In my near 7 year career at American Funds, tonight, Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 will go down as the most humbling, most inspiring, and most memorable night of my entire career.
Tonight, we traveled from the Beverly Hilton to the Beverly Hills Hotel by bus to celebrate and award those who were retiring or were being recognized by their contributions to our organization.
Jim Dunton was recognized for his 49 years and 11 months of service to our organization, but more importantly to the millions of shareholders that he's helped over his career by investing their dollars. He is a humble, southern gentlemen who gives all of the glory of this firm to us, the salespeople, not him- who has outperformed the S&P 500 over his working career by 3%. It is the first time since the E. Graham Holloway has been awarded to someone who is not a salesperson.
We recognized 2 very hardworking wholesalers in Burke Patterson and Heidi Horowitz for their contributions over 2012 to our organization.
We also celebrated the 30 year career of Steve Reitman. He calls this job his ministry. It's his ministry to help people make a better future for themselves through investing in our organization. He's now moving onto the next phase of his life which will include working with The Folds of Honor organization, a non-profit, that helps injured soliders go to school or the children of fallen soliders obtain an education.
We heard the inspiring story from a solider by the name of Ed who was injured by an IED, lost his leg, had major injuries, and nearly lost his life. He spoke of his passion to protect our country, to never leave his comrades behind, and to fight to live. He talked about speaking with God that if he survived, that it would not be a wasted life, he would do everything in his life to pay it forward and help those who were less fortunate. He now works for The Folds of Honor. As tradition, the salesforce makes donations on behalf of a retiring wholesaler. Folds of Honor will be receiving 100k in donations on behalf of Steve's retirement.
What a powerful night. I am humbled to know that I work for a fantastic organization and with some of the best people that have ever walked the face of this earth. I'm also inspired by people like Jim Dunton, Steve Reitman, Burke Patterson, and Heidi Horowitz who were recognized for thier contributions. And I'm grounded by people like Ed who have truly walked through the valley and have come back to have a brighter view on life.
Tonight, will not soon be forgotten.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
This week finds me in Beverly Hills, CA for our National Sales Meeting. Tonight's dinner was at Spago, an upscale Wolfgang Puck restaurant. While the food was awesome and the company was pleasant, meeting a real chef was simply awesome. Wolfgang made his way to our table and shook each our hands and thanked us for dining at his restaurant. No pictures were snapped because I'm a firm believer that these people are normal people too and want to be normal for just once. But I did snap a picture of the restaurant so I don't forget the experience.