Posted on June 17, 2016

Front Porch Friday is a note our Strategy Officer, Nick McKinney writes to all of our associates every Friday.  Given the events of late, Nick allowed me to write this weeks note and we thought we would share it with our broader community.

Happy Front Porch Friday,

 Unfortunately, the world has literally been on our front porch the entire week here in Orlando but for all the wrong reasons. You can't help but feel the flood of emotions rushing through you heart and soul that ultimately leads to a number of questions. What do you say? How should we process? What should we do to help? Why did this happen? These are just a few of the questions that have been bouncing around in my mind.

Honestly, I don't have all the answers and am still personally working through what happened as terror was inflicted on my city and the community I love. While we are all still processing these events, I wanted to share some great thoughts from Paul Ellis that are helpful for us to reflect upon. So please join me in welcoming Paul to the porch this morning.

To my Foundry Family,

I am writing this on the plane after a 3 day trip in New York, ironically the city where the worst terrorist attack on US soil occurred. My thoughts during this time alone are with all of you in Orlando, all of our associates across our company and my City and my family.  These 3 days, I have watched the events of our city un-fold from afar and frankly the mix of emotions I am feeling is just difficult to process and I am sure it has been even more difficult in the city.  Fear, anger, confusion, grief, the desire for justice, and just why?  Why did this happen?  Watching the news each night and the media labeling our City as “The scene of the worst mass shooting in American History”, I cringe every time I hear it. 

This is a difficult time for sure, but as I have some time to think about all that has occurred I wanted to simply share some thoughts with you:

  • I see healing, I see the light shining through in this horrific tragedy.  As associates let’s be a part of that, let’s do all we can to help and grieve with our City.  Now is not the time for debate, now is not the time to pile on or speculate, now is a time to grieve and come together.  In your own wrestling with emotions, try and start here. 
  • This is a confluence of issues we have never seen before, the political discourse, the social issues, the fear – you all have your own choices to make in these discussions and my role is to not tell you what is right or wrong.  I would simply say this, it doesn’t matter what everyone wants to label this tragedy, it is simply hate however you cut it and hate can’t be overcome with more hate plain and simple. 

During dark times, I always find it helpful to slow down and focus on what I know vs. what am I speculating on.  My mind goes to the following:

  • We don’t have all of the answers and with respect to many of the issues we will likely never know for sure.  We should simply grieve with our City, be with our neighbors, our community.  Don’t avoid this process, healing hurts but it always makes us stronger. 
  • We should honor the first responders and the wishes of the leaders of our City.  They are on the front lines, they are the heroes that rush towards danger to protect our way of life, they are the ones entrusted with leading and even though we may disagree, there will be plenty of time for discussion.  Frankly, I hope that one of the blessings in all of this is that people learn to discuss and share and have healthy discourse on issues that we might disagree on. That has been something that has been lost of late, maybe in our healing people can learn to love each other even in our disagreement.  I have witnessed this already in several situations over the last few days, tragedy has a way of cutting through all of the issues, praying for more of that and that we can be a part of this.
  • Orlando and our Country are so much more than what we have seen of late.  Healing can make us stronger, light always shines through the darkness, it always shines through. Walking around NY and the 911 site, you can see it today.  We will be a stronger city, a stronger community because of this.  But right now it just hurts, and that is OK.

I know many of you have already invested in the events of the past several days, in our pain you have also worked to honor our clients whose assets we are entrusted to protect, thank you for that and how hard you have worked. 

I am looking forward to coming home, to a City I was born in, where my children were born and a city that I do love.  I believe our city will be greater and perhaps we can become a place where our differences actually make us stronger, where we can love all of our neighbors (sounds like a company we want to build).  I hope and pray that a tragedy that was steeped in hate and fear actually produces the opposite, strength and love in way that overwhelms evil.  I hope that Foundry can be a part of that.


Paul Ellis