The President's Column
by Steve Weitekamp
June was a busy month, yet for a couple of days in the beginning of the month, time stood still for me or at least slowed dramatically. You see, my dad passed away, and while he probably would have suggested that this event has no impact on my job or industry and therefore should be omitted from this column, I’m going to ignore that voice that I still hear.
My professional life has been dedicated to an industry that has a strong history of families working together. Several CMSA members are fourth-generation businesses. I never had the privilege of working for/with my father, yet he instilled in me many of the values that I hold about work. Show up and complete your work on time, treat people as you would like to be treated and do your best even if no one is looking. He instilled in me a core value that work was important. I remember as a young child sitting in his office or following him in the halls and thinking how interesting everything was. Of course, we had challenges in our relationship, such as the teen years where children and parents frequently disagree and drift. But, we were fortunate to return quickly back on course.
We shared a lot, but for the purposes of this column, I limit my remembrances to those related to work. My dad was always respectful and interested in my work. Through his example, I learned to be more measured in my actions and particularly reactions, something I continue to work on. He was a sounding board for my ideas and engagement in issues and, early on in my career as the CMSA president, was a second set of eyes for my columns and articles.
For better or worse, I’m my father’s son and I tend to keep personal issues private. My dad’s last few years were challenging as he struggled with a disease that ravaged his body and closed the door on conversation. Yet, even during those times, I learned lessons of humility, love and loss. That being said, several very dear friends were aware of his condition and reached out to me frequently to check in, offer an ear or just let me know that they were there. I am grateful beyond words.
I also want to thank my staff, the CMSA Board and members for their kindness and consideration. We frequently say that the Association is much more than just a business trade association. To many, it is an extended family, so I guess in a way, I do work with my family. I have been told that I am a lucky guy and I have to agree: I was blessed to have so many good years with my dad. I thank him for being an exemplary role model and for all that he has done for me.
Back to work!
- CMSA Communicator