This year has solidified for me, as it has for many of us, that the only constant is change. Thanksgiving 2020 is certainly no exception to this rule.
Despite the challenges we have all faced this year, I’m taking this Thanksgiving to reflect on all that I am grateful for, both for myself and for our company.
On a personal note, I am thankful for a loving wife of 42 years, three great sons with loving spouses, a thriving grandson, a seven-week-old granddaughter who will soon be crowned queen of the family, and a 92-year-old mother who I talk to every day. Life is good, despite this temporary isolation!
As the CEO and President of Draper Aden Associates, I have so much to be grateful for this year.
First, our incredible IT team had nearly magic timing to move all employees to a virtual desktop system months before work from home began. With this technology, our transition to working remotely was virtually seamless.
Second, I couldn’t be prouder to work with this group of dedicated professionals. Field staff quickly adapted to safety measures without complaint. Office staff transitioned to working from home while juggling other responsibilities, including helping their children through virtual learning. We also have a dedicated core in-office staff that has kept the lights on and spirits up, no matter how few team members are in the building. This team has shown me how they live our values of reliability and continuous improvement every day throughout this pandemic. Every employee has shown themselves to be dependable, collaborative, and innovative in meeting company and client needs.
I am grateful to our clients for their continued support and collaboration and impressed with our team’s ability to remain responsive (another core value) to our clients throughout this time. Through every COVID-19 related challenge, our clients have trusted us and worked with us to get the job done.
This year has changed our lives in unexpected ways and forced us to think more deeply about ourselves and our communities. The cries for social justice and equality have opened our eyes to new challenges and possibilities. We are listening, learning, and acting to promote even more change. We are fortunate to have fared better than many, and I am thankful to work with such a strong team of individuals with open minds.
It is not lost on me how lucky we are as a firm to be able to hire and grow in 2020. It is a testament to our work as a team. I am truly thankful that with our Board of Director’s leadership, the respect and support of every employee, and a little bit of luck, we will emerge from this year stronger and better prepared for the future.
-Jeff Lighthiser, CEO and President of Draper Aden Associates