Thankful Four 2012


In this season of gratitude, we give special thanks for your support. Below is a personal reflection from our CEO, Tom Waltermire, written on Thanksgiving Eve.

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, it is time for the annual Thankful Four. Time to step back and appreciate the many things that bless our lives. Things we too often take for granted or overlook in our abundance. Take a few moments this week and make your list of four. (The end of political ads does not count!)

1. Thinking of the political campaign, one thing that I was thankful for, and wish it continues, is all the positive media coverage for Ohio and our Region. Remember how four years ago, Ohio was the poster child for all that was declining in the economy? This time the storyline from national and international media alike was......... "Why is Northeast Ohio outperforming most parts of the US?" What welcome recognition of the investment boom and the momentum that is building in our Region!

2. In a world where the pace is ever quicker and the challenges ever more complex, I am thankful for people who are natural believers and builders . They are energy multipliers. It is so easy to fear and criticize the unknown and to hold on to the past. Isn't it invigorating to be with people who see potential and opportunity, not the pitfalls? Those multipliers overcome the challenges and take us to new heights. If that is you.....thanks!  If it isn't, try it. You, and those around you, will like it.

3. It's often said that it is easier to climb to the top and harder to stay there. That is true for a Region, as well. I am thankful that we have some excellent role models among Northeast Ohio's oldest, largest and most successful companies. Their secret.........they are companies that continually re-invent themselves . Think of the names across the region, many more than 100 years old:  Timken, Diebold, Goodyear, Sherwin-Williams, Eaton, Parker Hannifin. They win decade after decade against fierce global competitors. Not because they are big and bulky. Their original products are in museums. It is because they are constantly changing and renewing. That's the lesson for Northeast Ohio. Constant renewal. Pulling ahead, not holding on. Despite these role models in our midst, we lost that for a while in Northeast Ohio. The good news that I'm thankful for?  There is far more future to come, than past holding us back. Plenty of opportunities to be seized. Reinvent. That's how we get on top and stay there.

4. Family is extra special this time of year. Where else can you go for a source of love that also keeps you humble? More holidays with the grandkids. Thankful for that. This year, though, I keep thinking of the many servants of the victims of Sandy. We had our own suffering here, but nothing like that which is still going on out East. Our area sent hundreds of people to join the thousands who worked endless hours helping those hit hardest by hurricanes and then snowstorms. We can be thankful for people who give so much of themselves when others are in need.

Take some time to give a smile, a hug or a handshake to someone new who would not expect it. It's a gift to them and to yourself.

That's my Thankful Four for 2012.  What's yours?

Tom Waltermire

PS...........How can I not mention Ohio State standing at 11-0 with a chance for a rare 12-0 finish? For that opportunity, Thank You, Urban Meyer.

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