August CEO Blog

“Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.” – From the book “Why I Wake Early” by Mary Oliver

There is something about mornings in August. The warm, often hazy sun rises over the horizon to greet us and let us know that summer is still here, but we are on the cusp of welcoming cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets. We to jump ahead in our minds and begin to think about what is next: the next season, the next item on our to-do list, the next worry. But as Mary Oliver shares in her poetry, we can choose to wake early and embrace this glorious season and begin our day in happiness and kindness.

Over the last few weeks, I like many of you, woke early to watch the Olympics. I was inspired by the courage, leadership, acts of kindness, and sportsmanship displayed in so many ways. High jumpers from two different countries sharing their gold medals. The women’s gymnastics team rallying together to support their teammate as she made a brave choice to care for her mental health. Mothers returning to competition to win gold and glory. A young swimmer from Alaska becoming a hometown hero.  At every turn, there was an inspiration to draw from and lessons to learn.

Closer to home, we had the opportunity to celebrate one of our inspirational hometown heroes, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. On August 12th, a historical marker was placed in Ms. Morrison’s honor outside of the Lorain Historical Society on Carnegie. It was striking to think about a young Toni Morrison shelving books at the library that was once housed in the Carnegie Center, only to go on to write some of the most moving and influential novels in the English language.

Heroes of all kinds have especially been on my mind as we prepare for our 2nd Annual Connect to a Cause.  I am inspired by the excitement and momentum of our non-profits, Business Champions, and community.  Our Business Champions and Board of Directors are partnering to provide a $42K prorated match for donations raised during Connect to a Cause. Organizations are creatively connecting people to their causes. We have a goal this year of raising $250K for 65 non-profits in our community. I know this is ambitious, but I have faith because I also know our non-profit community and neighbors embody so much of what we saw on display during the Olympics: resilience, inspiration, hope, and the resolve to do good.  We may not ever stand on a podium or write an award-winning novel, but we can all be hometown heroes by supporting causes that matter.

Wishing you a joyful end of summer filled with peaceful, sun-drenched mornings that begin your day in happiness and kindness.

Be well,