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Day 1: Giants at work.

May 11, 2012. Today, we had our first meeting in our beautiful new office space in downtown Kalamazoo. We still know it as the “water cooler,” the Maestro version of the weekly staff gathering. We call it that because in our earliest days, the few that we were back then, literally stood around the water cooler to meet.

During the past few weeks leading up to our move, I have been thinking a lot about Maestro’s first five years, the growth with which we have been blessed and you, the remarkable people who have made—and continue to make—it all possible. “When the time comes,” I asked myself again and again, “how will I ever tell them what they mean to me?” I was afraid that no words I knew would do you justice or be equal to the task.

But today as I stood in the midst of the more than thirty souls that now make Maestro what it is, I knew I had found the answer and, hopefully, the words. I stand five foot five, but I am privileged to walk among giants. Each and every day you arrive here to make larger-than-life contributions, wonderfully huge accomplishments that surprise, delight, solve and serve.

You don’t physically tower above your peers, duck to fit through standard doorways or have gargantuan hands. Just the opposite. As a Maestro giant, you are likely of ordinary size but carry extraordinary spirit and talent. Your frames don’t require extra space, but your contributions are enormous and overflow any room. You wear shoes of normal size, but they would be virtual canyons to fill if you weren’t here.

You don’t speak with thundering voices or rattle the furniture when you walk. But be still and witness the power in small, quiet voices. And be awed, as I am every single day, by the might of the slight and slender to shake things up. Get things done. Make things happen.

To work at Maestro is to rub shoulders with giants. To be where I am and do what I do is to be humbled, awed and made to believe that, yes, dreams do come true. So from my heart to yours, gentle giants of every size, I send peace, love and gratitude. You are the collective soul of this grand adventure we all share.

Jen Randall

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