Two years ago, as the world slowed to a near-halt while simultaneously changing by the minute, I made some commitments in another letter here. Most important was a promise to lead with our hearts, putting first what matters most. Because for all the many reasons I love this industry and the work that my team and I have done over the years, the vision that fuels everything has always come back to people and community. 

That north star has never shone more brightly than it has over these past two years. 

In its simplest form, this started with staying in touch. Reaching out became more intentional and as a result, more meaningful. And as we’ve seen over and over, connection is powerful. 

Over these past two years, we’ve rallied around our non-profits, offering our time and our resources to support the irreplaceable work that they do. We supported our clients through an ever-changing world of restrictions, staying in-the-know minute to minute and going above and beyond with health and safety to earn their trust. We created and shipped thousands of event-in-a-box packages, and took a brand launch on the road to small towns across Alberta. 

Together with Orange Frog Productions, we opened Experience Factory, where we safely hosted many virtual and hybrid experiences, including The Gathering Summit 2021 and the 2021 Canadian Event Awards.

And in all of this, we were reminded over and over that what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, why we do it, comes back to bringing people together, and building community. 

Today, there seems to be a real sense of anticipation and an expectation of moving forward. Being a realist has its place, but I’m an optimist first and foremost, and excited for this moment and what comes next. We’ve all learned that we’re so much stronger and more resilient than we realized, and I’ve learned that the values that motivate me, my team, and this company will carry us through circumstances we never could have anticipated. 

I am grateful to the clients who stood by us and trusted us to create new solutions for them. I am thankful for my colleagues and friends both close to home and around the world who stayed in touch and shared resources. And I am grateful for each member of my team who rode the wave and is still here to see us into the future. Our team is growing again, and I can’t wait to share more soon.

We’ve been leading with our hearts, and I’m proud of where that has brought us. As we step forward, we do so with a renewed certainty in our mission and vision, and with some new lessons under our belts. No matter what, nothing will change the foundation OneWest is built on and our purpose for being here, doing this work that we love. The future is bright, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.