Today is my anniversary. One year ago today -- which is a very long time, but it honestly feels like yesterday - I closed on the deal to buy Hobby Lobby International: my next adventure in business.


Not just because of the down economy everyone talks about, but based on the fast changing hobby itself, it was a very challenging year for our clients, our suppliers and our dealer partners. Together, we all rose to the occasion.


My experience has been nothing short of a thrill ride. At times, something closer to the ride you get from a jet jockey at the local air show... that pilot trying to get you to barf for sport... regardless, what a terrific life experience!


For the past few days, folks at the Hobby Lobby have been taking note for the occasion. I thought long and hard about this year in review. What would I say when there is so much to say?


So, rather than use my words, I plan to note the advice, observations and coaching I got from the many industry icons and outstanding customers, employees (and bankers) who generously gave me priceless support throughout my first full year at the helm of this company. A company that is, quite simply, a very special place.


I discovered, through their eyes, how to fully appreciate the unique position the team at Hobby Lobby has carved out over the last 44 years. Tomorrow, I will share what I learned from Jim Bourke, President and Super Cool Dude at RC Groups. Each subsequent day, I'll share personal notes here in our forum, paying tribute to people on that long list of friends, observers, customers and competitors.


It's more important than my experience. It's your experience that counts. This will be fun!