Thanks, Dad 2.0 Summit

It’s a few days post-Dad 2.0 Summit, which was my first conference of any kind non-baseball related, in sunny San Diego, and I am still having a tough time putting it all together. Doug French, co-founder and a man whose voice should grace every audio book ever recorded, a man who I never formally introduced myself to because of the magnitude that was Dad 2.0 for a first-timer, I want to thank you. And also thanks to co-founder John Pacini, who I honestly didn’t know was there until the very end (sorry, John).

Thanks for putting together this summit where a a group of ~ 500 dads got together with brands who actually believe that we’re and important demographic and not just a group of bumbling dolts. We’re all just doing our part as parents/fathers/spouses to prove dads are competent and important in shaping the lives of the young people we help raise. Because regardless of gender, race, creed, religion, etc., the end game is raising our kids to be good, caring, compassionate people. Right?

And the event certainly wouldn’t have taken place without the generosity of so many sponsors who believe in us as parents, caregivers, brand ambassadors, and influencers – Dove Men+Care, Kia Motors, Best Buy, Facebook, Rheem, Russell Athletic, Hero Clean, SmartyPants, Baby Bjorn, Gifted movie, Keeper Security, LEGO Systems, Inc., Plum Organics, General Mills, and fodada. The swag was pretty neat but even moreso were these companies working with us dads in order to change the perception of modern fatherhood.

I went to put faces to names rather than focus on becoming a brand influencer or ambassador. That stuff is cool, but meeting guys you’ve “known” for a few years is cooler. Big thanks to Kevin McKeever and Eric Jacobs for letting me crash on their floor Wednesday night, the day before I was scheduled to arrive, I mean they should be thanking me for getting them a mini-fridge for the weekend. Dads helping dads. And to the big guy Chris Bernholdt for splitting a room for three nights with a stranger-turned-friend even though I’d spoken to him a few times like two years prior.

I’ve been a member of the Dad Bloggers and National At-Home Dad Network Facebook groups for a few years but I’ve only ever interacted with these guys through said groups – I’ve never met any face-to-face. I heard about their stories, their parenting successes and failures, the brands that they work with, the message that such a large group of dads is trying to convey.

And it’s truly inspiring. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend through the Oren Miller Dad 2.0 Scholarship Fund thanks to the generosity of others.

Like I mentioned, this was just a post to thank those involved in putting this awesome event on.

I’ll get into my takeaway from it as the days and weeks go on but one thing is for sure: I learned way more than I anticipated and was inspired by so many of you. And for that, I thank you…fellow dads, attendees, speakers, spotlight bloggers, and sponsors.

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