Inspiring Holiday Message from Aubrey Merriman, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County

South San Francisco, CA   December 21, 2019

The typical holiday message mentions all the business success of the year soon to end, talks about goals for the future, thanks customers, vendors, and talks about holiday
cheer, peace and goodness. This year, I want to tell you about our employees and Board of Directors. They are the backbone of this organization. They make the important things happen every day. They are generous to a fault, not just at the holiday time but, throughout the year. Sure, there are times when they disagree, when days are long, patience is short, and reward seems far off. However, they rally together in service to our Club community time and time again! The community that we build each day is more important today than ever, in a time when the political environment is becoming increasingly tribal and communities more segregated.

We have employees who go school, take on other jobs to make ends meet, travel over 100 miles each day, sit on PTAs, school and district committees. We have employees who participate in mentorship programs, coach, work with their churches, cook for the needy, and deeply collaborate with organizations. We have employees that have blossomed from Club kids to Club and staff leaders. Yes, they are missing several zeros on their asset portfolios, the may not have corporate stock options and expense
accounts that rival their annual salaries. By these standards, they would not be considered high net worth individuals. However when you take into account some of their personal journeys, daily challenges, and the challenges they and the fact that they show up to work every day, with purposes, passionate about doing good by the
youngsters that we serve…I could not think of them as anything but high net worth individuals.

We have Board members who sit on other boards, run their own businesses, take care of their families and Club families, participate in other organizations, host meetings, fix
and paint, give and get resources, make themselves available for the Club in a moment’s notice, and advocate for the Club. These are some of the things I know about. I’m sure many of them do things privately for the good of others that they choose not to openly discuss. They are just good people. I cherish the people who breathe life into our mission. I feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of this Boys & Girls Clubs team for almost 4 years and a Club kid all my life! I have been challenged by the work, by my own impatience at times, inspired by our young people, and in awe of our incredibly dedicated employees and Board. I am encouraged by our collective effort to make the Club and our community a better place – because our members and the community deserve the best we have to offer. The success of our Club is built on the efforts of our people – built on the power of “WE.”

 

 

Thank you to all of our employees and Board who work each day to make our Club, our community, and our world better – and me look good! Most of our customers will never really know how hard you and your colleagues are working to make our mission a reality. But they will appreciate the depth of care and effort behind everything you do from the moment they pick up their kids. People, who know the Club, have fond memories about the Club, which means they have been moved our mission. It is a humbling reminder that your collective effort is critical and transformative. Our Club members do the heavy lifting each day. They step outside of their comfort zone and inspire us to do the same. This is why I constantly push myself, you, and this organization to do the best work possible, and commit to a process of continuous improvement, which has become culture anchor. And, as we take steps to becoming a stronger, higher-performing organization, we will have an even greater impact in the future. We have more hills to climb, relationships to build, doors to open, courses to chart, lessons to learn, and members to serve.

 

 

At some point, every truly invested leader reaches a place where it’s no longer about the money, the conquest or chase, the growth or acquisition, etc. As you get older, it’s
more about “Am I making a difference?”, “Am I positively influencing people?”, Am I ensuring that leadership is shared and diversity, equity, and inclusion are embraced?”,
“Am I showing up authentically and servantly” and “Am I fostering a values environment?” My answer is that I am not, but, WE are! What greater holiday gift could a leader ask for? None, I have this gift and I am so proud of it. Thank YOU!

 

 

Best wishes for a magical holiday season to you and your families as we all look forward to a successful 2020!

Aubrey Merriman
Chief Executive Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County

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