I’m gonna miss you guys


The process for leaving Engauge and starting Dragon Army was kind of drawn out for me. It took many months to finalize the acquisition to Publicis and transition my responsibilities. So the last day, like the very last moment, really kinda hit me.

The team sent me off in style on Thursday, presenting me with a miniature ping-pong table (probably six feet in length, really high-quality), signed by almost everyone with yearbook-type quotes and words of encouragement and reflection. It was an incredible gift and something I’ll cherish forever, and I think this guy had something to do with it.

They also took me for drinks to celebrate and that was lots of fun. Engauge has some of the very coolest people in town and it was the perfect send off – drinks were had, stories were shared and hugs were in abundance.

Then this past Saturday I went to the office to pack up my stuff. I took some time to think about what we had built, the company we created, our wins and our losses, and the amazing people that I’m leaving behind. I walked around the floor, looking at the desks and empty conference rooms. I walked past the wall of everyone’s individual photos from all the offices…and sadly removed mine. When I made it back to my desk (remember, I don’t believe in having an office), and I saw it completely barren, I have to admit I had a moment.

It’s a remarkable thing to work at one company for 15 years. From the time I was a senior in college until last Friday, this was my job. A piece of me will always be with the team at Engauge. I wish them the best and am excited to make the transition from teammate to “biggest fan”.




  1. TS on September 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Person 1: You know, it’s a shame about Jeff.

    Person 2: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To leave so suddenly like that.

    Person 1: What do you mean? The deal was in the works for months.

    Person 2: Sure, but… the end was very… very sudden.

    Person 1: He had a foot out the door for weeks.

    Person 2: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually left. That was extremely sudden.


  2. TS on September 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

    And all credit goes to IMBD, of course: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089155/quotes.


  3. Jeff Hilimire on September 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

    What I should have mentioned is that I also took my Fletch poster with me ;)

    Thanks for the post TS, that was a classic response.

  4. Kevin Smith on September 17, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Best of luck in your next chapter!

  5. Dave Williams on September 17, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Jeff – Congrats on the huge accomplishment! Not only starting a company but seeing it through two sales. I am sure you are reflecting on all of the ups and downs, the wins and losses, your successful partnership, dedicated employees, was this luck?, can I do it again?… The next stage of entrepreneurship is the stage of letting go and realizing that the business is able to survive on its own – like a child going into the real world. Sometimes this realization can be tough as well as the questions – what will it take to do it again?, Can I reinvent myself, my ideas, and do I really know the formula for success? … My advice is to make sure to enjoy yourself, decompress, keep your focus, never become overconfident, and never underestimate the pure will to succeed and everything will naturally fall into the right place. Best wishes and congrats on leaving your mark not only on Atlanta but the infancy of digital marketing and advertising! Cheers – Dave

  6. Thorin Hanson on September 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    This kinda brought a tear to my eye, not gonna lie. It really is a weird feeling knowing you aren’t here anymore. Best of luck dude!

  7. Jeff Hilimire on September 18, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Thanks, Thorin. Kinda did for me too ;)

  8. Jeff Hilimire on September 18, 2013 at 6:32 am

    DW, you just nailed exactly what I’m feeling right now! Probably because you’ve been in the exact same place and came out with another huge success. Thanks for paving the way for me ;)

  9. My first business partner, Raj Choudhury on September 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    […] company that I started with Raj Choudhury over a dozen years ago is no longer a part of my life. As I walked around the office on the Saturday after my last day, I started to realize that it was time to close this chapter of […]

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