My first experience at Lakeside, more than 15 years ago, was in the dead of winter. Having grown up near the lake in Lorain, Ohio, I was no stranger to the cold or the beauty of a frozen Lake Erie.
However, I wasn’t ready for the splendor of Lakeside in the winter against the backdrop of the majesty of the lake. Since that day, I’ve been honored to have many visits to Lakeside Chautauqua through all four seasons.
What has been a most recent joy, is to receive the invitation and offer to be Lakeside Chautauqua’s next President & CEO. What an exceptional offer and what an exceptional place that is arguably the most vibrant, passionate and thoughtful community region wide. I look forward to seeing my grandkids skip, laugh and play with your grandkids.
Thank you to all who have warmed me with a welcome and acceptance that has, and is, making my transition into this role as pleasant an experience as one would hope for in a lifetime.
I’ve asked the board and teams of Lakeside to allow me 90 to 120 days to conduct a listening tour. There are many voices, ideas, communities of thought, staffs, boards, residents, businesses and partners alike, that I’ll need to listen to.
Lakeside has a rhythm and a sound that is unique to the experiences of our history and present. I’m asking everyone to allow me the space and time to put my ear to the chest of this community and with intent and purpose – listen.
I want to be your student and have you as my teacher. Thank you for granting me the time and purpose of heart to conduct the listening tour.
As we now look together at the many years in front of us, challenges and hopes alike, we have this marvelous opportunity to forge new tools and ideas from the fires of our past. Let us in the next several months ‘fan to flame’ those forges once again. Let us put in the fire of our historical past newly hewn iron to shape the destiny of our ideas and best ideals.
I so look forward to applying the data and real time discoveries, to the board, community and staff to begin the strategic process and, of most importance, our tactical plan which, when combined, will ‘speed to market’ our ideals and guide our process over many multiples of years.
Thank you again for your warmth, your ‘above the mask’ smiles and the inviting words of encouragement in my new role as servant leader to your community, and thank you for the investment of trust.
Let’s find one another soon for coffee and conversation,