Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings Brothers and Sisters! The Holidays are here again! My family and I genuinely enjoy the entire holiday season because it is a time of togetherness and family. I decided to write about things we can appreciate during the recent months and opportunities moving forward. Since our last publication, Local 652 was able to get our retiree meetings going again and it has been a great success! Seeing all the old friends reconnecting, laughing, and having some fellowship has livened up the Local. UAW Local 652 partnered with UAW Local 724 in donating our combined parking lots for a wonderful charity event sponsored by Footprints of Michigan on Veteran’s day. They held a drive-through boot and shoe giveaway for veterans with a strong turnout and excellent volunteer support. We have had another great year of collecting donations for our local area children through the Old News Boys organization and the Marine Corp. with our Toys-for-Tots campaign. It fills me with pride and makes it easy to represent Local 652 when you have a fantastic membership that proves year-over-year that they are some of the most giving and caring members in the UAW. With all there is to celebrate, this year has not fallen short of providing some steep challenges. I, however, choose not to allow those challenges to distract me from what a good year 2022 has been. At work, I want to thank every single member who fought through those challenges with us and emerged stronger for it. At home, I must thank my amazing wife, Kristin, for supporting me on the late nights, board meetings, stacked weekends, and weeks away from home. She provides me this gift while raising our boys and being a full-time medical professional. Without Kristin’s support and the fact that my sons are a blessing to our family, I don’t know how I could do what I am blessed to do. As we see the sun setting in 2022 and anxiously await the beginning of 2023, we already know that some residual challenges will linger and present us with more reasons to get angry if we so allow. A new year also means getting older. I no longer fear this, as age has given me the gift of perspective. This year I found myself learning about my opportunity and obligation to control what is under my control and release all that is not. I use a great quote from coach Tony Dungy to continually remind myself of this opportunity, "You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach and response.” As a leader, I am constantly pulled into situations where I am providing information or answers to members who are upset, confused, or unsure of what is happening to them. Most of the time, the members are agitated and the goal is to provide information and answers, do it calmly, and work to ensure the members understand when we are done speaking. Getting to this understanding is rarely done calmly; working to control our attitude, approach and response are vital to moving forward in these situations. In the coming year, I look to improve myself and better serve our membership by putting this into practice. As I finish this article, I look back on 2022 with a thankful heart, thankful for my family, friends, the active and retired members of Local 652 and the opportunity to face 2023 positively.
I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, New Year, and holiday season!