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Happy Birthday to John Troyer, a VMware Community Pillar

I wanted to take time out today to wish John Troyer, a VMware employee to some, a community member to others, creator of VMware vExperts to around 300 opinionated few, and a friend to many, a very happy birthday!

A few short weeks ago, a fellow VMware vExpert and virtualization evangelist, Christopher Kusek, came up with a brilliant idea.  He reached out to the 2011 vExpert community members with a secret project under strict embargo rules (sorry John, this time you were on the other side of the embargo) -- the project was to find a way to show John Troyer our sincere appreciation for all that he does and to do so around his birthday.  To show our thanks, Christopher suggested that the vExpert community create a series of blog posts (something we've all become way too familiar with) wishing John a happy birthday and thanking him for his work within the community, the creation and ongoing implementation of a vExpert program, and for being an all around good guy to know and have as a friend. 

If you don't know John Troyer, and you're reading this post, get to know him.  He is the social media strategist and community builder at VMware, and he does a fantastic job doing it.  If you still don't recognize the man by name, think about the VMware Community Forums, VMTN Blogs, PlanetV12n and the VMware community Podcasts.  If you've been to VMworld, you've probably seen a very tall man running around the showroom floor between the podcast booth, a round table discussion at lunch, a community operated demo station, or any of one hundred other things -- the man is busy during the show!

John knows many of us in the virtualization community by name and face.  And he knows that we, the virtualization and VMware evangelists out there in the ethernet, have been promoting VMware technology (the good, the bad and the ugly at times) from the highest of mountains, not because we get paid, but because we all have the same passion and love for this technology that he has... most of us just don't happen to work for the company that has created this x86 phenomenon.  To help give each of us a bit of recognition and a pat on the back from the company we love to talk about, he helped to create a program three years ago called the VMware vExpert program -- which is growing into something along the lines of a Microsoft MVP program of sorts (for lack of any other way to try and explain it in this short blog post).  And those of us who have been nominated and accepted into this program over the last three years are thankful that he did.

I've known John for a few years now, meeting him face to face for the first time at a VMworld VMUG round-table meet up perhaps back in 2006, I think (my mind doesn't go that far back anymore without becoming cloudy, no pun intended)... that was before he created the vExpert group.  But one thing is certain, even as my memory gets harder and harder to access, I don't think I'll ever forget the image of John in a Wookie outfit.  That sort of thing just never goes away! 

He is a humble individual.  And he'll tell you in email, online or in person, that he's just doing his job.  And yes, he is doing his job and doing it well, but it goes much deeper than that.  He is building a community, and bringing people together.  And he is making friends with us and between us.  As I've said, we are an opinionated bunch of people, and we'll do and say things that would make your hair curl or turn grey at times (that might be what's happening to me now that I think about it) -- but John carries on and takes it with a grain of salt, and he'll do whatever is in his powers to make somebody's life better or respond to a request and make something happen.  No, none of that was in his job description, and the "job" he does grows on a regular basis.  If he ever leaves VMware, I'd hate to be the person who has to follow in his giant Wookie footsteps! 

John, I said it on Facebook, let me again say it here: Happy Birthday my friend.  And thank you for all of the hard work you do day in and day out within the community for VMware.  Your work is recognized by all of us in the community and the vExpert group.  And we thank you for it.

Join me as I raise my glass to John for everything he has done, what he is doing, and what he plans on doing into the future for this v12n community.  And wish him a happy birthday!

You can follow him on Twitter at @JTroyer.  And today, shout out to him with the special hashtag created for this event, #vTHNX.

Published Sunday, July 24, 2011 2:14 PM by David Marshall
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