As the leader of an organization of 100+ amazing people coming from various backgrounds, religious views, and lifestyles, it’s always been important to me that we go above and beyond in being inclusive, supportive, and understanding. This is a vital component to our company culture and a standard that I, as a CEO, team member, friend, brother, son, husband, and father, hold dear. For that reason, we as an organization have always been delicate with our publicized stance on areas of politics or social happenings—it has never really struck me as “fair" to speak for a large group of people or summarize what is often a complex and multi-layered subject. This said, I feel it’s important to post this.
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The events over the past weeks, stemming from the death of George Floyd, have helped put me into a position of reflection. I’m blessed to say I’m part of a diverse and multi-ethnic family—but the reality is that I’m a white male who grew up in a middle-class family, and because of that, I’ve been given opportunities that many people weren’t given—because of where they live, their religion, race, sexuality, or the color of their skin.
I don’t fear for my life when going for a run or worry that I may be attacked. If I’m stopped by the police, or in need of roadside assistance, I’m not riddled with anxiety of being interrogated, held, or choked. As someone in this position, I can never fully understand the pain or feelings of discrimination experienced by those who have had to deal with it their entire lives.
What I can understand and acknowledge is that racial injustice is not a new problem—it is a long-standing human problem. An issue that I hope I get to see us move beyond in my lifetime—or at least in my children's lifetimes. It impacts our colleagues, team members, prospects, clients, and the people I love. I do not pretend to know the path that needs to be taken in order to get where we need to go, but I know that there are amazing people who have been championing this cause for a long time, working hard at it again today in every way they can. It breaks my heart to see brave and selfless protesters, driving a movement that’s fighting for justice, being taken advantage of by a smaller group who are devastating neighborhoods, looting businesses, and destroying homes—the unfortunate residual events of a truly justified movement.
My heart goes out to all who are affected during these times, and I hope that all remain safe. I can promise that I will continue to stand by what is right—and represent those values in both my business and personal lives.
As a person who values human life and supports what is right—I hope to see our society come out on the other side of this more aware, changed for the better, and most importantly, healed. I stand by justice and equality for all.