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  • Writer's pictureShelly Nicholas

2016 Recap: Top 5 Wins

At a previous job, employees shared weekly wins and challenges with their managers every Friday afternoon. Most weeks I enjoyed reflecting on everything that occurred throughout the week; it provided a moment to pause and realize how much gets accomplished. It was also an opportunity to celebrate small wins. In this vein, I'm going to share my personal Top 5 Wins of 2016.

5. Livi Walks! - We adopted a terribly shy and fearful Frenchton named Olivia in September 2015 from Animal Rescue Rhode Island. She stared into the corner of our living room for the first few weeks without letting anyone near her. It broke my heart. Eventually we won her trust, and she started venturing into our fenced backyard.

In early 2016, we were finally able to get Livi on a leash to go for walks outside in the world. The first attempts were terrifying for her, but once she realized all of the cool places we could go..... she... Huge thank you to Dale at The Potter League and Katy at The Clever Canine for all of your help. We couldn't have done it without your support and encouragement.

Olivia - The Office Dog in Kennebunkport, ME - on her leash

4. MEPI Student Successes - Over the summer, I coached and mentored students from The US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) at Roger Williams University Leadership Institute.

During this program, university student leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa region complete an academic leadership seminar, team building exercises, and conflict resolution workshops. Students focus on preparing an entrepreneurial venture to tackle issues back home involving social, governmental, or economic challenges. One of my students recently learned that he will be competing in the regional finals in Ghana in early 2017. #whenhardworkpaysoff

MEPI Students at Roger Williams University

3. RMIT Takes on NYC - This past summer marked my second year of teaching the E-Commerce and Digital Marketing course at LIM College for students studying abroad from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

Huge thank yous to our esteemed guest speakers Bethany Heitman, Executive Editor at People StyleWatch, and Annie Cavallo, Founder & Creative Director of "I Do" Style Collective. I also appreciate the hospitality shown by Puja Kumar, HR Operations Analyst at Michael Kors, and Shannon Nobles, Marketing Director at Women's Wear Daily, for hosting office visits. The experiences you provided by sharing your time and expertise were invaluable. We love #girlbosses!

RMIT Students visiting the WWD office in NYC while studying at LIM College

2. Thary Graduates! - My Year Up Mentee, Thary Phann, pushed herself through the rigorous IT training, excelled at her corporate internship at FM Global, and earned the title Year Up Graduate. She was such an outstanding student that she was hired full time at Blue Cross Blue Shield before graduation. We're proud of you, Thary.

Thary's Year Up graduation with her parents

1. #YouBetterBurke - My best friend, Shannon Tracy, married her equal and better half (it's possible), Caitlin Burke. Together they' I know this is a list of personal wins; I'm just so happy to be part of their lives and was honored to be included in their special day. Love wins - always. Cheers to the newlyweds!

FIERCE! Shannon and Caitline Burke on their wedding day

What a year. Did you have any wins that you would like to share? Please do so below. We'd love to celebrate with you. Thanks for being part of our journey in 2016. We look forward to sharing more with you in 2017. Until then...

Hair Up, Game On, Shelly

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