Email message to the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Board of Trustees - May 6, 2011

I just can't contain myself and must tell the world how great and humble the staff members at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation are! Our board has been bombarded by my emails as of late announcing awards being given to this community foundation for a variety of things. I needed to let them know of one more honor and here is the message! Enjoy!

Good afternoon board members! Enough already you are likely saying to yourselves! BUT I have one more award announcement to make . . . and then I'll just be quiet for a bit! Yesterday the Foundation was honored to receive the Small Business "Elite" award at the luncheon event for the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For - West Michigan. This was the 8th year in a row that we were selected to be one of the "101 Best and Brightest" and I've always hoped we would win one of the 11 Elite awards but we are so small therefore have a difficult time "competing" with the big firms/companies for that. To my surprise, Lynne Black returned from the luncheon with the Elite award! We were on Cloud Nine! This award is everyone's award - staff and trustees! So congratulations to all of you too! We did celebrate late yesterday afternoon and toasted one another! Here's what I sent the staff this morning. I thought you would like reading it. Have a grand weekend! Diana

"While we all know that receiving awards are moments in time seemingly fleeting when we are slogging through the sludge of our work! Hold the recognition and the celebrations close to you. I know none of us is so full of ourselves to let this go to our heads. In fact, we are quite the opposite! So I want to tell you all that I am so very proud of each of you. That even though I can get to be a real challenge at times, I do know how fortunate that the Foundation is (and me too!) that all of you are so very, very good and committed to our mission and vision. I never take that for granted.

Let's again toast the accomplishment of receiving the Elite award for Small Business for the 101 Best and Brightest Companies in West Michigan! That is just a wonderful honor. Let's all remember too that Roberta King IS the PR Professional of the Year! And that she and Amanda have been awarded much deserved honors this year from the Council on Foundations and the Public Relations Society of America, West Michigan chapter! Let's savor the moment when we received the Pillar Award from the Women's Resource Center. We were a finalist to receive the Diversity Visionary Award of the Chamber and we were proud that Bing Goei ultimately and deservedly received that top prize. (We'll give it a go again in two years when the Chamber opens this up again!)

I'd say every time we take a step leading a cause or an initiative, enjoy balancing a budget, celebrating every time that we receive a gift and see someone's joy when they talk about how the Foundation has had an impact on their lives . . . well everything we do from organizing scholarships, enhancing the website, solving technological challenges, hosting wonderful events, reviewing grants and writing up brilliant analyses, seeing the excitement on the faces of our youth grantmakers as they make tough grant decisions and sell them to the board, successfully exporting a report from FIMS, entering data into FIMS, checking obits, answering the phones in a very pleasant way, greeting guests and making them feel welcome into our wonderful home, figuring out where the leaks are coming from, laughing together, crying together, sometimes debating with each other . . . . all of it adds up to being the best! You are all award winning each and every day. You are making a significant difference and you need to know that and don't discount it! Thank you everyone - you all inspire me.

Okay - sappy time is over!"