CFBC President 2003 – 2004
I was introduced to the Family Business Council (UIC) 20 years ago by Jim Liautaud (CFBC founder) and Bill Stringfellow (then CFBC President). I can honestly say I have no idea why I joined, except for the unexplainable excitement of an unknown opportunity due to their overwhelming enthusiasm and vision!
When I say “I” joined, sure the membership was in the company’s name and the company paid the dues. Yet “I” was the stand-alone member from my company. It was more of a mystery to everyone else in the organization. Something that, “Joe did for Joe to hang out with other business guys.” The others in our business did not see the value, nor could I fully explain what I felt the future benefits would be or what was in it for them. Back then, the CFBC was a startup, full of excitement and vision yet lacking in structure and definition. It was The Wild West of CFBC’s history, just as it was for my business, my family, and me!
I was quickly drawn into the opportunity to contribute alongside great business leaders – they were everywhere!!! In my Forum, on the Executive Committee, on all the committees and at every event table, it was the “smorgasbord” of experience and wisdom that I was starving for. That was life changing for me — and I knew it had to be good for everything around me, too.
BAM!!! Only 20 years later, what started as “my” CFBC is now “the company’s” CFBC. There is no longer any “I” in the membership. I can’t see a difference in commitment or talent of owner, employee, partner or strategic partner. We are all the same in our CFBC memberships. This transformation is due to “YOU”. It’s all due to your tremendous contributions of time, effort, talent, commitment, and your relentless belief in doing what had to be done for the good of all. “YOU” created this community where all this talent and energy feels best when it’s together. Look at all that time, energy, and resources committed to committees, panels, structure and definition. It is truly YOUR CFBC! And for me, you proved what was possible in my own life from accepting the same contributions to my business, to my family and to me personally.
In July, I opened the package the CFBC membership plaque came in and I was overwhelmed seeing this creation of contribution. The resource, talent and coordination in every single detail was World Class and it was touched and influenced by so many selflessly giving for something we all believe in. What a shining example of what is possible in a living organization like our treasured CFBC. You should all know who “you” are. And I hope like me, you feel as proud to be a part of this as I do. The best thing I have done in my life (OK…besides marrying Judy) was to join you in your CFBC.
Thank “You” for everything!!!