A New Professional and Personal Adventure

I’ve been quieter than usual lately because I’ve been busy wrapping up 13 years of my life at Ben Bridge Jeweler. On Monday, November 1, I will be joining Banyan Branch, a Seattle-based social media agency, as an Engagement Manager, and I couldn’t be more excited.

In 1997, I started my career at Ben Bridge Jeweler at the height of the holiday season, during which I learned to quickly catch the ball and get in the game. Over the past 13 years, Ben Bridge has seen solid and steady growth, and so have I. The last 2 years were especially thrilling, as I chose to color outside the corporate lines with great results, while learning from so many brilliant minds in the jewelry industry and beyond. So why am I leaving an organization as stable and well respected as Ben Bridge? Simply put, I’ve been given the chance to evolve and grow with Banyan Branch, and it’s the kind of opportunity that I just can’t turn down. More importantly, this would not have happened without your support. Yes, you. I’ve made numerous wonderful friends during my involvement with Social Media Club Seattle, Social Media Breakfast Seattle, Gnomedex, plus many more camps and events. All of you have challenged me to push my own limits, and for that I’m grateful.

Seattle is one of the most active social media hubs. I’m very fortunate to be part of this fantastic community. Thanks to Kevin Urie for starting SMC Seattle and being such an inspirational leader, and my fellow board members at both SMC Seattle and SMB Seattle for setting such admirable examples in community building, mentoring and thought leadership. I must also thank Ed Bridge, Jon Bridge and my team at Ben Bridge Jeweler, who have helped me grow for over a decade, and trusted me to take the Ben Bridge brand into the social space. I won’t lie though; it’s hard to say goodbye to @BenBridgeGirl. She’s been such a lovely constant companion. :)

I’m really looking forward to new adventures at Banyan Branch, where I’ll have the chance to assist some incredible brands with engagement and movement. I hope you’ll continue to ask me the hard questions and give me straightforward feedback. As always, I’m wide open on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and I’m sure we’ll see more of each other, both on and offline!

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43 Comments

  1. Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I am so excited to work with you!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Jess! :) I’m really excited, too. Hope you’re ready for me to bug you with dozens of questions. Haha!

  2. Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Veronica -

    This announcement gives me such great joy! Over the past two years I’ve known you, I have been continually blown away by your intuition, your smarts and your generous heart. You, my dear friend, are a class act.

    I want to wish you the best in your new endeavor. The Seattle community has your back and I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say how excited we are to see you excel in this new role.

    A very proud & excited ^EP. :)

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      ^EP — What would I do without you propping me up and setting me straight whenever I need it? Please don’t stop! Thank you! :)

  3. Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Veronica – you are amazing! Banyan Branch is uber lucky to snag you!! Cannot wait to see you bloom over there! Congrats!! The next big yellow bottle is one me ;)

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Kristy — I should buy you a big yellow bottle for all the knowledge you generously share with me. Thank you!

  4. Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Welcome! I look forward to meeting you next week when I’m in the Seattle office.

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Jenny — Thank you for the welcome. See you at the office soon!

  5. Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Congrats on the move!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Hugh! How’s your new-ish gig going? See you at another SMC Seattle event soon?

  6. Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Very excited for you, Veronica. Happy to see you’re not moving TOO far from our neighborhood. All the best!

    StanO

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Stan — Thanks! I’ll still be close enough to meet you for coffee at Seattle Center!

  7. Gail
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Congratulations!! I’ve been waiting for something like this for you. :-)

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Hey G! :) Thank you.

      P.S. I’m so glad to be back in touch with >90% of the Spa girls. :D

  8. Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Veronica –

    At last we get to work together!! We are so excited to have you join the Banyan Branch team. Your dedication to the Social Media Club Seattle organization over the past two years in conjunction with so many of our the other amazing volunteers is what makes the Seattle agency and social media scene one of the strongest in the country. We can’t wait for you to start this new chapter with us!

    Cheers,

    Blake
    @bcahill
    @banyanbranch

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Blake — I’m honored. Your leadership and support of SMC Seattle made the organization what it is today. Thanks for always challenging me, and for the shiny new opportunity at Banyan Branch. See you at the office on Monday!

  9. Hsiao-Ching Chou
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! What a thrill for you to be working with such cool people!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Hsiao-Ching — Thank you! Shall we go for some good bubble tea soon?

  10. Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Veronica,

    Congratulations! It has been an honor to have you as the Community Director at SMC Seattle and one of the original 12. You have built around SMC Seattle an amazing community and are the heart and soul of our organization. We would not be the same without you.

    I can’t wait to see what you can do when focused 100% on social media engagement, something you were born to do. Banyan is very lucky to have you and I can’t wait to see what you and Blake can do together.

    Continue to push the limits, continue to explore new possibilities, and mostly just continue being the smart, caring, and understanding person you are.

    Congratulations!
    Kevin

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Kevin — See what I mean? You’re one of the best leaders I’ve worked with, and you have the biggest heart. I love being one of the “original 12.” :) Thank you, and I won’t disappoint you!

  11. Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Congrats on your new adventure!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Hi Alix! Thank you. Will you help me shop for new work clothes, O Stylish One? :)

  12. Ricardo Rabago
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Hi Veronica,

    Congratulations and all the best in your new position!

    Happy Holidays,
    -Ricardo

  13. Posted October 29, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    V!!!!!

    I am so incredibly excited for you and proud of you.
    It will be great to see you really give time, energy and passion to something that comes so naturally to you – community engagement. You will do so so well. I am trilled beyond myself to see you flourish. Blake is so lucky to have you at Banyan Branch – he certainly has seen how key you have been to the consistent growth of SMCSeattle.

    Did you know V – YOU were the reason I came to my first SMCSeattle event? You were so warm and inviting – you made we WANT to connect with the local Social Media community. From that day on, I have seen you engage the Seattle Social Media community tirelessly – with the very same passion and dedication. Your unwavering principles and real focus on what the vision of SMCSeattle is, keeps us on track and always growing. So thank you for everything you do and everything I have learned from YOU :)

    I cannot wait to see you in person!!!!!!!!!
    Umm, when is the party???

    • Veronica
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Maya — You’re going to make me cry. :) You’re the one I look up to all the time, and SMC Seattle has grown so much since you joined the board and brought your passion and expertise with you. I’ll see you at the ed event soon. Party at your house? Haha! I’ve missed Pree and the girls, too. xo

  14. bev
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Veronica. I echo the comments that it is wonderful to know that you will be able to fully engage in what seems to be your true purpose. You have a unique gift, and you have done an amazing job of helping people and organizations explore and build rich connections through social media. I love reading your posts and feeling the sense of warmth and genuine caring that you offer. Cheers to your bright future!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Bev — I sure do miss having you around everyday, but I’ve learned from your example, and challenged myself to do more. Thank you, and please let me know if/when you visit Seattle again. I’d love to catch up in person!

  15. Posted October 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Congrats! It couldn’t happen to a kinder person. I’m a bit jealous that you’ll get to do what you were born to do. Hope our paths cross again soon.

    • Veronica
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Brett — You’re always so kind to me. Your blog posts have made me think and feel more, especially on the parenting front. Thank you for sharing your stories and strength. Hey, let’s get some pho in Redmond soon!

  16. Kenji Onozawa
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Congrats, Veronica! They’re incredibly lucky to have you and I’m really looking forward to see what big things you do there! Cheers!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Kenji — If only you know how much I’ve learned by observing what you’ve been doing as Telenav’s community manager! The SMC Seattle community has benefitted from your energy, talents and of course your very contagious laughter. :) Thanks for the congrats, and I’ll see you soon!

  17. Posted October 29, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    This @NW_Mktg_Guy is going to miss @BenBridgeGirl for sure. She’s pretty amazing and will leave big shoes for someone to fill. But what is in front of you is a pretty amazing opportunity. Congratulations! You deserve the chance to help make some great things happen for a new and diverse set of businesses. Glad that @shihi_wei is still going to be around to get her friends through the early mornings and twists in the road. Let’s reconvene our Earl’s Night Out group sometime so we can all hear about the first steps down your new path. All the best… Rod

    • Veronica
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Rod — Honestly, I’m always a bit starstruck by your presence, in words or in person. You’re always so generous with your time and ideas. There was so much more I could have done for BB by following PEMCO’s examples, and I’ll always miss @BenBridgeGirl, too. Yes, let’s get our Earl’s Night Out group together again soon! I’d love to hear more stories from WOMMA!

  18. Posted October 30, 2010 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! I have learned so much from your fresh perspective, and I am excited because this new role will broaden the scope of your insights which I know you will gladly share. From my own selfish viewpoint, I just got access to an exciting new learning path. Let the journey begin!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Todd — You’re absolutely right. This new role will drive me to learn much more and much faster, and that is so exciting. You better believe I’ll be sharing more with you! :) Thank you, and I’ll see you online!

  19. Steve
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I am so happy that you finally got to do what you want. You just proved that it is never too late to turn your life around and go after what you like to do versus what feel like you have to do.

    I miss you Soph. I’m certain that we shall meet up again at some social gathering with the heads of state at Social Creature Media. I told Josh Dirks that you left and he was happy for you. As am I.

    Hugs

    • Veronica
      Posted October 31, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Steve! I mean, yo, Wysocki! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. Let me know when you party with the characters at Social Creature again so we can catch up! Miss you, buddy!

  20. Colleen Carrington
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Veronica,

    Congratulations! I’m amazed by your natural gift at community-building, your writing talent, and passion for tech. Banyon couldn’t have made a better hire.

    It’s been a privilege to work with you on the SMB Seattle board. I’m excited to see what you, Blake and the BB team get up to.

    Let’s celebrate soon!

    Colleen

    • Veronica
      Posted October 31, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Colleen — Where do I even begin? You have to know you’ve been one of my biggest source of inspiration and strength, and I cannot thank you enough. Let’s toast both of our new adventures soon! xo

  21. Gypsy Raven
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I am so excited for you! You fit the “Engagement Manager” description so well, your enthusiasm & engaging personality draws people to support whatever project you work on. This is such wonderful news, we need to to celebrate!!!

    • Veronica
      Posted October 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Gypsy — Thank you! Yes, celebrating anything with you = good food guaranteed, so I’m all for it! Did I ever tell you there’s one of those 2-part/ying-yang hot pot things in my garage? I’ve never used it. Come and help me break it in. :D

  22. Posted October 31, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Veronica! :-)

  23. Posted November 27, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I know this is horribly belated, but congratulations on such a bold, brave move!

One Trackback

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brian M. Westbrook, Veronica Wei Sopher, Elliott Pesut, Blake Cahill, Evonne Benedict and others. Evonne Benedict said: Love you. RT @Shih_Wei: Blogged: A New Professional and Personal Adventure http://bit.ly/bEYiBq [...]

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