NonStop - a note to the Class of 2017 from Eric Sildon ('17)
March 23, 2020
The following message was shared in a March 20 email thread between members of the LGW Class of 2017 by Eric Sildon, Director, US State/Local Government Relations at Accenture
As each person has weighed in before me, I just want you all to know how proud I am to be part of our amazing class and associated with so many truly decent people doing extraordinary things. When I consider all of our classmates and the ways we spend our hours, it really is almost overwhelming to think of the dozens in our class who day in and day out find a way to contribute (professionally and personally) to a greater good that makes ours a great community. From leading vital non-profits and divergent small businesses to raising the social engagement bar at important corporate contributors, we have a strength in the unity of our class that collectively matters, and is making a difference -- an authentic, REAL difference -- in the immediate world around us. And never is that more needed than today.
Just this string alone shows the capability many of you offer that makes that difference. For example, by checking in with us, Debbie started a far-reaching movement that allows Marc (DC Water) to provide an informative update that then advances to media outlets, well-followed Facebook pages and resource links for vulnerable workforces, bringing real value to many others well beyond our group. That’s a lot of power in our relatively small, tight circle.
Then I see our brothers Ethan (Washington Post) and Jake (Washington Nationals), real leaders at important community institutions where people turn in challenging times, offering beacons of light to help an anxious community stay informed (and perhaps joyfully distracted) all while working internally to help keep their organizations stable in these choppy waters. Additionally, we have numerous classmates in the extra-crucial-these-days non-profit world quietly and tirelessly delivering vital services, often to a vulnerable population, from remote locations with little volunteer support and declining contributions. Plus we all have to tip our caps to our many classmates leading local government entities and surely working around the clock addressing unchartered challenges in cities, counties and local school districts for the benefit of all of us and our families who are relying on their good stewardship that will keep us healthy, safe and secure in the places where we live and work (these days one and the same.)
And then, in addition to all of you making those community contributions, there are our small business owning classmates. I never had the guts or the self-confidence to take the ultimate leap of faith and start my own business, so I can’t imagine the pressures our sisters like Brooke, and Gina and Ris (and many others of you, like Andy and Lance and Christian and so many more not mentioned here) are facing these days. I wouldn’t even know where to begin balancing personal/work economic challenges when most of your usual customers can’t get to you, while at the same time doing all you can for your employees. I so want to be helpful somehow and I realize a group hug doesn’t do it (and certainly violates social distancing standards) but I hope this chat demonstrates the compassion we all certainly feel for each and every one of you.
You know we didn’t pick each other initially but as arranged marriages go I feel sooooo blessed to have been included in THIS never-stopping family. And while we can’t take care of the whole world maybe we can do a little bit to take care of each other. Let’s think about/share ideas/discuss what we might be able to do…really do…to support those in our family that could really use more than just that group hug during these unimaginably challenging days. Because I’d like to be helpful somehow, and I know many of you feel similarly.
What a Class!! I really am so proud to be associated with each of you, so proud to say I know you, so proud to be able to call you classmates and friends…and family. Let’s stick together and we’ll celebrate when we come out on the other side.