Around this time two weeks ago, I was in my glory as Medix hosted our 2021 Kick-Off Meeting. I’ve written about our meetings on a handful of occasions, but this three-day event is easily one of my favorite times of the year. You may recall, but Medix made the arduous decision to cancel last year’s in-person Kick-Off Meeting, instead forging ahead with a smaller virtual event in its place. Fast forward one year later, and we could have made another similar decision. We could have hosted another small, quick meeting to tide over teammates for another 365 days, but instead, we opted to conform to our new reality. This year, we decided to host our typical three-day conference filled with speakers from across the nation, entertainment for our teams and their families, and the same driving purpose and philanthropy we always center these meetings around – all virtually.
I could not be more pleased with how the event unfolded. More importantly, I’m so humbled and honored to once again have our team rally around our Core Purpose of Positively Impacting Lives, and to have my peers and colleagues unite around purpose, philanthropy, and doing right by each other.
One of the first speakers to grace the computer screens of our virtual event was Shaun Tomson. Many of you may know him as a world champion surfer, but I know him as an incredibly impactful and tenacious leader. He’s spoken at events all across the globe, sharing his passion for positivity and purpose with his philosophy, “Surfer’s Code.” Shaun challenged the team to create their own code; a set of principles to inspire and motivate individuals through adversity, and the lasting impact this exercise had on me and the team has already been nothing short of extraordinary. Shaun is currently the ambassador for Surfrider Foundation, which is a network of activists dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches for all people.
Our next guest speaker was from the exceptional organization, Greenhouse Scholars. Some of our Medix teammates have had the pleasure of working and/or volunteering with the Greenhouse Scholars’ program in the past, but this movement is set on leveling the playing field to bring about generational change in low-income communities. This program isn’t just a typical college scholarship, but rather focuses on pillars of mentorship, professional networking, peer support, internships among financial support to ensure the success of its applicants. Together the team rallied to raise money to help support future candidates in their pursuit of post-secondary education and got to hear firsthand the impact this program had on the lives of previous Greenhouse Scholars’ recipients.
Next, the team and their loved ones were able to sit back, relax and listen to the sweet melodies of country music singer and songwriter, Jimmie Allen. Aside from setting records with his chart-topping hits, Jimmie was recently selected to be the CMA Foundation’s Unified Voices for Music Education’s next ambassador. This program works to ensure music has a place in a student’s education. He also introduced the team to Duffy’s Hope, an amazing organization in Wilmington, Delaware providing intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal growth opportunities for at-risk and hard-to-reach youth.
A couple of years ago, Medix invited Brad Karsh, president, and CEO of JB Training Solutions to speak at another annual Kick-Off Meeting. His motivational speech around ‘chalant’ was so engaging and impactful that the team insisted we bring him back a second time to speak for all our newer teammates. Brad is a long-time friend of mine, having been introduced through a college friend. Getting the opportunity to hear him speak to the team again about his purpose is always a highlight. His impact on Medix always cements this idea of connection and reminds me to surround myself with great people and be open and diligent about remaining in touch with friendships I cherish.
To round out this year’s conference, the team and their families were invited to tune in to a live performance from the magician, comedian, and television personality, Justin Willman. Through magic, Justin was able to impart lessons on paying it forward and doing the right thing; two values near and dear to Medix’s heart. Though his magic was undoubtedly amazing, his authenticity during his performance was truly inspiring. During the 90 minute show, Justin invited us into his home where we unexpectedly met his young son through a charming interruption and then learned about his late mother’s lasting impact on his life and career. Justin is the director of the charitable organization, MagicAid; a non-profit organization that uses magic to improve the hospitalization experience for pediatric patients.
Sure we had to pivot for this year’s meeting, and yes – I will always prefer in-person connection over the virtual setting, but getting to spend three days with the team, uniting and replenishing our fire to Positively Impacting Lives will always be a memory I’m incredibly grateful for, whether virtually or not.
To learn more or get involved with any of our guest speaker’s charitable organizations, please click on any of the links above.