My Name Is Ashley Borg — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Ashley Borg

Creativity runs in my family. I come from a long line of inventors, painters, and crafters. My parents always encouraged me to explore my artistic side. As a kid, I spent my weekends doing anything tactile and creative — painting, building Lego cities, and sewing my own clothing. My mom has made more than 100 quilts and I continue to embroider as a hobby to this day.

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My Name Is Steve Lamotte — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Steve Lamotte

It only got me in trouble a few times. As a kid, I loved taking things apart — especially electronics — to try to understand the inner workings. I destroyed a few items along the way but always had the support of my parents. After I expressed an interest in computers, they bought me a Commodore VIC-20. This changed everything for me. Instead of disassembling it, I learned everything I could about how to program in BASIC and write assembly language.

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My Name Is Suzanne Raga — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Suzanne Raga

I love the challenge of a blank canvas. As a child, I spent hours drawing and painting. Later I learned to play guitar and drums, then started an indie music blog in my teens. I enjoyed writing and sharing concert reviews. The best part was interviewing musicians — delving into the discographies of my favorite songwriters, uncovering thematic connections, and asking them to share the origin stories behind their songs.

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My Name Is Craig Pflumm — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

WIJ Craig Pflumm

How do big things get built? This question has always fascinated me. My early interest in Legos morphed into an obsession with automobiles. I devoured every car magazine I could find and attended auto shows on weekends. I pursued this passion in college by studying mechanical engineering and interning in the automotive industry. And while I enjoyed the technical aspects of these internships, the work was mostly solitary.

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My Name Is Jon Eckert — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Jon Eckert

Five bucks. That was my reward for drawing a cartoon that made my dad laugh. As a kid, a few dollars was plenty of motivation — do you know how many packs of Big League Chew you could buy? But the true prize was earning a deep chuckle. To do so, I had to figure out how to use my visual storytelling skills, awareness of context and timing, and understanding of my dad’s sense of humor to snag that gum money.

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My Name Is Bill Chaney — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

WIJ Bill Chaney

I am happiest outside. Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, I loved spending time in nature. Some of my favorite childhood memories were hiking and backpacking in the woods. My dad was an educator and my mom was a research assistant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, so summer camping trips were our family’s budget-friendly vacation of choice. I joined the Boy Scouts, where my mom was a troop leader, and eventually worked my way up to Eagle Scout.

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My Name Is Angelo Spenillo — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Angelo Spenillo

Not many lawyers headbang. For me, music came first. I learned to play guitar in my early teens and honed my performance skills as a member of several heavy metal bands. As I evolved and grew as a person, I came to enjoy an eclectic mix of genres — everything from Killswitch Engage to Bon Jovi. My later journey through the legal profession was similarly diverse.

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My Name Is Maeve Revels — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Maeve Revels

Did you ever read the children’s magazine 3-2-1 Contact? It was an extension of the educational science television show of the same name. As a 6-year-old subscriber, I spent hours poring over the BASIC problems in the back of the magazine trying to solve each one. Eventually, I hooked up a used Tandy Color Computer to my parents’ television. I enjoyed revising the initial program as I gained knowledge and insight into what the best solution might look like.

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My Name Is Percy Hanna — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Percy Hanna

I mostly thought computers were for playing games. That is, until I realized I could use DOS’s batch programming language to automate tasks. For example, I wrote a program to make my modem dial my friends’ phone numbers for me. The code itself was simple, but the solution had a real impact. I no longer had to memorize or keep a phone directory around. I loved that I could use a computer to solve problems and make life easier. 

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My Name Is Mark Eaves — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Mark Eaves

I like to think that I have been a product manager my whole life. My dad brought home my first computer, a Macintosh SE, when I was 6 years old. I taught myself how to type really fast, then play games, and eventually code. By high school, I was creating simple online games. I wanted to apply my knowledge to make the experience more fulfilling for the players — my friends.

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My Name Is Matt Bilan — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Matt Bilan

Was your calendar full of activities as a kid? Mine certainly was. Basketball, soccer, and hockey at the local YMCA — I found myself gravitating towards team sports. I also played trombone in my school’s ensemble and joined a garage band as a drummer, spending countless hours jamming with my friends. Whatever the activity was, I knew that I liked the dynamic of working with others.

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My Name Is Winfred Nadeau — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Winfred Nadeau

How many 8-year-old kids read The Wall Street Journal? Well, I know of at least one. I discovered the paper at a local tea shop where I sometimes did homework. I liked sitting by the shop’s double-sided fireplace, reading about stocks and company news. So I convinced my mom to subscribe. Each morning I would walk to the end of our driveway, eager to pick up the latest issue. I even applied what I learned to my game of running a cafe — making food and serving customers (my family members) in our basement.

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My Name Is Erin Ward — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

WIJ Erin Ward

Could you imagine going to medical school in your late 30s with four young children? It is hard for me to fathom. But that is exactly what my grandfather did. Already a professor of chemical engineering at Georgia Tech, he decided to become an ear, nose, and throat physician. This was not a whim — he saw a real need in our small town. So he founded the area’s first otorhinolaryngology clinic. This is just one of the many reasons he is a major role model to me.

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My Name Is Yuko Takegoshi — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Yuko Takegoshi

Say yes to what scares you. I realized a few years ago that if I wanted to grow, I would need to pursue experiences that might make me uncomfortable. For example, I always wanted to learn to scuba dive, but I was terrified of all the things that could go wrong. A planned trip to Hawaii was a good opportunity to confront my fear. I was initially incredibly nervous during the certification process and was not sure if I would ever dive again. But each time I went into the water, I grew more confident. And then I fell in love with the zen of diving.

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My Name Is Mike Maylone — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

mike maylone wij

Maps have always captured my imagination. It started when I was a kid — my parents and I went on a road trip every summer vacation. We would leave our home in Michigan and head west, typically to Colorado. My favorite part was sitting in the back of the car with a giant fold-out map, helping my parents navigate to our next rest area, hiking trail, or camping spot. To this day, whenever my wife mentions a new place to visit, the first thing I do is try to figure out where it is on the map. 

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