The End of an Era

Today was my last day of work at SMART Reading after more than eight years. There is so much I have said and will continue to say about my time with this organization. It has been an incredible ride, and I have felt tremendously supported and valued as an employee of this organization. I’m leaving to pursue and advance my fatherhood and parenting career and goals and to focus on my Parent Coaching Course, and my work with Boot Camp for New Dads as well as to grow This is Fatherhood, LLC. I’ve included a couple of things below that I believe really highlight how much SMART has meant to me personally and to my career. Thank you to everyone past and present whom I have worked…I will miss you all.

Here is my letter giving notice of my intent to leave:

To all of my SMARTie Friends,

I have been thinking about this for a while now, but it doesn’t make it any easier to write at this moment.  After more than eight years with SMART/SMART Reading I am announcing today my resignation as of September 30th, 2021.  I still have trouble believing it and not feeling emotional about it, but have made this decision as I am excited to embark on a new journey.

I was recently accepted as a student in the Parent Coaching Certification Program at the Parent Coaching Institute and was offered an expanded role with Boot Camp for New Dads to continue recruiting Veteran Dads and helping to develop an online support community.  I am going to take advantage of these opportunities to also help me grow and expand my own business: This is Fatherhood, LLC and pursue my dream of making fatherhood and parenting education my sole career.

I am so deeply thankful to SMART as my ability to pursue and participate in professional development helped me to discover this passion and make my dream a reality.  I have grown and learned so much, especially on my personal equity journey, and have become a better person, parent and advocate because of my time with you all.  When I began in June 2013 I was 26 and my son was still inside my wife’s womb.  I will leave 34 years old with my son now 8 and becoming a second grader (!!!) and my daughter turning 5 and entering Kindergarten!

I have been so incredibly touched and inspired by all of the wonderful staff members I have worked with over the years and consider you my friends.  I will miss you all and hope that you will continue to keep in touch with me at thisisfatherhoodllc@gmail.com.  If you’d like to know more or receive updates about my new journey please make sure to visit and follow https://thisisfatherhood.blog.

Thank you again, I love you all and love SMART and will definitely make sure that this isn’t the last you see or hear from me 🙂 

With Love and Gratitude,

Michael Finlay

And here is a post I made on my third anniversary that helps underscore how much this organization meant to me and my family:

Today I’m celebrating three years at SMART. It’s been a great place to work and I really appreciate all of the people I’ve gotten the chance to work with. Thank you to all of you, especially the people that share an office with me each day! I’d like to share a story that helps explain SMART’s significance to me. My grandpa was a great man. He was one of my heroes. I truly admired his humor, his wisdom, his giving nature and his storytelling. One of my favorite stories he would tell was about a little boy he read with at the local grade school. Apparently my grandpa was often paired with the “more challenging” students. Well, as he was reading one time this little boy grabbed the glasses right off of his face and said “Let’s see you read now!” I can still remember the smile and tone he had while telling this story and how it was clearly a joy for him to read to those students. My grandpa passed away just over three years ago. His funeral actually ended up being scheduled for the day before I was to begin my new job at SMART. At the reception there were tables with information about charities if people wanted to give money in my grandpa’s name. My grandpa gave generously to his family and to many organizations, but at his reception there were only two organizations he chose. One was his Rotary Club to which he was a loyal member for many years. At the other table there were some drawings and pictures by little kids. They were thank you cards from children he had read with over the years…and the information of the organization…was SMART. All of those years of hearing that story and I knew that he read to kids at a local school, but on that day, the day before I took the next step in my career, I found out that I was going to work for an organization that my grandpa truly believed in, and I knew that he would be proud. Thank you SMART for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something that was so important to one of my heroes.

This is to amazing people and memories…

This is fatherhood…

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