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Welcome To My 2013 MVP Global Summit Page. rss facebook twitter mail microsoft mvp Also, check out my 2012 Summit page here!

I’m Tom Urtis, Microsoft Excel MVP and owner of Atlas Programming. Here are photos of my trip from the San Francisco Bay Area to Microsoft’s 2013 MVP Summit in Redmond, Washington, during the week of February 17, 2013.
Left: Outside OAK. Center and Right: Above Oakland, in foreground Lake Merritt; Oakland Estuary and the Golden Gate.

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There is an impressive line of volcanoes and mountains strung between California and Washington states.
Above Oregon, 5 peaks were visible on this day.
Left: Belnap Crater; Mount Washington; Three Fingered Jack; Mount Jefferson; and Mount Hood.
Right: Continuing northward above Oregon, a closer look at Mount Jefferson.

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Inexpensive travel between SEATAC and the Bellevue hotels is the 560 Express bus (costs $2.50) compared to taxi (costs $50).
Outside SEATAC, right to end of terminal at bus stop. In Bellevue, Bay 6 at 108th Avenue and 6th Street NE.

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The MVP Showcase event was Sunday night at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue.
Left: Walking to the Hyatt from the 560 bus stop.
Right: The first two people I saw at the MVP Showcase were Kari Finn (left), and Echo Swinford (right).

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Left: Left to right — Ken Puls, Ron Coderre, Brad Yundt, and Joe Camp.
Right: After the MVP Showcase, Bob Umlas and I grabbed dinner at Koral, the restaurant in the Hyatt.

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Monday, first day of breakout sessions.

Agents Orange:
Bill Jelen bought out the Microsoft Store’s supply of half-priced orange “Pivot” shirts.
The Excel MVPs at the Summit were protesting in solidarity over Microsoft’s roadblocks to purchasing PowerPivot 2013.
First row, left to right:
Bill Manville; Jacob Hildebrand; Ron Coderre; Brad Yundt; Dan Battagin; Bob Umlas; Tom Urtis; Boriana Petrova; Roger Govier.
Back row, left to right:
Liam Bastick; Rob Collie; Zack Barresse; Ingeborg Hawighorst; Chip Pearson; Eduardo Piniero; Ken Puls; Mike Girvin; Chris Smith; Kevin Jones; Bill Jelen.

Happy Excel MVPs after another day of breakout sessions.
Left: Bob Umlas (especially happy), Boriana Petrova, and Tom Urtis.
Right: Bob Umlas, Roger Govier, Tom Urtis, Ingeborg Hawighorst, Bill Manville, and Boriana Petrova.

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The reception was at the Hyatt on Monday night.
Three random shots of the attendees.

Left: Me and Kari Finn. Center: The band. Right: Me and Melissa Travers.

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At the reception, Bob Umlas was recognized for his 20 years as an Excel MVP.
Here’s a video of Bob’s thank-you speech, and a picture of him holding up his 20-year award jacket.

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On Tuesday night I had dinner with PowerPoint and Office people at Chutney’s, a terrific Indian restaurant.

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At Chutney’s…
Left: Bill Manville with his wife Katherine.
Center: Bob Umlas with his wife Judy.
Right: Me and PowerPoint MVP Sandra Johnson.

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At Chutney’s…
Left: Ingeborg Hawighorst sporting her Cher and pointing finger (SharePoint) shirt.
Right: Ingeborg and Bob, pointing each other out.

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At Century Link Field for the Product Group Event and MVP Attendee Party

Arriving at the exterior. It’s a beautiful structure you never get tired of looking at.

Left: Greeted by the MVP logo (thanks Microsoft).
Right: Turning around you get this view of the Seattle skyline at night.

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At the Stadium, I met a special MVP named Richard Hay, who is a Windows Expert – Consumer MVP.
I wore my USS PC 1225 Sub Chaser WW II cap to the Summit in honor of my dad, Bill Urtis, who served in World War II including at Normandy on D-Day. Rich noticed my cap and asked me to thank my dad for his service, which I have done (my dad is still going strong at 88 years young). Rich himself also served in the Navy for 29 years, and in fact was still serving when he received his first MVP award in 2010. Thank you Rich for your service as well, and for your kind words about my dad and his service.

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In and around the Stadium.

Left: Ken Puls with his wife Deanna.
Right: Mike Girvin and Bill Jelen.

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An unexpectedly funny few moments at the PGE, thanks to Kevin Jones.
Kevin, Bill Jelen and myself (along with a writer named Tyler Nash) co-authored a book entitled “Don’t Fear the Spreadsheet.”
Bob Umlas’ wife Judy, who attended the stadium event as a guest, brought her copy of the book for us all to sign.
Kevin, a first-time author, had never signed a book before. Kevin came through – – after mulling over the process a bit.
Left: Uncharacteristically at a loss for words, Kevin Jones has to think about this one.
Center: Still thinking it over.
Right: At last, pen to paper.

Left: One proud co-author.
Right: The final collective prose.

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Left: The MVP flag was raised (thanks Microsoft).
Right: The MVPs getting seated for our group picture.

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Left: MVPs — including me — make our way onto the field.
Right: The ZipLine garnered its share of thrill seekers.

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And what can I say…3 pictures of me on the field and at the Stadium.

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Fireworks.

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Heading home to California, and back on the ground.
Left: Just past the border into California, over a sunsplashed, snow-covered Mount Shasta, with Mount Eddy in the foreground.
Center: The Oakland Coliseum is near the airport. April 1 is Opening Day for A’s baseball: I’ll be there for that game and many more!
Right: Opposite the Coliseum in the far distance are the Oakland and east bay hills, where I live.

Thank you, Microsoft, for organizing another terrific Summit in 2013.

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