Well, summer is just about over. There is a slight breeze in the air, the kids are back in school, football is back, and pumpkin flavored coffee is back in the stores. It was a beautiful busy summer with even more normalcy seemingly returning to our lives. We were certainly busy at Greenleaf Trust, so in the spirit of going back to school, I thought I would let everyone know some of the highlights of our summer.

For the first time in a couple of years, we were able to hold signature events for our clients and friends in each of our Michigan markets. We started in June with a dinner at the new Madrid restaurant in Grand Rapids and then a clambake later that month at the Detroit Golf Club. We then headed north in August to our clambake in Bay Harbor and a farm-to-table dinner at Brengman Brothers Winery in Traverse City. We ended the season with our clambake in Kalamazoo at Kalamazoo College and just recently our inaugural clambake in Midland at the Midland Country Club. Each event was uniquely special and provided everyone there an important opportunity to reconnect face-to-face and simply enjoy a wonderful meal and each other’s company.

While the signature events provided us opportunities to reconnect with clients and old friends, our annual Picture Day in August allowed us opportunities to reconnect with each other. Everyone in the company was in Kalamazoo for photos for our annual report. It was truly an amazing day to see everyone again and interact with each other in person. You could actually feel the positive energy in Kalamazoo that day. Our foundational relationships with each other are a critical ingredient to our culture. For quite a few teammates this was the first time meeting in person, considering we now have 176 teammates and 36 of them have joined the team since the last time we got together for Picture Day.

We were also honored for the second summer in a row as the #1 Cool Place to Work in Michigan (medium-sized company category)! We ranked 6th overall out of 100 companies. Cool Places to Work in Michigan is a research-driven program from Best Companies Group. The award focuses on a company’s practices, programs and benefits and surveys employees from their perspective. We were evaluated on our workplace policies, practices, and demographics, followed by a comprehensive survey of our teammates.

As summer was wrapping up, Karen Baldwin, Director of Human Resources, and I met with every teammate in our company in small groups as part of our annual Perspectives and Solutions meetings. The meetings provide us opportunities to collaborate and provide perspectives and solutions to teammate questions and needs. We have been doing these meetings for a long time and can trace many of the improvements we have made to our company through these candid interactions. They are gratifying to all of us and help make us better for our clients.

Our summer reflected our embracement and commitment to our four “Cs” – Clients, Colleagues, Community, and Culture. Important work was done in each of these areas. We look forward to continuing this work throughout the rest of the year and are already starting our strategic planning for next year. I hope your summer was as meaningful as ours.