Ten years ago this very morning, I entered (what is now) the Kraft Family Building for the very first time as the new director of JCRC.
On that first morning, when I turned the corner onto High Street, waiting for me outside the building was our board chair, Bill Gabovitch, who ceremoniously held the door open for me and took me through security and then to a welcome breakfast. An hour later, I was called up to CJP to a meeting in Barry Shrage’s office with several members of his team. There was some problem to be sorted out; something to do with some issue at City Hall. Barry looked at me in a mischievous way that I would come to recognize and appreciate, and in front of everyone, he asked: “So, how does our JCRC director advise us?!?”
Looking back on that morning, I don’t even recall what the particular problem was. What I do recall was the next step, something akin to: “Well, let’s take an hour to make some calls to some of our leaders who’ve been invested in these relationships, and see what they are thinking before we decide.”
At least once a year – every October 1st – I’ve thought of Bill waiting to welcome me to Boston. And there have been, over the past decade, quite literally thousands of times when a version of that exchange about making some calls has occurred. In my mind, these two meaningful moments from my first morning on this job have cemented for me the essence of what our work here has been about; passionate leaders who care deeply about JCRC and our community, and a wide network – our board and staff, our member agencies’ leaders, and all the others in our community – who have invested in relationships with a wide range of civic leaders, and who are willing to work together and with us to tackle challenges and seize opportunities for our community.
For those of you who joined us last night for JCRC’s Celebration, thank you. If you were unable to join, please take a moment to watch the event here.
And if you have not yet had a chance to join me in supporting JCRC’s work, please consider doing so today.
I am honored that our Board decided to recognize me as I begin my second decade in this position. But I’m more honored by the investment every one of you makes in being part of this network – not just on celebratory nights, but every day of the year. It is all of you who have made every challenge we’ve faced these past ten years a collective one to overcome, and every success we’ve had a collective win for all of us.
I am looking forward to our next decade – to all of the calls (and the texts, and the WhatsApps, and all the different ways we exchange thoughts) from you and to you as we figure out the next steps, and the path ahead, on all the challenges and opportunities we will face. I am excited to continue to learn from and with you as, together, we advance our community’s values, interests and priorities for many years to come.