By Gary Hibbs
Executive Director, Riderwood
Just recently I learned that the word “company” comes from the Latin word compagnia, which means “breaking bread together.” How about that? Companies should be about connection and sharing with each other. That’s the power of convivium, of doing life together. Too often the word is associated with corporations and greed and getting more. Seneca, the Roman philosopher and statesman said, “It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor.”
The Executive Team here at Riderwood recently joined 400 of our Erickson community and corporate co-workers from all around the country in Baltimore. We rallied around the idea that at the core of what we do is all about relationships and the ongoing, developing story of not only our company, but most importantly the story of each individual who is associated with our company and our communities. We learned a lot of things, but most importantly, we built relationships. We “broke bread together.”
This is critical to any true, meaningful success. Our individual and corporate stories are ever evolving. Our company goal is to be rich, primarily in relationships and helping one another in our developing “stories.” If we also do well by doing good, well, that’s great, too. But we can’t do well if we don’t truly connect with each other and create an environment where everyone matters. These are core values, not just a means to a greedy end.
The meeting started with a resident couple who came from Eagles Trace, a sister community in Houston. They recounted the incredible support, in the face of Hurricane Harvey, that they received from various Erickson communities around the country, and also the tangible support, in time, finances and personal presence they received from corporate Erickson. Residents were safe and sound in the midst of a historic hurricane. And employees, many of whom lost everything material, also spoke tearfully about how they gained so very much through the support of those around them, near and far. The company, Erickson and all its communities, “broke bread” with them.
I am proud to be a part of such a company. Thanks for all that you do as a part of our “company” of Riderwood and Erickson Living. In giving, we receive, and truly live. That’s the creation of a company and community.