Each year The Partnership’s employees gather together for an all-staff in-service meeting. It is a time of reconnection and reflection and allows those in attendance to see old friends and make new friends.
This year’s in-service event was to be the last of the career of retiring Chief Executive Officer Michael Tubbs. It was also to be the first of the career of incoming CEO Tim Thrasher. And in between the enthusiastic introduction of Tim and the emotional farewell of Mike came some memorable lessons for all staff.
The event’s keynote speaker was Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh. With many years of public service under her belt, Twinkle brought a familiar and personal perspective to the audience. She shared the perspectives on giving by Sir Winston Churchill, actor Denzel Washington, and Jesus. More importantly, Twinkle reminded the room filled with early childhood educators and non-profit leaders that the harvest is not realized before it is planted. Through personal stories passed on from her father, Twinkle painted a picture of harvest using apple seeds. Once an apple is cut open, the seeds may be counted. However, there is no way to know how many apples will come from each of those counted seeds. She commended each and every audience member for their individual work that addressed the causes and consequences of poverty. She concluded with her lesson that, “The fact that you helped someone at a young age, that is your harvest.”
Retiring CEO Michael Tubbs addressed the audience from the floor, walking among attendees and sharing his insight into the value of results no matter how large or small. “Results at the end of the day is how we measure how good we are.” Mike continued to commend the progress made throughout The Partnership throughout his more than 13 years as its CEO and concluded with a simple thought: “We have to know our work. We have to know what matters for our families. And sometimes modest results are enough.” With the charge to continue the already good work at The Partnership, Mike closed to a standing ovation.
The end of the day saw Tim Thrasher introduce his expectations for Leading the Way and the challenges for continuing The Partnership’s mission. Sharing leadership behaviors from his own mentors, Tim provided stories from his past experiences that have helped him to develop his own leadership point of view. Among those who influenced him was his late father, Bill Thrasher, a doctorate-level educator who simply taught Tim to “be a positive example with visible, memorable behaviors.”