Month: January 2018

Tough Mudder: Re-run.

(Several months ago I wrote the blog below about our upcoming Tough Mudder event.   Other than our December Toys for Tots donation day, it was my favorite charity event of the year.   We survived the run, the electric shock and raised money for a great cause.   Unfortunately, the Tough Mudder 2018 has been rescheduled.   So, this year we plan on participating in the Warrior Dash – and again sponsoring Promise 686) 

Preparing for a 12-mile run with obstacles is a serious commitment. Imagine doing it with little to no training at all! The average training window ranges from 12 to 20 weeks. First-time marathoners aim to build weekly mileage up to 50 miles over the four months leading up to race day, requiring about three-to-five runs per week. Runners know that, like marathons, goals require intentional effort and determination ahead of the race.

For example:

  • The effort required to execute and present a large project for your organization involves considerable planning and execution weeks ahead of the actual presentation.
  • Losing weight and gaining muscle mass is only possible through considerable lifestyle changes, a healthy diet, and consistent fitness participation.
  • Writing a book includes heavy research, story outlining, and several drafts before release.

Important commitments require preparation and effort to successfully implement from start to finish by a specific date.

What if there isn’t time to prepare?

This is the experience foster children and families undergo without warning. Competing in a 12-mile course without preparation is nothing compared to the fear and challenges new foster children experience each day. The founder of Promise686Andy Cook, is local to Peachtree Corners, Georgia and well-invested in the local foster care system.

“For their safety, children are unexpectedly removed from their home and their world is turned upside down. The next morning, they awaken to a new reality and loss. The road of foster care is not only tough for the child, but it’s tough for foster parents. Would this job description recruit you? ‘No guarantee of any tangible progress, the high likelihood of emotional turmoil in your home…’ Yet when you talk to foster parents, this is exactly what they knowingly sign up to do. They love a child wholeheartedly and then, most the time, they let that child go.”

It’s tough for foster children and parents.

While foster parents intentionally enrolled in the program, they have no real way to fully prepare for the emotions, entry, and exit of the children they will bring into their home and lives.

This is why we signed up for the Tough Mudder “TOUGH Campaign” with Promise686. Being a foster child or parent is a roller coaster of emotions void of preparation. Just like someone running a marathon without training, foster families hit the ground running and need the support of friends and family to help them make it from start to finish.

“We hope, in its own way, that our efforts will highlight the challenging commitment of foster families and raise essential funds to support these families and the children they serve. There are not enough families for Georgia’s more than 13,000 children in foster care,” said Cook. “Promise686’s goal is to plant foster care ministries in individual churches, raising up hundreds of new foster families – over 100 so far! So while Promise has almost 1000 volunteers currently serving via 105 church partners, we require ongoing resources to equip many more churches, families, and volunteers.”

This year’s Tough Mudder course includes 12 miles and 20+ obstacles. The Promise686 team grew from 16 runners in 2014, to 57 runners in 2015, to 100 runners in 2016! Last year the organization received 842 individual donations, were honored to have 34 corporate sponsors, and overall awareness was raised. This energy brings much needed attention to Georgia’s foster care crisis.

It isn’t too late to sign up for the Tough Mudder course!

You’ll see a collection of friendly faces from Relus, including myselfJosiah DeeganSarah EverettBrandon GrindleSeth HesterDavid Norman, and Sam Dobbins. If you can’t make it this year, you’re also able to donate to the cause.

Join us as we invest in our community and the lives being touched here. Like others who lacked time to prepare, I will be relying heavily on my team to help me make it across the finish line!


Note:  In 2018 we will be doing the Warrior Dash.   I hope to see you there supporting Relus and Promise 686.


The search for HQ-R2!

Amazon’s HQ2 search is narrowing, while the search for HQ-R2 now begins

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, recently narrowed his search for their second headquarters to 20 cities, one of which is Atlanta. “HQ2” as it is being called will bring thousands of high-paying jobs to the winning city, and the high-profile process has encouraged the finalists to roll out the red carpet with billions in incentives to Amazon. Other contenders include New York, Austin, Miami, Chicago, and Toronto to name just a few. These cities all have large populations, and the ability to attract technical talent – a key for Amazon’s continued growth.


But, with only 1 winner, there will be 19 losers in the process. But have no fear, if your city is not selected, there is still a chance to earn the coveted HQ-R2. Yes, I am of course talking about the second headquarters for AWS Premier Partner, Relus Cloud. Hosting HQ-R2 could mean big things for your city, and it won’t cause you to go through an extensive (and expensive) bidding process to be a contender. Currently headquartered in Peachtree Corners, GA, Relus will outgrow its current facilities in the next two years and could be coming to your city soon.

In fact, in only 21 years, Relus will be larger than our partner AWS (Amazon Web Services). How is this possible? Well, this statement of course assumes that we continue at our current 100% annual growth rate, and that AWS continues to grow at “only” 40% per year. If current projections remain true, in 20 years we will be a $10 Trillion company and AWS will be at $12 Trillion. The following year, 2039, we will surpass them and become the world’s first $20 Trillion company (like I said, contingent on these current growth patterns). This is the power of exponential growth! All of that being said, if you believe in Relus (like I do), the value presented in winning the ability to host HQ-R2 is evident. So don’t worry if your city has been kicked out of the running to win the coveted AWS HQ2, you can still become the host city of Relus HQ-R2 and bring your city the pride (and job growth) associated with hosting such a large and successful company!

Please contact my assistant, Alexa, if you want your city to be considered for this highly coveted 2nd Relus headquarters! P.S. If you want to change your iconic building colors to Cloud Blue (like New York did to try and woo Amazon) we would not object! Or changing a name like Pittsburgh to Relusburgh might also help.

In the first two years, the winning city could expect 10’s of jobs created! Though we have yet to be contacted, or gotten any official bids, we would certainly accept applications from all the same cities on the Amazon list, and many others which might include:

  • Auburn, Alabama – home of the Tigers, and greatest little city on the plains, and home to Mike and Ed’s Barbecue.
  • Panama City Beach, FL – Airbrush specialists make great coders, and close to 30-A, best beach in the South.
  • Lafayette,  Louisiana – a college town with great commutes to the office.
  • Charleston SC – Old Southern charm, and great food

All jokes aside, we actually are planning to grow at over 100% in 2018 – it will be an exciting year for Relus Cloud. To continue at this pace, we are rapidly hiring superstars that fit our company values, and have a sense of humor.

Relus Cloud is currently hiring in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Nashville, and Texas.

Positions Include:

  • Senior Cloud Architect (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, NYC)
  • Senior Cloud Data Architect (Atlanta)
  • Senior Cloud Executive (Austin, Nashville, NYC)
  • Senior Solutions Architect (Chicago, NYC)
  • Director of Marketing
  • Sales Development Representative
  • Cloud Sales Manager
  • Cloud Project Manager

**View all job opportunities here***