1. 2009 : The Year In Review

    As 2009 comes to a close, I figured it would be easiest to sum up some of the high points in a single blog post, instead of trying to do a 2-3 part series that wouldn’t attract anyone’s attention.

    Below is a summary of milestones & events that have happened to me this year in no particular order.

    I got engaged!

    Megan and I have gotten ourselves engaged and are off on an adventure together. There are plenty of potholes in the road, but we aren’t driving an Ford Explorer with Firestone tires, we’re in something a bit more sensible. Read the original blog post.

    My brother’s first daughter, Madeline, was born

    Nathan and Elya welcomed their first child, Madeline into the world. It was great to see them take their relationship and family to the next level.

    Took up Sailing with my Family

    The Howat family has always been nautical in nature. From our family summer cabin on the sound, to our annual family trip trip (Flickr Set) that involves jet skis, sailboats, swimming, and diving, we like to get wet. This year, we focused on sailing and got to spend some great time with my Dad on his boat. Check out the pictures on Flickr: Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, Set 4, Set 5, Set 6, Set 7, Set 8.

    I became the Creative Director for Avelient

    The team and I from BLUETUX have moved on to greener pastures. We’ve made our new home at Avelient, and through a mutually beneficial partnership, we’ve become the founding team of Avelient / West. We are a design and development company that focuses on many of the core services that BLUETUX offered, but with much more potential for both us and our customers.

    This transition is much more than a “good business deal” for me. It’s a chance for me to wear one or two less hats, work a few less hours occasionally, and to share in the leadership of a company that has like minded people and goals similar to my own. We look forward to working with all our old customers and offering a brand new level of service and support to them. For questions regarding this transition, please feel free to email me directly here: sam@avelient.com and I’ll be happy to discuss in greater detail!

    I got a dog: Zeus!

    Forest and I both got Great Dane puppies this past summer. Zeus has been a great dog, and is growing into an amazing companion that goes to the office with my each day and sleeps at the foot of my bed each night. He’s got a fan page on Facebook, check it out!

    Realized my learned skills as an entrepreneur

    I summarized some of my experiences and lessons into one simple blog post that contains some gems for young entrepreneurs. I hope it can help you skip some of the rough patches that I went through! Read: Advice for Young Entrepreneurs.

    Moved into my first house

    I moved into a house for the first time, since moving out of my parents 7 years ago. It has become my second office and I love spending time there with Megan and Zeus, as we start to make it our own. If you don’t have the address for the new place, feel free to email me at sam@avelient.com for the address.

    Closing thoughts on 2009

    This year has officially become the year of the bitter-sweet for me. There have been some terrifyingly tough decisions and cross roads for my life and some of the realizations I’ve come to weren’t too easy to deal with, but they’ve only proved to become the moments that boosted me to new levels. This is something that I can’t be thankful enough for. I’ve always been a strong believer in the axiom, “without the bitter, the sweet ain’t as sweet” and I’ve attempted to approach each bitter moment with this outlook. So far, so good.

    For all my friends and family, I look forward to sharing an amazing, adventure filled 2010 with you!