Reflecting, both in terms of serving on the board and the decade since I joined EFBC, I am met with deep feelings of gratitude. I can confidently say that this has been the period in my life where I have learned and grown the most as a person. I have served on the board for two years, first as vice-president and this past year as president. The experience gained forced me to adapt to the needs of and allowed me to be an advocate for change to meet the demands of our growing and evolving membership. I am eager to see what the upcoming board has in store for the coming months. We have great leadership in place for the upcoming year, and even with some members stepping into new leadership roles I am confident that they will do amazing things for the organization. Serving on the board, and on the EC, has been a powerful force in my life.

Special thanks to my wife, Annette, and mom, Val, who encouraged and supported me in the decision to join the board. They knew that this would challenge and push me in ways outside of my comfort zone, and the invaluable experience I would gain as a result, and for them I am forever grateful. I have gained so much from my membership, and I hope I was able to repay, even slightly, in service back. Thanks to my children, Mikayla, Hunter, Alexandra, and Greyson, for allowing me the time away from you all to serve EFBC, and forgiveness for missing some of your events. I will do my best to make that up. To Liz, Danielle, Cha Mi, the Board, the Executive Committee and Strategic Partners – Thank you for stepping up, for embracing change, and for making hard decisions for the future of EFBC. You all made the time fly by, in a good way through your constant support and unabated persistence. To Tau, Gina, Paula, AJ, Darrin, Scotty, Chris, and Arty – My people! You also helped cement my decision to serve on the board. Thank you for the encouragement, and a little pressure, in this endeavor. It was no easy feat, but your support and guidance were vital to my success.

The last two years were for me to push the proverbial envelope, both professionally and personally and to challenge myself in ways I never thought possible. I hope I did what was best for the organization, and I tried my hardest to work in the best interests of EFBC. My future self will thank me for the gained experiences from these years. A few final words are me encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and to join a committee, or the board. This has been one heck of a wild ride, but I would wait in that line to do it all over again in a heartbeat.

As my final president’s message, I just want to humbly say thank you for entrusting me. I appreciate all of you.

Signing Off…
Neil O’Donnell
EFBC President 2021-2022