In the recent days, cities and communities across the country have experienced tremendous unrest and upheaval. It is a tumultuous time as we all grapple with issues that deeply affect us as individuals, communities and a nation.
Facing challenges that can feel insurmountable, I find myself reflecting on what is within my power to change—what I can do, how I can grow, where I can make an impact—with the hope that progress I make will have an impact on the communities of which I’m a member, including, importantly, Berkadia, the organization I help to lead.
An honor I had as CEO when we first formed Berkadia ten years ago was to establish our organization’s values. They are values I hold dear, both professionally and personally. We believe people matter. We stand for excellence. Our integrity is everything. This means we stand for inclusion and mutual respect, and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Now, more than ever, the world needs more people practicing these ideals. But as I watch the news and read about what is happening around us, there is another value that is perhaps even more pressing: We innovate.
In this context, I don’t mean “innovate” in the technological sense. I’m talking about something much bigger—the power each of us has individually and together to drive change. To listen and learn from those around us who have something to teach. To recognize where we can and must do better—and then challenge ourselves and each other to do so. So I’m embracing the call to innovate during this difficult time, holding myself accountable to grow and improve upon who I am today in service of those communities that rightly deserve all of our respect, support and solidarity.
Earlier this week, I asked my fellow Berkadians to do the same. As we rise to this challenge and hold each other accountable, we’re striving to remain humble, supportive and kind to one another. Most importantly, we’re striving to be the change. There is much work to be done.