And so, sadly, Wednesday dawned as the last day of the 2009 summit. Breakfast was a huge buffet at the WTCC:
This is where we found Richard again, looking a little worse for wear. Reminds me of the first morning of my first summit. <grin>
It ended off with a half day of keynote speeches, and then lunch. They keynotes were interesting, with Steve Ballmer's being as energetic as usual. He really is a dynamic guy, and I believe genuinely values the contributions that the MVP's make to Microsoft's products. One memory I'll take away is him signing the back of a photo. This particular photo was of an MVP (Frank) who had passed away shortly before the summit. The Small Business Server guys asked Steve if he'd sign something for Frank's family. Steve called him up and proceeded to write on the back for about 3 minutes. Not just a line or two, but a real essay. He didn't have to go to that length, and it really displays something of his character, and of his feelings of the MVP crowd.
After the keynotes, we broke out and there were a lot of goodbyes as people had to start heading off to flights. We did manage to get a few photos along the way though:
That's Kevin Jones on the left, Mike Rosenblum, me in the hockey jersey, Richard Schollar in the back row beside Greg Truby. Smitty Smith is in front of Richard, and Tom Urtis is beside him. Below is the photo of the Canadian MVP's in the our hockey jerseysâ€¦ a tradition at the summit keynote. I'm in the back row somewhere.
From there, we headed back to the Westin again, and then Dee, Mike Rosenblum and I went out to dinner at Il Fornaio. It was a great meal with some awesome in depth conversation about .NET code. (My wife is just awesome about me getting into geek talk with someone!). Mike is a great guy, and we both had a lot of fun over dinner.
And then, to close off the event, the three of us headed back to the Westin bar where we met up with Roger Govier and a couple of UK MVP's that he brought with him. Nate Oliver also dropped in too. One of the UK MVP's that Roger brought was Joe Fawcett, an XML MVP whom I'd met at a previous summit. Seeing Joe caused another round of geek talk to break out as the whole group got into a deep discussion on the compatibility of XML Namespaces. (Look, snicker all you want, but it WAS a technical event!)
I really had a blast this summit. Learned a lot, gave a lot of feedback and met some great new people. Now I just have to make sure I get invited back next year. 😉