INTRODUCTION – WHO IS PATTI?
As you will hear in Episode 1 of the Home Run On Wheels podcast, I work remotely as an IT Project Manager (PM). This was not always the case, of course. I began my illustrious career a “few” years back as an IT developer/business analyst. I worked my way up into various leadership roles. For 17-plus years, I was a “lifer” at a large beer company based in St. Louis, Mo. (Maybe you’ve heard of it.) Due to a reorganization, my position was eliminated along with more than 250 others. I looked upon this as a blessing in disguise.
While I had great opportunities there, working in multiple positions and learning about different aspects of the business, it was really only the second job I had, had in my IT career. At the same time this happened, Ron was offered an opportunity to work on a sports media news desk based in Charlotte, N.C. After Googling a bit, and making a pros and cons list. (Yes, that’s the PM in me.) We decided to go for it. Why not?
THE NEXT CHAPTER IN CHARLOTTE
Luckily I had a healthy severance package and we took the plunge and moved to Charlotte. Ron moved first while I packed up the house. (I’ll compare and contrast that experience to my current one later. Packing a house to move to a house vs. downsizing to an RV.)
I actually took my time in finding a new job. It was the best decision ever. I got to work full time on unpacking and setting up the rental house. I also got to focus on landscaping and creating a garden. (I LOVE to garden and I love flowers and plants — love being outdoors.) I also got to spend time with my parents when they came to visit for two weeks.
Life was great, but alas we are not independently wealthy. So, back to work for me! I found a position at Lowe’s home improvement as a Software Engineering Manager. I enjoyed my time there and it was interesting starting in a new company after cutting my teeth at and working for a beer company for over 17 years. But again, my position was eliminated / there was a reduction in force. This layoff happened right before our wedding. The silver lining was that I was able to focus on the planning for and execution of the wedding. (PM talking again.) We had a fabulous wedding in St. Louis, by the way — a great celebration with our family and friends!
SO NOW WHAT?
My next career move took me to my first fully remote position. I work as a contractor at a large financial institution. I communicate with people all over the country — in North Carolina, New Jersey, Minnesota, Arizona, California — via phone, instant messaging, and email. Basically, I still have to work certain hours, because I am frequently in meetings or have to communicate with folks in other ways to get my work done. However, as long as I have a phone and WiFi, I can work from anywhere.
This is what I told Ron on that fateful day last summer. And remember that pros and cons list for moving to Charlotte? One of the cons was that it was missing a Major League Baseball team. What better way to get back into baseball than by traveling the country to all 30 MLB stadiums? Ron is a sports writer, so this would become his job.
And of course, about that same time I started seeing advertisements for “Going RV” on the Travel Channel. Could we marry our passion for travel with our passion for sports… before retirement?!? Life in an RV? Again, the answer came: why not?
Then we had dinner with my good friend Celeste Dominguez and our partnership with Children’s Hope Alliance was born. Our trip took on a greater meaning. We could take some kids to a game or maybe hold events that would bring some moments of joy into the lives of families and children in need.
So follow along with us: read and hear about our adventures. Hear exclusive interviews with various sports figures. See how we share the message of hope across the US and parts of Canada and check out Children’s Hope Alliance to learn about and support their programs.
I’ll also share how we chose our RV and the adventure it has been to prepare for our baseball trip of a lifetime. (NOTE: It’s about so much more than baseball, so if you are not a big fan, follow along anyway. Maybe you’ll even catch the fever.)