When I wrote my first President’s Corner article nearly a year ago, I entitled it Gratitude to reflect my commitment to spread thanks throughout the year. My experience through this past year as Board President only reinforced why this is so important.
Let’s be honest – it was not an easy year for most of us. There were some real positives as Heritage emerged from the isolation of the COVID pandemic, but this came with both uncertainty and new challenges. This year’s Board adopted the theme of “Our Renew Normal.” This was my not so clever approach to merge our new reality with the opportunity to emerge even stronger. In hindsight, it is a pretty accurate description of this year. Our success is absolutely due to the committed and talented members of our community who stepped forward to help through this change. I could not be more thankful for your contributions.
Another wonderful part of my role serving on the Board is learning to appreciate the talents and gifts of our wonderful staff. I am so thankful for how much our community prioritizes supporting our staff, and they deserve our love. Les kept us connected through music through all our changes, but it was wonderful to have him reunited with Steve to bring back our full live music experience. I am so thankful that Laci chose Heritage, and love the energy and enthusiasm that is coming back to our community – along with the children. Vali may have been with us for a shorter time than we had hoped, but I am so thankful for the spirit and warmth that she brought to her role. While I hope Rev. Bill already understands how much I appreciate him through our partnership, I cannot underscore how thankful we all should be to have someone like Bill so committed to Heritage.
My thanks would not be complete if I did not include my fellow Board members who helped us through this past year. All of us unfortunately have the shared experience of serving during the impacts of COVID. While some of us started service with the blissful ignorance that the pandemic would be coming, most of this Board was courageous enough to actually step into service with full awareness of what was upon us. I have so much respect and love for all of you. I would not have wanted to walk through this past year with any other group. I am so grateful for your counsel and commitment. I needed each of you.
I also want to bank some gratitude to all of the future volunteers of Heritage. You will determine our success. I encourage everyone to find their path to serve our Heritage community. Like most organizations that are dependent on volunteers, we are also struggling to find the support we need. Explore your passions and gifts, and please find a way to contribute back to Heritage that works for you. It is tough with our hectic lives to think about taking on any more commitments – everyone understands this. However, I expect that you will find like most of us that what you receive from giving to this community is lasting and special.
This brings me to my final thanks. I want to sincerely thank you all for allowing me to serve this unique and loving community. You helped me grow by challenging my thinking, you gave us invaluable feedback to shape the Board’s decisions, and you always seemed to know when I needed a word of encouragement. You may never know the power of your words to uplift me when I needed it most. I am filled with gratitude. Thank you all so much.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
June 24, 2022.