Focusing Full-Time on the FRONT Conference and Product Hive

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Ben Peck
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Full focus on building the UX + PM community

I’m excited to share that I’ll be dedicating myself full-time to FRONT and Product Hive moving forward. I’ve been putting time toward these on the side while holding a full-time job for 5 years with Product Hive and 3 and half years with FRONT and loving every minute of it. With the growth that these initiatives has had over those 5 years, 150+ events and 6 large scale events has been nothing short of magical to me.

The Utah Product Design, Management and Research community has been overwhelmingly supportive of all the efforts that Andrew Branch, Wade Shearer and I have put into contributing to grow the tech scene here in Utah. Its not only been us but many others like Brandon Gardner and Patrick Coxwhich both built wonderful communities and joined forces with Product Hive to grow this awesome community. As well as 20+ more volunteers that lend a hand to record, plan, and execute non-profit Product Hive events on a regular basis.

Photos by Lang Kim and Andrew Branch

Product Hive truly has been a labor of love for me and I would have never thought when I first started volunteering my time towards it that it would grow into what it has today. Creating FRONT with Andy and Wade is a dream come true. I get so much happiness from seeing people enjoying the events that we do. I’ve lost count the amount of times people have expressed their gratitude for what we are doing and it really has been a huge driver for me to keep going. I also feel a great responsibility to provide a quality experience and valuable content. As well as a responsibility to help seasoned professionals improve and up and coming talent to be successful in their education and break into the market. I also feel strongly that as a community its our responsability to talk about the hard conversations and challenges we face as individuals within the tech community. Just know that I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

In the past year we’ve had a good amount of people who’ve either left Utah for jobs out of state or heard of Product Hive or FRONT from afar and are very interested in what we’re doing. Which has resulted in us opening up Product Hive chapters in San Francisco and Chicago with more areas showing interest. With this interest from out of state and in an interest to help support these areas I’ll be spending more time on strategy and providing resources in helping each of the chapters to be successful in the events that they plan.

Chicago • New York City • San Francisco

Moving the Brooklyn NY

In addition to having chapters in Chicago and San Francisco I’m happy to share that I’ll be moving to Brooklyn NY and running a Product Hive chapter in NYC. I’m very excited to get to know the product design, management and research community in the “Big Apple”. I’m already prepping to have our first event in August or September. Can’t wait to meet all the amazing people living it up in the city. With my move to NYC you might be wondering who will be running UX events for the Utah Product Hive chapter. Dave Crow and Austin Marticorena have stepped up and will be heading up UX events moving forward and Brandon Gardner and Jeremy Banks will continue to run PM events. Our Product Hive leadership in Utah is amazing and has grown a ton in the last couple years. Which makes the move much easier for me knowning there is a team of people here to lead the commuinty.

Photos by Lang Kim and Andrew Branch

Me making the move to NYC is a huge change for me and my family. For those that don’t know me very well, you might think “Big deal, people move across the country all the time.” Well, for me personally it’s bit of a big deal. I’ve been all about contributing to the growth of the tech scene in Utah for almost 15 years now. Emotionally its really hard to physically leave. While I know I’ll never leave it in spirit and it will be the core of who I am, where I come from and to the story of Product Hive. I will miss seeing on a more regular basis all the wonderful people I’ve created relationships with and hearing their encouraging words about FRONT and Product Hive.

When I tell people that I’m moving to the east coast and that I’m focusing 100% on the FRONT Conference and Product Hive. The first question people ask is…

Q: Will you be launching a new FRONT event in NYC?
A: No. FRONT will always be in Salt Lake City.
For now…who knows what the future holds.

Photos by Lang Kim and Andrew Branch

Although I’ll be on the other side of the country our desire has always been and will always be to bring the tech community to Utah for FRONT. Wade and Andy will still be very involved in the community in Utah as they always have. We care a lot about building up the tech scene in our home state.

Having said that we want to make sure that we’re not living in a bubble. We want to provide value to as many people as we can, so in an effort to do that I will be focusing on how FRONT and Product Hive can provide more value to more areas as well as more consistent resources, content, and IRL events that help more than just the Utah community.

We have so many ideas of what we can do to continue to add to the product community. We’re excited that more interest is growing across the nation and we’re really looking forward to providing the best experiences for product design and management. We’re excited to provide more resources and content. Stay tuned for some exciting things to come.

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