Back when I was a regular blogger (remember when that was such a big deal in this industry?), I would try to focus on a moment of thanks for the year prior. Yes, I understand the pure irony involved in writing on a topic when one’s last name goes directly against a thankful spirit. (Insert winky-eyed emoji)
2021 was a really great year for my family. We sold, build, and bought a home, essentially doubling our space for our sprawling family of misfits. I was enjoying a recent promotion at my full-time job where I got the opportunity to travel frequently and working with the best Christian retailers on the planet. My wife and I celebrated an amazing first 10 years of marriage with a trip to Las Vegas (don’t judge us yet: no gambling and a LOT of food). The year ended in catastrophe, as most of you know. My father and this site’s founder Deon Unthank contracted COVID-19 and died on December 17, 2022 surrounded by me and my wife, my sister Amy, and his wife and a couple of her kids.
Dad left Amy & me the site and all that it entails. To say that we were lost was an understatement. In the midst of planning a funeral and a separate celebration of life concert, we were left with the task of figuring out what we needed to do with this site. We didn’t have the resources or time to take over and promote the site like it needed, but we also didn’t want to just throw away our parents’ legacy in this industry. I mention all of this to give you some perspective on how the first of the year started, and to compare it to where the Lord has brought us and this site since that time.
So from an Absolutely Gospel perspective, the biggest person we have to be thankful for is Bev McCann and all of her team at Nashville 37201. Bev stepped up to the plate and took over this site as a CEO and guide for the future. Since she took over, the site’s views have multiplied 100 fold, and the visibility has exploded. This year, we are thankful for Bev, for her friendship, her leadership, and her heart – but most of all for her desire to keeping the Deon & Susan Unthank legacy alive and well in this industry.
On a personal note – I’m not sure I would’ve kept my sanity without the steady mind of my wife Noel steering me in the right direction. My father’s death was admittedly harder on me than I expected, and she became my sanity. I love you Noel, and I can’t wait to see how our story continues.
I’m very thankful for my amazing kids. Canaan (my precocious smart-aleck), Asher (my tender hearted dreamer), Noah (my intelligent ball of energy), and Eleanor (my wild-eyed princess). Parenting is the toughest gig of my life, but worth it in every way.
I’m thankful for my family (brother, sisters, aunt & uncles, and in-laws) who stepped up and helped us do what needed to be done to help us close out a major chapter in our lives.
Lastly, I’m thankful for an industry that continued to support the Unthank name and AGM site. I’m glad to continue to be on this ride with you.