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    A Letter from the CEO


    Dear Team,

    There is an old saying in business which states, “It’s lonely at the top”. Hmm…I often wonder what kind of a business they are talking about. Does it include people? Are they communicating?

    My experience says that if you are lonely at the top, you are on the wrong mountain!

    When you are leading an organization forward and upward, you are working side by side with many individuals towards a common purpose. No one gets to the top of the mountain by themselves. It takes a team. It sure isn’t lonely or quiet when you get a group of people together working as a team.

    Recently we adopted a new purpose statement. It says:


    These six simple words have given me a renewed sense of purpose that I haven’t experienced in a long time. I see that same renewed vigor in many of you. But wait, how can six words make that much difference to so many of us?

    I believe that answer lies right in front of our eyes. We are “building community” within our workplace by working together to find the best answers to questions. While it is common courtesy to listen to others and to respect their opinion, I felt that courtesy and respect had unintentionally become very “uncommon” here. You may have felt the same way. Well, I want you to know that your leadership team is committed to making certain that never happens again. Yet a portion of that responsibility lies with you. Keep us informed. We can’t listen if you are not talking. Do we have a deal? I already know the answer to that question and I appreciate your feedback.

    Your ideas and thoughts are important. The best ideas don’t always come from those with the biggest desk. In fact, the best ideas often come from the individuals that are in daily contact with our customers. Your responses to the May survey were open and honest. We greatly appreciate your candor. Without these forthright comments, we are unable to learn from our mistakes and to correct them moving forward. Certainly we can’t address every comment, nor would that be a good idea for us collectively. And we can’t address your comments all at the same time either, that would create chaos. But we can communicate what we heard and prioritize those comments which highlighted common themes. We are doing just that.

    We heard you loud and clear regarding communication. We are working to create new and exciting ways to communicate while still offering the tried and true methods. A newsletter will be sent to you quarterly via email. They will include everything from birthdays, to weddings, or births, as well as spotlights on individuals who we would like to recognize etc. It’s our newsletter so lets get creative and see how we can use this medium to increase our internal communication. We will also continue to look for other ways to effectively improve communication.

    Another common theme was the service awards. By now many of you have received your long overdue and well-deserved service awards. I am thrilled we could bring back this recognition tool. It is a great reminder of the commitment of this team. Given the many challenges and changes of the last seven years, these awards are a great testament to your loyalty and commitment to our company and to each other. That’s how families operate. That’s what teams do. Thanks for being here through thick and thin.

    Here are a few statistics that highlight the longstanding commitment of our team showcasing their years of service to Ambling.
    • 1 = 20 year
    • 5 = 15 year
    • 48 = 10 year
    • 74 = 5 year

    Several of these team members are quickly approaching their 10-15 year dates of service.


    Additionally, we heard you regarding incentives. A new incentive program, for properties, has been implemented with much thought and consideration. It’s not perfect and it probably never will be, but it’s a great start. We will continue to listen and to work collaboratively to ensure our incentive program is fair and encouraging the correct behaviors. Once again, we will need more of your input.

    Core Values define what is important to us as a group. They provide clear boundaries as to what’s acceptable behavior and what’s unacceptable behavior. Core Values can never ever be compromised. To do so changes the very definition of the Core Value itself.

    The leadership team has agreed on a set of Core Values that we believe represent the culture and the identity that Ambling must have. We are currently seeking feedback from a small group of our team. We will process that feedback and then reach back for more.

    We must have companywide buy-in and understanding. After all, if we don’t agree on what the Core Values mean, how can we possibly call them CORE VALUES. Once we have received your input, we will work to provide a clear set of Core Values that we all agree upon and can hold ourselves accountable to.

    As I am writing this, I recognize just how much we have accomplished this year and we still have four months to go! I look forward to seeing you all at the top of the mountain where it’s noisy with sounds of celebration and excitement!

    Best Regards,
    Mike Godwin