You know what I really like about this time of year? Aside from all the food, the bowl games, and the goofy sweaters? It’s the spirit of generosity that just becomes pervasive. We may feel it in our hearts the rest of the year, but this is the season when everyone seems to put it into practice.
I always look forward to seeing who will be Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” and I thought this year’s choice of the Ebola fighters was inspired. These brave and selfless men and women epitomize generosity as few others ever have. You have to admire their determination to do what many said couldn’t be done, and not be deterred by the personal risk or seemingly overwhelming odds.
These life-and-death struggles put our everyday challenges as a company and an industry into perspective, and I think it’s worth a couple moments to reflect on lessons we can take from their example. It takes a courageous heart and a generous spirit to transcend boundaries and reach remarkable levels of success – as exemplified by not only Ebola fighters, but also many others in 2014 who rose above odds seen as unbeatable. You have to want to do or make something from which others will benefit. It goes without saying that great accomplishments always entail a measure of risk, but those that look beyond it remind us all that nothing is quite impossible.
With this in mind, I’d like to take a look back at 2014. At Advent, we try to keep the spirit of giving alive all year long in our communities through our Advent in Action program and annual Advent Gives Back Day. This past year, our Jacksonville office collected 34,000 items for a local school supply drive. New York employees volunteered with the Fresh Air Fund, which sends some 1.8 million city kids to summer camp each year. At AdventConnect in Las Vegas, attendees joined our staff to pack 500 science and math kits for underserved students. Rolling into the holiday season, Advent employees donated over $32,000 to their favorite causes on #GivingTuesday, December 2nd, and the company matched them dollar for dollar.
Heading into 2015, we will continue to give back to the communities where we are fortunate to live and work. Moreover, we will remain committed to devoting our energies to innovations that advance our industry and empower our clients to succeed. We wish all of you and your families a joyous holiday season, and we look forward to an exciting New Year.
As CEO and President of Advent Software, Pete Hess has responsibility for vision, strategy and execution across Advent’s global business. Follow Pete on Twitter.