It seems way too soon to write in totality about my four-plus days spent in New Orleans for 2018’s Dad 2.0 Summit, so I’ll break it down into easily digestible pieces over the next few days/weeks. And for my own sake, I’ll go chronologically to help me remember everything in as much detail as I can.
Since waiting is awful, here’s something to get me rolling.
The purpose of this post, however, is a ‘Thank You’ post to Doug French and John Pacini, the two masterminds behind this whole thing. And to their support team for doing the behind-the-scene heavy lifting. And the always-dapper Whit Honea, with his spectacular threads and his paperboy cap.
And to the Ritz-Carlton for the lavish digs I’d never frequent otherwise.
Thanks to the myriad of sponsors who also help make it possible for the event to be such a success. Brand sponsors included:
Dove Men+Care for providing a sweet-ass barbershop for attendees, tons of new
products to try, awesome lanyard my 6-year-old loves, putting our story as dads on display in said barbershop, getting Super Bowl champion father/son duo Ronnie Lott (4x) and Ryan Nece (1x) as keynote speakers, and also allowing me the opportunity to talk with a senior scientist for Baby Dove only to realize he also lives in Connecticut.
Best Buy for the awesome Drone Experience, allowing several of us to meet and engage with Super Bowl and Pro Bowl MVP Von Miller, give the geeks a glimpse into all the new and exciting products offered in their stores and online. Despite being a drone rube, I flew the prototype Mavic Air like a sorcerer without having to even use the joystick.
Clorox for the cool brand experience, the sweet silicone ice-cube tray I scored for
unsuccessfully “cleaning” your kitchen while being judged (on creativity).
Hanes for helping the Earth and recycling plastic waste into t-shirts (not kidding), their partnership to enrich America’s national parks and programs, and the sweet new socks, tees, and underwear.
Kia for scooping me up at the airport for a ride to the Ritz late Wednesday night (thanks John and Mark), giving me the chance to look cool (not quite Steven Tyler-cool) driving the 2018 Kia Stinger, and picking me to win a sweet Harman Kardan wireless speaker in a giveaway.
GSK for their informative panel on vaccines and how important they are.
LEGO for giving Star Wars nerds (not necessarily me) a look into new releases planned for 2018 as well as a take-away Millennium Falcon microfighter kit that I’ve already stepped on six times.
Plum Organics for always supporting dads and providing us with healthy options for our kids, since they rarely eat anything I put on the table.
SmartyPants for making vitamins that look like Starburst, which is making it easy to remember to take them.
And last but certainly not least, thank you to all the people I reconnected with and the people I connected with for the first time. Last year I stayed in my comfort zone (read: the outskirts) and kinda took it all in from afar despite being in the thick of it. This year I felt more in my element thanks to the open-arms vibe so many of you emanated.
So thank you all, truly, from someone who hates all crowds except the one at Dad 2.0!