by Kevin Grigg, CEO
According to National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman: “For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If we’re brave enough to be it.” Her words remind me of a quote by one of our former Presidents, John F. Kennedy, when he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” At a time when hope and the constructive change it often breeds seem to many to be in such short supply, it is important to remember that hope and change begin with each of us – individually and collectively. Whether at work, at home, or out in society, we are society’s most effective change agents, if only we’re brave enough.
With all that in mind I would like to share with all of you a few of the things that continue to give me hope amid all of the challenges and uncertainties we face:
We’ve maintained our sense of humor.
Every Monday morning Kate Tornyai, our Senior Marketing Assistant, posts a pun on our company intranet called “PundayMonday!”. It’s a great start to my work week. My favorite pun of the year is: “What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?” The answer, of course, is “pumpkin pi.” At heart, I guess, I’m just another engineer – at least insofar as my sense of humor is concerned. Maintaining a sense of humor breeds resilience and promotes individual and communal health.
We continue to engage in random acts of kindness.
This last Saturday night I had the privilege of watching my alma mater’s (University of Wisconsin-Madison) women’s volleyball team win their first national championship. The team has an eight-year-old “superfan” by the name of Izzy Eaton who suffers from a rare gastrointestinal disorder; I encourage you to watch the online videos of Izzy and her relationship to her team of “big sisters.” While not directly work-related, that group of young women remind me of how many of our employees are challenged by their children’s health issues – physical, emotional, and intellectual – and how many of them have both offered and found support from others, including members of our own Fuss & O’Neill family.
We have demonstrated concern for the health and well-being of our fellow employees.
I am proud of the firm’s vaccination rate and the many other ways our employees have demonstrated care and concern over the health and well-being of their fellow employees. My thanks to you all!
Our business remains strong.
The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act amounts to nothing less than a generational investment in our nation’s infrastructure – an investment that is bound to be a virtually unprecedented boost to both our and our clients’ businesses. Federal infrastructure spending aside, Fuss & O’Neill, with thanks to our employees, is poised for sustainable growth in the near-term.
The ability of the scientific and health communities to rapidly respond to the global pandemic, the long-overdue focus on both mental health and social justice, and the commitment of so many countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are additional examples of why I remain hopeful in the face of so much turmoil. In the words of Thomas Fuller, “It is always darkest before the dawn.”
Most of all I remain hopeful because of our amazing employees. Rarely a week goes by without me either witnessing or hearing about their talent, creativity, passion, and selflessness. They all amaze me every day.
About the Author
Kevin Grigg, PE, is the firm’s President and CEO. He wishes you all a safe, restful, and joyous holiday season!