It will be hard to keep my emotions in check as I think about Thanksgiving this year. I remember my college freshman year when I caught a ride back home with my friend Mike. Out of nowhere, he said, “Thanksgiving is the best holiday.” I quickly thought to myself how can Thanksgiving top Christmas? Mike went on to say how much he enjoyed sitting down with family, eating the best home-cooked meal, and watching football together in the living room. Sometime during the day, the family would head outside to play touch football where his dad would try to act like the player he once was and talk trash. Listening to Mike during that long ride was actually a gift because it made me look at Thanksgiving in a whole new way. I couldn’t wait to get home.
This Thanksgiving will be different for my family, as well as for many other Alliance families, and business partners. Perhaps you’ll gather together without a loved one who has always sat at the table. Or you’ll share the blessing of celebrating with new family members during a year quite unlike any other. You might have a conversation about how the fundamental routines and rhythms of daily life have been uprooted, and how the challenges have affected you personally and professionally. If you’re like me, it has been a year of trying to stay safe and protecting our loved ones in every possible way, while trying to stay strong for those who depend on us.
I wish to express my most heartfelt appreciation for the grit, determination, and commitment demonstrated by our team members, business partners, and customers at a time when there was no playbook to follow. Given the situation is fluid, with conditions changing weekly if not daily, let’s continue to focus on keeping our families safe and maintaining our business operations as we keep our partners and customers moving forward. We have adapted to working in remote environments and are equipped to face what’s ahead. Our team has gone above and beyond, taking extraordinary measures to carry the company when others cannot. It’s this type of leadership by individuals that have allowed us to overcome the stress of being apart while still working together to meet our goals. We must have all possible hands on deck so that we can keep everyone strong. We win together.
I know how fortunate we are to work in an industry that has not been devastated by this pandemic. This year has in some fundamental way, made time spent with each other to feel special every day. I suspect Mike feels the very same way.