I would like to introduce myself to those I have not yet met. My name is Nirel Inman and I have been a proud member of the EFBC since 2013. My thanks to Jeff Wisdom, who seven years ago, asked me if I was having fun. My answer, unfortunately, was “no” and he offered his shared experience with EFBC and made time to introduce us to Judy Hogel.
Judy, with great passion and patience, described to us a non-profit, member-driven association with a holistic approach to family business success. Building on a unique emotional intelligence foundation, it sounded too good to be true. Thanks to the support of my business partner, Brad Siegal, we agreed to try it for one year.
I quickly tested the “member-driven” idea. I reached out to the staff at EFBC about understanding “the cloud.” The next thing I knew, there was a Breakfast Club event explaining the cloud in terms I could understand. I believe that being member-driven is one of the most valuable aspects of the EFBC, both because of the concept itself and because EVERY member offers a unique vantage point. We can quickly and efficiently serve the needs of the membership, provided we take the time to understand. Volunteering on the finance committee, I learned about how our dues are managed. I was impressed by the transparency and detail of the financial statements and met wonderful members which led me to the opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee.
I am grateful our structure ensures continuity because that means we retain Mark Wesa on the Executive Committee as our Past President. Mark has been a mentor to me that my words cannot effectively express. His wisdom, patience, leadership, and value as a member volunteer to the EFBC is truly appreciated. In fact, if we did not volunteer our time to EFBC, our paths probably would not have crossed. Meeting other members, like Mark, is a top benefit of being involved on committees and participating in forum and programs.
Recently, our desire to serve the membership led to reevaluating how we use surveys. Kerra, our Marketing Guru and all-around Rockstar, led a member-driven project with Patty Rioux of ODEA, Andrew Matt and Jeff Conner of Bathwraps, and George Karavattuveetil of Psyched to develop a comprehensive member survey. They put time, energy, and experience into constructing this and we thank them. One of the ways we can show our appreciation is to take the survey. It should take approximately fifteen minutes to complete and our goal is 100%-member participation. If you did not receive a notice about the survey, please let Kerra know.
Every member participating in the survey will contribute to how EFBC successfully navigates these challenging times stronger than ever. It is up to us as members to make EFBC the best it can be for our businesses, families (work and personal), and ourselves.
If you are in Jeff Wisdom’s shoes and see someone like me who could benefit from the EFBC experience, introduce that person to Rick Rasmussen, our Engagement and Outreach contact. Then you too can be a game-changer the way Jeff Wisdom was for me seven years ago. Stay safe everyone.
Co-President, Chicago Glue & Machine
EFBC President 2020-2021