AME is a large organization, with consortia spanning all regions of the United States and internationally, including a large presence in Canada and Australia. I often forget how wide our network is because the AME community is such a tight-knit and close family.
You might think it is clichéd to refer to one’s organization as a family. No successful professional environment owes all its accomplishments to a Brady Bunch-style culture; however, they share similarities and are not mutually exclusive. Every family and business will, at some point, face trials and tribulations that test their foundation. Both are defined by their ability to overcome these challenges. They may bump heads at times, yet come together to celebrate each other’s successes.
So many families have endured hardships over the past few years. Families like AME are resilient. We band together when challenges arise. We seek out solutions to problems and offer support to each other. We maintain compassion for each other’s struggles. And we genuinely want to see everyone succeed. The AME family shares values that foment a culture of integrity and trust and a passion for excellence, just like our individual families.
When Bill Withers wrote "Lean on Me," he could not predict it would remain a treasured anthem for community resilience. Or perhaps the moment the lyrics surfaced, he knew it would become a Billboard hit. Whether you first listened to it in 1972 or last week, the song remains timeless for the message and visual imagery it evokes: you are never alone.
Many of you know that I am working through the difficult and unexpected loss of my twin sister, Kathi, two weeks ago. While loss is hard to comprehend and never fully detaches itself from our lives, I am grateful for the kind words and support you have shown me these past few weeks. It has served as a reminder that I not only have my personal family to lean on but also a professional family. I hope my gratitude shines through in the work we continue to accomplish together. I continue to be humbled and honored to serve AME and look forward to thanking you personally at AME Dallas 2022.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.