down the law. In a nice way.
Kim: She’s flawless. Her knack for consistency is truly *chef’s kiss* bellissimo! She's a delight to converse with, and her genuine interest in others ensures that no one feels out of place. I am consistently impressed by her communication skills and any files her fingers finesse with Figma. You’re welcome for the alliteration.
Haley: She is the most gentle but undercover sassy lady that there ever was. She works in a beautiful greenhouse and reads beautiful books and travels to beautiful places. It’s inspiring. And she has the ability to take complex requests and make sense of them and then produce really amazing results that knock me back.
Jill: A meeting with Jill is a good meeting. And I’m sure this extends to beyond work because she’s just a fun person to hang out with. She's the leader that I never knew was possible. Process driven, understanding & problem solving. And she always comes back with the perfect gif like she was born on the peanut butter aisle at Kroger.
Adrian: Adrian is so polite and kind that he often opens his emails, Slack messages, or Teamwork comments with a salutation such as “Dear so-and-so...” He has wonderfully funny stories, he’s a development sage, tenacious and highly self-motivated. The list goes on. What’s not to love and give thanks for?
Listwella: Her wide range of talent and experience is astonishing. Whenever I have a random question (that she’s already told me the answer to), she’s there to answer it without a huff. She has the best laugh ever, and since we’ve been out of the office for so long, I miss it. I miss you, Listwella. Thank you for being the wind behind FM’s wings!
Adam W: I love that he can either really hate something or really like something and he can express that to you with exactly the same face and cadence. It’s a talent. He’s a delightfully understated human, and he truly takes the time to mentor others and does so in such a way that you feel supported and valued. Working on a project together has genuinely been a treat!
Adam T: Wizard. That’s why I’m thankful for Adam. He is so thoughtful and patient, while also being incredibly wily. He’s helpful in one breath and in another will send you a scarring video you can never unsee. He's also my other favorite comedian at FM. Wait, how many are there? Well at any rate, AT would be the headliner.
Jonathan: He’s a brilliant, surly, incredibly helpful dude. It’s hard to tell whether or not the genius of the man’s comedy eludes even himself sometimes. He is wise and knowledgeable and will provide the information you seek. But first, you must solve these three riddles or forfeit your life.
Kelly: She spearheads some of the best work we’re doing. She really takes the time to assess a situation before deciding on the best solution or response. And she's a goshdarn gem in all the ways - so solid in what she knows to be right, able to guide like a landmark boulder, but totally willing to be polished if there’s something she doesn't know. A truly excellent role model.
Nina: She somehow always has relevant stories at the perfect length in just about any conversation. I love hearing her opinion on just about everything. It’s extremely helpful and often something I’ve not thought about. And none of us took the time to write Roast & Toast notes this year. Nina secretly wrote them all. She’s just THAT great!
Mike: Always willing to answer a question or lend a helping hand, this hard-working, honest and capable man brings his best to the table DAY IN AND DAY OUT, logging those billable hours like it ain’t no thing. Having grown up on a farm, he earned a hard-won work ethic, enviable manual labor skills and remarkable childrearing expertise. If we were lucky enough to have Mike as our dad, raising us up as his own, we’d all be better people, and we’d get to call him daddy.
Andrew: Blink and it’s handled. And, it’s handled swiftly and properly. Andrew’s care and wisdom runs deep and if you don’t pay attention, you’re going to miss some 18K gold nuggets. Also his facial hair is a not-so-subtle reminder that he is unquestionably the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) of Foster Made.
Paul: He’s an enigma. How do you lay down the hammer with a smile? How do you instill fear and also admiration and joy? For real, I appreciate Paul’s patience more and more year after year. He has a “steady at the helm” demeanor with just the right amount of added flare. He’s got all the tech suggestions. And all the smiles. Plus who else can make a button up shirt with popsicles all over it look so darn good and get away with wearing it like every day?!
Shawn: What you see is not what you get! This dynamic dude is full of dynamite. It’s very rare to find a leader and a visionary that cares for others as much as he does. His level of drive and ambition to make Foster Made bigger and better is simply immeasurable. He continuously makes me think deeper and look for answers in different directions, and he created this place where I’ve worked longer than at any other. And he's got a great sense of humor.