by Robert S. Budd, FREE CEO, ANCOR Immediate Past President
“Groundhog Day”, “sci-fi movie”, “seems surreal” — Just a few of the common comments that are often heard as we gather virtually to reimagine, reinvent and refuel! Wherever you are and however directly you have been impacted, these are unique times that words don’t seem to quite capture.
But here are a few thoughts on some constants: our field has always had to fight for everything we have accomplished! We have always succeeded based on our ability to come together in service of our mission, our values and our ability to be a solution to our communities. We have a certain unique perspective on creating opportunities out of crises; with individuals and with systems. We know how to acknowledge the challenges and the importance of celebrating the successes along our journey to a desired improved outcome.
I marvel at a current example that we at ANCOR celebrate as this is written. So many did not believe that we could win the battle for recognition of, and pay for, our Heroes! (Or the changes needed to access these funds when challenges in implementation became apparent.) Yet, with our amazing ANCOR team and many of you, it happened! Concurrently, as human service organizations seeking to ensure equity for all we must also note that many of our heroes are concurrently deeply impacted by these conversations.
As I reflect on my time as the President of ANCOR, there were many moments where I was filled with gratitude for our team and the ANCOR community at large. When others said it would be impossible ANCOR was able to accomplish meaningful outcomes for our field that will serve us well today but also in years to come. These accomplishments fuel us for the continuing advocacy that is essential for our successful transition through these unprecedented times. Truly, ANCOR remains a beacon of hope in an environment where the sheer volume of challenges can be exhausting.
As I struggle for the correct words here I am reminded that there is such truth to one of my favorite quotes of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!”
As we strive to understand the many complexities of the multiple challenges we are balancing it is easy to experience fatigue and anxiety. From March through today, I believe we continue to manage fear and strong emotions adding an additional level of intensity to all that we are navigating. Focusing our combined energies for a common good can be a wonderful harnessing of these feelings. Advocacy is perhaps the quintessential coming together of our individual unique gifts in a collective voice to effect change. We believe in Integrity, Inclusion and Innovation. We believe in each other!
Robert Budd is Chief Executive Officer of FREE, Inc., and serving his last month as ANCOR President. We have appreciated his guidance and experience, particulalry through an unprecedented year, and for that reason are grateful that Robert will remain on the Board of Directors in the role of Immediate Past President. Thank you, Robert!