Ben’s 10 Year Anniversary Watch, Emmis Interactive

On Tuesday, there was a ceremony in the afternoon for a big occasion: Ben had hit his 10 year mark at Emmis Interactive, and was to receive his 10-year watch. We had several folks from Emmis Corporate in town yesterday (in particular our CEO Jeff Smulyan, who would be the one to give Ben the watch).

Allison, with baby Søren. I’ve been meaning to go over the newest addition to Ben and Allison’s family, but sadly haven’t found a good time just yet. So I was super happy to see both mom and newborn in the office.

Søren was a complete charmer, and incredibly well behaved. I heard him cry a few times, but he seemed really laid back. It was very difficult to not keep pinching his little toes.

Papa Ben with Søren.

In the large conference room, before the ceremony.

Our CEO Jeff, sitting next to Ben.

Rey and Jeff, said a few words about Ben’s role(s) in the company, and the work he’s done. Rey talked a lot about the early days, and when he first hired Ben… while Jeff focused more on the recent projects Ben’s been spearheading – in particular, his work related to HD Radio.

Jeff, handing over the watch to Ben.

Ben spoke at length about the culture of our company, and the people. I’m not going to do it justice trying to re-cap it, but he joked that at several moments… he thought to himself “there’s only about another year or two of meaningful work left.” He talked about the different roles and challenges he was given, and the trajectory of his career – starting as a designer, and now leading and helping to design software.

We found out a bit late that this whole ceremony was happening (an email went out on Friday afternoon, letting us know that Jeff would be in town on Tuesday). Rey called me up Friday evening, asking if I could pull together some photos from Ben’s time at the company. With help from both Chris and Justin, I gathered a ton of old images (a lot from the blog, actually) and put it to music.

Here it is:

It was pretty fun going over the blog, as I found a ton of old posts I had completely forgotten about. Pretty crazy to see how things used to be – when we were a much smaller group of five or six people, tucked into a small area in the back of a radio station. Hard to believe that was a little over ten years ago.

After the ceremony ended and everyone parted ways, a few of us stuck around in the large conference room. We watched Ben open up his watch and try it on for the first time.

L to R it’s Chris C, Chris, Matt, Kashif, Rey, Ben and Justin. There was talk of an inscription, and everyone was looking in to try to spot it.

It’s funny, but when I looked over the photos I took and spotted this one? I immediately thought of another photograph I took, some nine or ten years ago:


It seems like ages ago, and it also seems like a few months ago. Congratulations, Ben! Well deserved, and such an awesome thing. Looking forward to raising a glass with you sometime next week, to celebrate!

10 Year Anniversary Watches, Emmis Interactive

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