Editor’s Note:  Please notice for whom everyone is clapping! Without Jennifer none of the following takes place …

If you’ve been to SLF’s Fancy Friday, you know I don’t mind the spotlight.  In that space, I’m comfortable telling stories about our team, our partners and our community. But the limelight?  Where the focus and attention are on me?  Totally uncomfortable.

Here’s where my Dad’s wisdom kicks in. “Sammy, when someone pays you a compliment, receive it well.  Don’t deflect.  Don’t do an ‘Aw shucks.’  Don’t make a self-effacing joke. For you it’s humility, but the deflection actually dishonors both the compliment and the compliment-maker.  Son, just say ‘thanks.’”

To the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce – Thanks! 

As you might have heard, there’s a community celebration called the First Citizen Banquet.  This year I was honored to stand on the stage with three stellar leaders:  Kathy Gordon, Barry Nelson and Conrad Venti.  Kathy and Barry were honored with a Distinguished Service Award (DSA), and Conrad was honored as Salem’s Outstanding Young Professional.  Congrats all!

At SLF we have many axioms.  A favorite is this:  “Show up and stick with it.”  The Chamber’s sweet honor proves that showing up and sticking with it can lead to good things.  Y’all gave a great gift – not just to me, but to my family (see above) and my colleagues at SLF.

As team, for 28 years, we’ve been able to bring people-of-faith and people-of-goodwill together to seek and build the shalom of Salem-Keizer (Jeremiah 29:7).  As we prepare for the next chapter, I hope you will continue to walk with SLF as collaborators in the bridge-building work.  It’s a thrill to work with my successor, Kyle Dickinson, and the team to get ready for 2025 and beyond.  To learn more, please join us on June 14 for this year’s historic version of Fancy Friday.    It would be great honor for Jennifer and me.

Register for Fancy Friday (6.14.24)