From the CEO: A peek into past letters, and four years later…

AME | January 26, 2024

This month marks my fourth anniversary as AME president and CEO!

It's hard to believe how quickly these four years have flown by and all we've overcome in this timeframe. I assumed this position shortly before the pandemic irreversibly changed our personal and professional lives. It has been quite a journey for all of us. However, with challenges come opportunities, and I am honored that we went through this together and have come out stronger.

Our AME Consortia has grown, the AME Emerging Leaders program is world-class, our AME Champions Club is meeting again in person, and the AME International Conferences are more interactive and informative than ever. Remember, we will be in Atlanta for our 40th International Conference this year. We have also reinstated our summits, and this year's AME Nashville Lean Summit will be outstanding.

More importantly, I have gotten to know all of you more personally because of what we all went through together.

Throughout these four years, we've made changes and continuously improved our services to our membership. I shared that we have had to make many tough and sometimes unpopular changes because of the unprecedented challenges. However, never once did I feel alone in these calls. The support of AME's executive leadership, extensive volunteer network, Champions, Emerging Leaders, Consortia and the international community has been life-changing. Every day, I'm reminded of why I chose to cultivate a career at AME and how fortunate and grateful I am to all of you.

This milestone inspired me to look through our assortment of past newsletters. It's a treasure trove of benchmarks we've celebrated together over the years:

  1. I look back to my first membership letter, "Five questions with AME's new president and CEO," and it still rings true today. We continue to embark on our continuous improvement journey, "honoring the past, celebrating the present and embracing the future."
  2. In the 2020 letter, "Leading with hope, honesty and purpose," I dove into how we serve to lead with purpose as we share, learn and grow – always with hope and integrity! We work hard and always take the time to celebrate with each other. Every conference feels like a family reunion, and it is so much fun to see the welcoming of the newer family members.
  3. In the letter about navigating emerging technologies, I touched on how Chat GPT and generative AI are taking the world by storm. I'm proud to belong to a network that remains curious about the benefits technology has to offer our industries. We embrace change and opportunities as we continue to explore evolving capabilities.
  4. We are embracing hybridism. In this 2023 letter, I reflected on how the world has changed around the in-person status quo of the professional workplace. I'm proud to say that three years later and counting, we're finding success in this new model and increasing global access to AME seminars and workshops through remote options while continuing to embrace the intellectual richness and camaraderie of in-person events. Your AME Home Team represents the best from around the world. And yes, organizations can and do thrive and prosper in this new virtual world.
  5. "Welcoming the new AME chairperson and cultivating servant leadership" honors the past and the present leadership. We have the best industry leaders serving on the AME Board of Directors. AME's leaders believe in the value of growing the well-being of our communities. It is exciting as we help develop the next generations of lean thinkers.
  6. We are nurturing diversity, equity and inclusion. Strengthening AME's DE&I initiatives and continuing to embed them in the framework of our organization remains an important mission for me. These practices are touchstones of continuous improvement, and I look forward to developing stronger professional relationships through them as we celebrate diversity of ideas and thoughts.

Last August, I sent out a short newsletter meditating on the theme of personal bucket lists. I noted that one of my goals was to make a difference. Looking back at my four years in leadership at AME and the many years preceding as a volunteer, I feel incredibly grateful that I get to make a difference every day with the support of incredible thought leaders like yourselves.

Thank you for everything you've done to make my work a meaningful pillar of my life and for what you do for each other. I look forward to what we can accomplish together in the next four years.

As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.