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Friday Funny: Surface Tablet PC

David Meego - Click for blog homepageWith the recent launch of the fourth generation of the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PC, I thought would be fun to remember back to early days of tablet computing.

These fun images are just a reminder that Microsoft has always been the visionary company when it comes to tablets.

I will let the following speak for itself.

tablet-surface-pc-ipad-steve-ballmer-bill-gates-steve-jobs

The comic strip was created in 2012 and predicted that Apple would copy the Surface Pro design in 2015…. and guess what happened….
FB_20150919_06_36_49_Saved_Picture

This final one just highlights the IPad’s lack of a simple USB port.

Why-Microsoft-Surface-is-Better-than-iPad

Enjoy

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Fun, Microsoft, Surface Tagged: Friday Funny, Fun

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Friday Funny: Surface Tablet PC

October 23, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Winthrop Development Consultants … One year on

David Meego - Click for blog homepageOne year ago on 17th October 2014, I left Microsoft after thirteen and a half years and restarted the consulting business that I had before joining Microsoft.

Winthrop Dexterity Consultants was formed in September 1999 and when I joined Microsoft in December 2001, my wife Jennifer continued to run the business for almost five years before the Omni products were acquired by Rockton Software. The business as a Microsoft partner was put on hold at that time. When I found out I was leaving Microsoft, I restarted the business as Winthrop Development Consultants.

Now, as I sit in my hotel room in Reno, Nevada before I start flying home tomorrow, it is one year on and I can reflect on what has been an amazing year. Below is a summary of the achievements for the year:

  • November 2014: Attended and presented at reIMAGINE 2014 conference in Fargo, ND, USA.
  • March 2015: Successfully negotiated an exclusive license with Microsoft for the three tools I developed while at Microsoft.
  • March 2015: Attended Pre Game 2015 partner conference day in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • March 2015: Attended and presented at Convergence 2015 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
  • April 2015: Released the product Visual Studio Integration Toolkit to replace Menus for Visual Studio Tools.
  • June 2015: Negotiated a mutually beneficial partnership with Mekorma to exclusively distribute and support Winthrop Development Consultants products worldwide.

mekorma_logo2

  • August 2015: Released the product GP Power Tools to replace the Support Debugging Tool.
  • September 2015: Released new product Batch Posting Service Toolkit based on Service Based Architecture.
  • September 2015: Sat the Installation and Configuration exam offered by the Association of Dynamics Professionals (DynamicsPro).

DynamicsPro

  • September 2015: Attended and presented at reIMAGINE 2015 conference in Fargo, ND, USA.
  • October 2015: Awarded Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) status.

MicrosoftMVP

  • October 2015: Obtained Dynamics Professional credentials after passing the exam.
  • October 2015: Attended Pre Summit 2015 in Reno, NV, USA.
  • October 2015: Attended and presented at GPUG Summit 2015 conference in Reno, NV, USA.
  • October 2015: Awarded GPUG All Star status by the Dynamics GP User Group yesterday.

GPUGAllStar

Wow, what a ride. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey.

A special thanks must go to many people (in no particular order):

  • To my conference co-presenters Mariano Gomez and Beat Bucher.
  • To the Dynamics Communities team, especially Kim Peterson and Joe Carroll.
  • To Pam Misialek from Microsoft who worked hard to make the License with Microsoft a reality.
  • To the Mekorma team, including Craig Klapman, Ora Goldman, Jay Manley, Angel Blum, Mike McDowell, Steve Linz, Michael Hildebrandt, Boun Phommarth, Daniel Lee and Peter Vien.
  • To all the Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs who nominated me for MVP status.
  • To Chad Sogge from Microsoft who approved the MVP award.
  • To everyone who voted for the GPUG All Star awards.
  • To my other “Conference Buddies” who I only get to see in person once or twice a year.
  • To the subscribers and readers of my blog.

Finally, I have to thank my family for supporting me while I work too hard and letting me spend an entire month away from home.

Stay tuned for blog articles on my time in Arcata, California and Reno, Nevada.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Business, Conference, GPUG, Microsoft, News Tagged: General, News

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Winthrop Development Consultants … One year on

October 18, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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Dexterity Training in Mexico – Part 2 of 3

David Meego - Click for blog homepageToday was Saturday and I was in Mexico City as a tourist with my hosts from Axentit, Mariano Arias and José Ramírez, as guides.

The day started with meeting outside the office before we headed to see the Aztec Pyramids at Teotihuacán.

While waiting at the office, I found one of the bike share stands that I had seen around the city yesterday. As a cyclist, I love the idea of bike share schemes as it is just such a great way to get around the city.

Bikes

I also took a picture of the street as this should give you a feel for what the Condesa area is like. Lots of trees and open walkways.

Condesa

Once José arrived we headed out in the car to Teotihuacán. Teotihuacán is the site of an ancient Aztec city and is known for the three large pyramids and the main street running through the middle, the Avenue of the Dead.

Just as we were parking at the car park at the main entrance to Teotihuacán we saw a group of men in costumes climbing a tall pole. Then the threw themselves off the pole while one of the men played a drum and flute.  This was my introduction to Voladores De Papantla or in English Papantla’s Flyers. Check out the video:

Voladores De Papantla (Papantla’s Flyers) at Teotihuacán in Mexico (direct link)

 

Once inside the city complex, we started with climbing the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) and using that as a vantage point to see the huge Pyramid of the Sun and the smaller Pyramid of the Moon. Climbing the temple was just a taste of the much harder climb to come.

Temple1The Temple of Quetzalcoatl

Temple2View to the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon

As we walked towards the other pyramids, the awesome scale of the Pyramid of the Sun came into play as it just got bigger and bigger.

SunPyramid2
It is getting bigger, are those little dots at the top people?

SunPyramid1
Whose idea was it to climb this monster?

SunPyramid3
Ok, Let’s get started

SunPyramid4
We made it …. and look at that view to the Pyramid of the Moon

MoonPyramid2
The view of the Avenue of the Dead and The Pyramid of the Moon from here was great

SunPyramid5
And now we need to get down. A flying fox cable would be great right now!

We were really lucky with the weather as it was overcast and cool. Had the sun been out, it would have made the climb up even harder than it was. Once we made it down to the bottom again, we started walking along the Avenue of the Dead towards the Pyramid of the Moon.

DeadAvenue1
The Avenue of the Dead

MoonPyrami3
The Pyramid of the Moon from ground level

MoonPyramid1
The Pyramid of the Moon as seen from The Pyramid of the Sun

OK, I admit it, we decided not to climb the Pyramid of the Moon as you can only go up part of the way and it is just not worth it if you cannot get all the way to the top. That, and my legs were tired and my asthma had played up enough already.

After an amazing but exhausting morning at Teotihuacán, we drove back to the city. As were travelling back the rain started and it stayed for the rest of the day. Once back in town, we parked near the Monument to the Revolution. This amazing structure was originally planned by the government to be the Federal Legislative Palace but the money ran out and it was never completed. It was later completed and serves as a mausoleum and monument to the heroes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. There is a lift (elevator) to a viewing platform, but we did not have time to go up.

Monument1
The Monument of the Revolution with water feature in the plaza

While we were walking past the Monument we saw Capoeira dancers demonstrating their skills and having a lot of fun at the same time.

Capoeira dancers under the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City (direct link)

 

We then continued to the nearest Metro station and caught the Metro to the Plaza de la Constitución. That was an experience in itself. We caught the third train to come through the station as the first two were so full it was not possible to even attempt to get on.

Metro1
The third Metro train was relatively empty

Once that the Plaza de la Constitución we could see the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los cielos). We could also see lots of people attending a protest about the 2014 deaths of 43 students that remains unexplained by the authorities.

Cathedral1
Cathedral and Plaza

The protest was very noisy while we had a late lunch at a hotel restaurant which bordered the plaza.

Cathedral2
View from the Restaurant across the Plaza

After eating we walked back to the car and took in a number of sights along the way, including some Aztec dancers.

Aztec Dancers near Plaza de la Constitución in Mexico City (direct link)

 

We also past by the Museum of Fine Arts and a memorial to Benito Juarez.

FineArtsMuseum
Museum of Fine Arts

Monument2
Memorial for Benito Juarez

Once back at the car, we had a short drive to drop me at the hotel and a very full day of sightseeing came to an end. I was exhausted and slept very well.

Still more to come….

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Development, Dexterity, Training Tagged: Development, Dexterity, Training

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Dexterity Training in Mexico – Part 2 of 3

October 12, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#reIMAGINE2015 – Wrap Up

David Meego - Click for blog homepagereIMAGINE2015_Logo

reIMAGINE 2015 has now truly finished, not only has the conference finished, but I have finally completed my blog series for the conference.

While I did not get to attend many sessions, the conference was a great experience as I was able to meet with many partners, consultants, developers and ISVs as well as touch base with many of my ex-colleagues in the Microsoft team.

Here are the presentation materials from my two sessions:

Below are the posts from this blog:

Here are the posts from fellow blogger, Jen Kuntz:

Hope to see you next year in Fargo on the 19th to 21st September 2016 for reIMAGINE 2016.

My epic trip continues, see my next post….

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft Tagged: Conference, reIMAGINE 2015

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#reIMAGINE2015 – Wrap Up

October 11, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#reIMAGINE2015 – Day 3

David Meego - Click for blog homepagereIMAGINE2015_Logo

The final day of reIMAGINE 2015 combined breakfast with another Rapid Fire Partner Solution session. Then we had a Closing session which included a great keynote by one of the fathers of Dexterity (the language behind Dynamics GP), Tim Brookins.

Tim discussed the Internet Of Things (IOT) and how gathering data can help make smarter decisions. For example, understanding the driving habits of different demographic groups allows insurance companies to offer policies and premiums appropriately so they can still run a profitable business. He mentioned that some insurance companies now offer lower premiums to “safe” drivers if they are willing to install a dongle into their car which monitors car usage and metrics such as hard acceleration and braking. If you decide to protect your privacy and not use the dongle, you will be left in the “risky” drivers group. Over time the premium for the safe group will drop and rise for the risky group. Even if you are a safe driver, protecting your privacy will cost you.

Tim’s final example related to email and whether you are paying for your email service. If you are not paying and are using a “free” service, you will have to accept that your privacy will be diminished as the service provider is going to either serve up adverts or is expecting you to also use other paid services.

In summary, you will need to pay in one way or another if you want to protect your privacy. The service providers have to make their money somewhere. An Australian TV show about advertising called “The Gruen Factor“, summed it up as “If you are getting a service without paying for it, then you not the customer, you are the product”.

The Closing Session finished with the details of when the next conference will be, mark your calendars now for reIMAGINE 2016. It will be back in Fargo, September 19-21, 2016. More details will be available later this year, but it will be at the Hilton Garden Inn again.

Insert great photo here of David with Tim Brookins. :-(

The conference was not over yet with the last sessions still to come.

I actually was able to attend my first breakout session that I was not directly involved with. I sat in on Brian Roney’s “Tried and True Practices for Developing SBA Operations”. This was a great session which covered Service Based Architecture, .Net objects and .Net Interop as well as window linked and decoupled service enabled procedures.

Now, it was time for another new (and experimental) session presented by Mariano and myself. The “Developing in Dexterity” session was designed to be a bit of an introduction into Dexterity development while still having some advanced topics covered. Mariano and I have covered Dexterity before we have usually skipped over some of the steps involved or used macros to speed them up.

This time I decided to raise the bar and challenge myself. With Mariano’s help, I would code an example customisation live in a 60 minute session. To prove it was live, we got the audience to select the window (from a list of 3 suggestions) and to provide the names for a string field and a drop down list field. This fields would be added to the window as user defined fields and stored in a parallel table. The default value for the string and the contents (3 items) of the drop down list were also chosen by the audience.

After creating the fields and the table and adding the fields to the window, I used previously exported scripts to drive the windows. To make them work, I had to perform a number of find and replace steps to rename all the objects as required. I then created and deployed the chunk and showed it working in a live application.

The next step was to create a set of Service Based Architecture services to allow the additional fields to created, updated, deleted and retrieved. While I messed up one of the find and replace steps, I was able to get the code compiled and deployed into the live system. Hopefully, the attendees enjoyed the session seeing me put under pressure and almost screwing up.

Insert photo of session attendees here. Sorry guys can’t make you famous.

After the Dexterity session was over, we had a quick boxed lunch and then I had a couple of meetings with the Dynamics GP development team and Dynamics GP product managers. These meetings were very productive, but I can’t tell you any details. If I did, then I would have to get someone else to shoot you…. I don’t own a gun.

After the meetings, we assembled at Sheila JR and Leslie’s room at the Home2 Suites for some pre-dinner drinks before we all headed over to Passage to India for what has become an annual tradition. Yummy Butter Chicken, Rogan Josh and Garlic Naan.

DinnerClockwise: Mariano Gomez, John Lowther, Sheila Jefferson-Ross, David Musgrave, Belinda Allen, Jen Kuntz, Leslie Vaile, Sheila Ochoa, & Emily Halverson.

This brought the conference to a close with most of the attendees flying out the next day (except for the locals). You have already heard of some of my exploits on the next day with the destruction of all my photos.

Conference Wrap Up in the next post…

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft Tagged: Conference, reIMAGINE 2015

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#reIMAGINE2015 – Day 3

October 10, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#reIMAGINE2015 – Day 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepagereIMAGINE2015_Logo

Tuesday started again with breakfast in the Grand Ballroom at t Hilton Garden Inn. Mariano had some things to deal with so I headed over to the Microsoft Campus for the day’s sessions.

The first session for me was an Expert 1-on-1 Workroom with Leslie Vail. We had about 10 people join us in the room, but there were not many developer related questions. So I let Leslie drive the session and discuss various application level topics.

Later, I sat in on Mariano’s Expert 1-on-1 Workroom with Windi Epperson and relaxed a little as the others discussed a variety of topics, including options for Web Client deployment and Azure clouds vs other cloud services vs hosted services.

Then it was time for lunch in the Microsoft Cafe and Chef Kevin looked after me as he always does when I am in town. He ensured that the food I selected had no Flavour Enhancers (like MSG and its buddies) which have nasty effects on me :-(.

We then left the Microsoft campus and headed back to the Hilton Garden Inn. I had a meeting and so was unable to attend the Rapid Fire Partner Solution session, but the meeting went well.

Then it was time to get on a coach and go “Downtown, things will be great when you’re Downtown” to the Fargo Theatre.

The evening of the Fargo Downtown Experience started with a networking reception at the “Art Deco” Fargo Theatre (built in 1926 and restored in 1999). While the reception was in progress, we had some drinks (& popcorn) and listened to the organist who rose up from below the stage and played a great range of show tunes.

Organist2

Organist1

Then, as the organist disappeared back into the ground, it was time for Keynote Speakers. The first speaker was Wayne Morris from Microsoft (who originally hails from Brisbane, Australia). He reiterated Microsofts commitment to Dynamics and the small and medium market.

The rest of the speakers were all from the Fargo region and were introduced by our MC for the night Greg Tehven. We heard from Clint Howitz, CEO of DogIDs, who explained how an idea with one employee working from home has grown into large business with many employees. We also heard from Max Kringen, CEO of TellWell. TellWell is an organisation which helps other businesses with guidance and planning for social media strategies and design.

The final speaker was Mark Lindquist, who is a former United States Air Force Sergeant who now works as an actor, entertainer and motivational speaker. Mark was incredibly dynamic (no pun intended) and challenged everyone to get out of their comfort zones and do something that makes you uncomfortable as once you have done it a few times it will become normal.

MarkLindquist

To demonstrate he asked the audience to clasp their hands and then open their arms and do “Jazz” hands and then clasp them again. We repeated this three times and then he asked us to notice which thumb was on top. The point is that people always clasp their hands the same way ever since they were babies. Changing the clasp to the other way just feels wrong. Try it right now….. See what I mean?

We then tried the same process with crossing the arms and again one way feels natural and the other feels uncomfortable. Go on try it now…. no one is watching. The moral of the story was to get out of the comfort zone and reIMAGINE what you can do, soon it what was hard or felt wrong will be normal and you can move on to the next challenge.

After the session was over, we noticed that the first challenge for the evening was spelling related. :-) 

Commununities

After the keynote speakers, many of the attendees started with the “Downtown Experience” which was a sponsored pub crawl with each of the conference sponsors taking over one of the local drinking establishments.

I skipped the pub crawl and instead had dinner with the teams from NexTec and Mekoma as well as some friends. We had a lovely meal at Mezzaluna, which is situated behind the Fargo Theatre (number 14 on the map below).

Mezzaluna Clockwise: Angel Blum, Mark Wiley, David Musgrave, Leslie Vail, Jen Kuntz, Craig Klapman, Corey Clay, Sheila Jefferson-Ross, Mike Davis, Belinda Allen, Mike McDowell, & Elsa Williams.

Note: Mariano was at Mezzaluna, but ended up on another table as we had too many people… more than the original booking number.

After dinner some of the group went and joined the Downtown Experience, while a few of us caught a coach and headed back to the hotel to get some rest.

DowntownExperience

Stay tuned for Day 3 and the final day of the conference.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft Tagged: Conference, reIMAGINE 2015

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#reIMAGINE2015 – Day 2

October 9, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
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#reIMAGINE2015 – Day 1

David Meego - Click for blog homepagereIMAGINE2015_Logo

The conference officially starts today with a breakfast hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn. Mariano and I went down for breakfast and as fairly typical found ourselves chatting with many of the other attendees as well as catching up with the Microsoft people from the Fargo campus who had come over for the opening session.

The Opening Session started with a welcome from Joe Carrol and Pam Misialek. Joe discussed Association of Dynamics Professionals and new exams and certifications offered by the association. This is an important step for the community since Microsoft stopped offering certifications for Dynamics GP and NAV. This provides the entire community a way to measure a professional’s skillset so that you will know that they have reached a certain level of knowledge.

Pam Misialek discussed how Dynamics Partners need to be trusted advisor for Dynamics products as well as for other Microsoft products, or they should at least work with non-Dynamics Microsoft Partners. This way they can be part of the process for the implementation of all Microsoft products and not just Dynamics.

Wayne Morris is the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) Marketing. He  discussed Microsoft’s direction and strategy and reaffirmed that Microsoft Dynamics both ERP and CRM are a large part of the overall Microsoft plan. He also highlighted that the midmarket solutions such as Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV are still very important to meet the future goals of Microsoft, especially in making the mission statement a reality:

Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

He mentioned that it was important to continue building rich and deep relationships with customers and then bring in products that cater to the needs of small and medium businesses. In summary, Dynamics is core to Microsoft success. SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) is critical to where Microsoft is heading and they will continue investing.

The next speaker was Chad Sogge and he discussed where we are at this moment in time with “GP Now”. GP Now is the terminology for the current releases and what we can do with the system already.

He spoke about how the current system started as desktop client with a data server and how it is becoming more cloud and service based, including Office 365 and Dynamics CRM integration. As time goes on, more services and more Apps are coming, such as Business Analyser and self service apps.

SurfaceBasedArchitecture

Chad then discussed how the Web Client with Silverlight was introduced for Dynamics GP 2013 and how that empowered many companies to have a decentralised system that could be accessed from anywhere. Then we heard from Diamond Solutions on how there was minimal work required to take their local government solution and make it Web Client ready. We also heard from Martin and Andrew from eOne Solutions on their latest “Builder” offering. The Service Builder which can wrap any table from any product in Dynamics GP and make it accessible from a web service… without writing any code.

Then it was Jeff Trosen’s turn to discuss “GP Next” and the future plans. Jeff explained the roadmap and explained how the biggest technical advance for GP 2016 would be the HTML 5 based Web Client. Using objects coded in HTML 5 to reproduce the GP windows without a reliance on the now deprecated Silverlight, will open the Web Client up to work on all devices and browsers.

Below is the latest Microsoft Dynamics GP Roadmap (thanks Sheila JR for the photos):

Roadmap

Dynamics GP 2016 is planned for release in April 2016 and will have 30-35 new features as well as the HTML 5 Web Client. The cool thing is that there is nothing extra needed from developers to make their code ready for the HTML 5 version of the Web Client if they are already working on the Silverlight client. You can even have both Silverlight client for GP 2013 and GP 2015 installed on the same servers as the HTML 5 client for GP 2016.

We then were treated to some demonstrations of upcoming new features by Brian Meier and Jodi Christiansen. Followed by a demonstration of the HTML 5 Web Client by Jeff Trosen and Jennifer Ranz. After the demos, the opening session finished and the attendees split into groups based on their streams. The Developer and Consultant tracks headed or to the Microsoft campus for the breakout sessions.

I had planned to attend a couple of sessions, but after checking out the Microsoft Company Store, socialising and finally doing some preparation with Mariano for our first session, it did not happen.

So then Mariano and I presented our session: 25 Development Tricks and Hacks in 50 Minutes. This was a completely new session that was based on the 50 tips in 50 minutes format started by Mark Polino MVP. However as development is more technical and we did want to show and explain some code, we cut it down to 25 tips. The tips ranged from best practices and tricks for beginners to some seriously complex hacks to solve limitations in Dexterity. It was well received and I was happy as my friend Patrice Bremond-Gregoire said I taught him a thing or two. One of my aims when I present development sessions is to teach even the most experienced developers at least one thing they did not know.

It is very difficult to present when they is such a range of skill and experience levels in the attendees, and make everyone happy. But it helps when you give away yummy chocolates from Australia, like Caramello Koalas.

caramello-koala

After our session Mariano and I relaxed for a while in the “Commons” area as the reIMAGINE 2015 Welcome Reception was being set up. The Welcome Reception was enjoyable with lots of socialising and catching up with my “conference” friends (people I only get to see at Microsoft Dynamics GP conferences).

It also had fun see how people reacted after eating some Cadbury Chocolate with “salted” caramel filling, only to find that the salted bit was Vegemite. While this might sound awful, it is surprisingly good and was liked by all who tried it.

VegemiteChocolate

We eventually got kicked out of the Microsoft office as the reception drew to a close and headed by coach back to the hotel. Time to get some sleep before day 2.

David

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Filed under: Conference, Dynamics, GP, Microsoft Tagged: Conference, reIMAGINE 2015

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#reIMAGINE2015 – Day 1

October 7, 2015 · WinthropDC · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Blogs I Follow Total Views: 66