A Thank You to Amazing Co-Workers and an Amazing Company
By Chris Martin
As I write these blog entries, I could not help but reflect on all of the support provided to my family and our team over the years. The support has come each and every year from the extended Martin family, our dear friends, and our amazing co-workers. Even with the help of a dictionary, I am starting to run out of exclamations to aptly describe their generosity. However, I am going to praise all of them yet again. And since there are so many people to thank, I’ll use this blog entry to praise my co-workers and my company, Brinker Capital. Praising my family and friends comes next. Let’s hope everyone has enough time on their hands to read my epic to thank all of them.
To give you a bit of background, you should know that my company has been far from immune to the ravages of ALS. Not only did my father have the disease, but three of my co-workers also had family members who were diagnosed with ALS. My father, my co-worker’s mother, another co-worker’s uncle, and yet another co-worker’s grandfather passed away as a result of their battles with ALS.
When you look at statistics, two out of every 100,000 people have ALS. Two; that’s it. Yet in our office of 120 people, there were four families affected. What makes Brinker’s statistic even more incredible was that years after the first family dealt with ALS, a fifth family was also dealt this unfortunate hand. Sadly, the fifth family member diagnosed with ALS was also a former Brinker employee. All have passed away and will never be forgotten.
Five families. Five individuals. Five diagnoses. There are no common themes, no quick answers, and no clear reason why the people in the families or our company family have been affected this way. It would be all too easy to say, “it is what it is” and too simple to talk about the fickle hand of fate. It would be logical to call the five cases a statistical anomaly. To be sure, no one involved had any other choice than to accept each diagnosis. But what no one could, or would, accept was to do nothing. So we all stepped in to help lead the fight against ALS, and my company has been by my side since the day that I asked for its assistance.
As an investment management firm, we have seen the markets swing wildly over the years. We’ve been up and down and down and out. We have had to lay off close friends and have suffered through difficult times as a firm. Yet, not once has Brinker Capital said no when we have asked for support. Time and again as a firm and as a family, they have answered the call to help. To be sure, I have incredible gratitude for the “caring company”. Brinker’s care and support is what makes it part of my extended family. My co-workers say the same thing as well. By giving back to their employees and to our community, they demonstrated what it means to be a partner in their employee's lives.
ALS doesn’t care about recessions. It doesn’t care if a family can’t meet its mortgage. It doesn’t care if someone lost his or her job. It is entirely disconnected from any trials we may face. It is a remorseless disease with one outcome; and if that isn't enough, that outcome is of indeterminate length. Yet as ALS takes each newly diagnosed person from us, our families, friends and even our companies stand by our sides.
Anyone, or anything, can take away a part or all of our lives. Taking is always easy to do. Giving of yourself and giving to others can be difficult and stressful. Yet this giving makes hope possible. So Brinker does what they can to give, to support and to care. They do what they can to provide hope.
And hope is far more powerful than despair or grief.
With my deepest gratitude to my Brinker Family for all they have done and for all they continue to do.