The season of giving thanks is upon us. Many of us are in preparation mode doing our final grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. Others such as myself will procrastinate until the very last moment and probably make several trips to Trader Joe’s within the same hour on Wednesday evening where I will appreciate the small and efficient footprint of their stores. Either way, there will be much reflecting back on the past year to think about what we are most thankful for.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this specific President’s letter and what I want to share with you all on what I am thankful for. I’ll spare you my list of family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, clients, vendors, etc. There are many people that I am beyond thankful for having in my life.

There is a word that is synonymous with “thanksgiving” that we are all very familiar with that kept popping up in my head and in my daily life: appreciation. I can’t recall that word being a part of my daily vocabulary prior to joining EFBC nearly 10 years ago and joining my forum. As we all know, showing appreciation to the presenter as well as appreciating our forum is something we do at each forum meeting. Those are our parting words to each other. It is part of forum protocol.

The beautiful thing is how much the word “appreciation” has become part of my life outside of my own forum. I’ve been visiting forums throughout EFBC and each one has appreciated me for coming by. On a recent vacation with Tina and a few our closest friends, we spent hours at each of our dinners appreciating everything we possibly could. Each round followed by finger snaps. What started out as a joke turned into daily appreciations and words of encouragement on a WhatsApp group chat. Last night, my kids appreciated me, with some coaching from Tina, on my offer to take them to a Bulls game which they turned down. The showering of appreciation has me feeling warm and fuzzy all over.

I appreciate each of you and your commitment to EFBC, your forum, and in being a leader. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve on the board.

Finally, I’d like to appreciate Joe Hogel, a.k.a. MegaPros Joe, who recently passed away. I only had the privilege of meeting Joe on a couple of occasions, and it was a quick handshake and hello. Joe was a found member of EFBC and spent nearly three decades giving back to our community. In reading his obituary and listening to kind words spoken about him by other EFBC members it is more than apparent the impact he has had on many individuals. He will be missed.

To you and your loved ones, Happy Thanksgiving.