We're very pleased to announce that Jamie Gritton (member name: Gritton) is the winner of the 2001 Feste Award. In all communities there are subsets of smaller, self-contained "micro-communities." Here at the Fool, we have micro-communities like Living Below Your Means, Consumer Credit/Credit Cards, and Quitting Smoking. Perhaps the longest-standing and most closely knit group of them all is the Mechanical Investing crew. JamieJamie Gritton is a proud member and exceptional contributor to the Mechanical Investing community.

When asking for nominations, our hope was that all candidates would embody the notion of Learning Together, the Fool Community mission. Jamie Gritton and the entire Mechanical Investing crowd embody that mission every day. Jamie is a computer programmer by trade and enjoys stock-related programming as his hobby. As a shining example of his dedication, Jamie has created his own personal website designed to share the results of his mechanical investing backtest efforts.

The quality of any community is directly correlated with the willingness of the participants to share of themselves and their effort in doing so. For that reason alone, Jamie deserves to be the first-ever winner of the Feste Award. We'll soon be sending Jamie his own Feste Award along with some other tokens of our appreciation. In addition, we've made him a lifetime member of the Fool Community. Enjoy our interview with Jamie below, and thanks to all for the fun we've had with the first Feste Award!

Jamie Gritton is 34 years old and lives in Orem, Utah with his wife and three children. He's a computer programmer for a Web-hosting company and has his MS in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University.

Do you remember what brought you to the Fool for the first time? My mother is a long-time fan of the radio show, and got me the MF Investment Guide for my birthday a few years ago. I read through the book, and took a look at the website.

What made you stick around? I started looking for interesting things on Fool.com, and was drawn to the now-defunct Foolish Four (since I was already familiar with the Dogs of the Dow concept).  That led me to the Foolish Workshop discussion board, where I've felt at home ever since.

Do you have a favorite Foolish moment? MICon 2000 (a mechnical investing community conference) was the highlight, where I actually got to meet people who I knew only in a discuss board sense and where I gave a pretty poor presentation of my backtester website as it was then constituted.  I gave a better presentation the next year, but wasn't there personally to see it. MICon wasn't officially Fool-affiliated, but was put together by some dedicated members of the MI discussion board and I think it was all the more successful for being an unofficial event.

Big or small, everyone has some things they've done that they're proud of. Tell us about them. My big Fool-related thing that I do is my backtest.org site, which is really a nice piece of work (IMHO).  The site has done so well as a technical accomplishment that I've occasionally had people ask me for investing advice, which is rather scary. Apart from the investing world, I was in a very nice production of The Diary of Anne Frank last year, where I played Mr. Dussel. I like to do the occasional play, where I get to mix with people who find computers and the stock market just as alien as most of my "computer crowd" finds drama.

Life Goals? I've long had a goal of floating through life and assuming it will take me where I want to go. Currently, I'm as successful in that goal as I usually am in my perennial New Year's resolution not to change anything. Really, if I had set goals and planned my life, I'm pretty close to where I would have wanted to be.

[Editor's Note: If you'd like to read more about Jamie, check out the remainder of his interview on the Fool site. If you're not already a member of the Fool Community, please consider joining us today. And check out all the Feste Award runners-up linked in the box on the top right of this page.]