Announcement: The Next Demma Family Adventure

After nearly 12 years with Sleepy’s/Mattress Firm, our family has decided to take on a new challenge. I have accepted a job offer with a company called National Veterinary Associates, the second largest owner of veterinary hospitals in the US. I’ll be supporting a division of animal hospitals in Washington State, Canada and Alaska as the Director of Operations. Seriously.

Sunset at the old office

12 years ago I had the good fortune of bumping into the owner of the then small mattress retailer called Sleepy’s. I didn’t know it at the time, but that small company would grow fast enough to give me the opportunity to create a great life for my family.

For the vast majority of those 12 years I had a boss who challenged me to get better and championed my career growth. Under his guidance and with his support, I was promoted 5 times in 10 years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, so thank you John.

Over the past two weeks, since I gave my notice, I’ve been reminded of the hundreds of relationships I’ve been blessed to build at work. Everyone has been very gracious in wishing me well and in sharing how I have positively impacted their lives. I hope you all know how grateful I am for how you have impacted my life, because each one of you have contributed to the person I am today.

Lastly, without name dropping, I’ve been so lucky to find a small group of amazing mentors who have helped guide me through unchartered waters. Thank you for showing me the ropes. I literally could not have done this without you.

A few months ago, opportunity knocked on our door a second time. We’ve been offered the chance to join a fast growing, private equity backed firm in a thriving industry. The price of admission was several interviews over the course of 4 months, including a day of panel interviews with other candidates still in the mix.

Oh, and the job requires us to move to Seattle.

This was a difficult decision and one we did not make lightly. Moving to Seattle means moving away from a neighborhood my wife and kids love to a place that’s another 2,300 miles further away from our families in the Northeast. Moving to Seattle also means leaving behind the good friendships we were just starting to form here in Virginia. And moving to Seattle means putting off building the house we were about to start building. And these are just the known downsides. What if we hate it there?

So why do it? A bunch of reasons. Who knows what the future holds. We make decisions in our life to try to maximize our potential futures, and those bets always come with risk.

Here are two things I believe to be true:

  1. The riskiest strategy is standing still and not taking any risks. My (now former) boss likes to say, “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

  2. Nothing in life is free. You have to be willing to give to get what you want.

Why do it? Because life is short, we’re still young, and we don’t want to leave any of our potential unrealized. Because you’re either moving forward or backwards, and we like to move forward. And because I’m going to crush my new job just like I crushed the last one.

And now, for the most important part of this post. To thank my wife. My yellow haired warrior. It takes a special person to be married to me. Try to picture it. One day we’re moments away from breaking ground on our dream house. The next day I’m asking her to tear up the house plans and move to Seattle. It’s kind of insane. She’s always believed in me, trusted me, supported me, and been the best wife to me and mother to our kids that I could ask for. We’re building this career together, as a team, and it would be impossible to do without her. Thank you.

And to Seattle, see you this summer.

Yellow haired warrior.
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