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EO Johnson CEO reflects back, looks forward with hope

As 2020 comes to a close, I can't help but feel deep gratitude for all of the gifts that this year has given us. It has been challenging, unsettling and at times frightening, but even in our most difficult moments there are life lessons to be grateful for. So, as I reflect upon all that we have been through over the past year in our industry, our communities, and in our world, I feel thankful.

This year was an exercise in disruption—from social unrest to strife to public health worries to tectonic shifts in the business world. But it is the rare moments of disruption like this that allow us to pick up our world like a snow globe, examine where changes need to be made, and figure out how we can forge a better world for ourselves and others.

My dad, who founded this company, would often say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." I see evidence of the truth of this sentiment from time to time, but boy, did I see it this year. I'm so deeply proud of our people, and how they've been able to empower our staff to work from home quickly and securely, so that they could support our customers' critical needs as they also migrated to working from home. Our staff were able to accomplish this so seamlessly and professionally, I honestly believe it would be difficult for anyone to tell the difference. I'm so thankful for that expertise, thankful that we had the technology and passion to make it happen, and thankful for the support of our customers throughout the process.

Change is rarely easy. But the reason this year was painful for so many of us is that it took us out of our comfort zones. The result: we all experienced growth, professionally and personally. Many of us learned the importance of looking at issues differently, and opening ourselves to talking about our differences. Some of us leaned deeper into our spiritual practice. Others reassessed the importance of time with those we care about, gaining clarity of what really matters. And so many of us discovered a resiliency we didn't know we had.

The truth is, even in the midst of our pain and suffering, we can see that when the snow settles about us in our snow globe, we are stronger. Families are closer, appreciating one another more than ever before. We've innovated solutions practically on demand, pushing ourselves to a future we could have never imagined possible. We've been able to reassess what's truly crucial in our world. To me, that's why 2020 was a glorious year, and that's why I look toward the coming year with hope.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays,

Mary Jo Johnson

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