Message from the CEO, July 2013

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Summer is a Season for Fun, and a Season for Growth


SummerBeachChairs_BlogOur personal lives, and our business lives, have seasonal rhythms. Here we are, in the middle of summer. In our business, we push hard through July 1 to serve a large volume of our clients’ renewal needs. In our personal lives, some of us may be spending a little more time with our children, who, if they’re still in school and living at home, are probably enjoying their summer vacation from school.


Perhaps you’ve taken some time to get away together as a family. Our families are at the center of why we work hard, and how we define balance in our lives. Summer is certainly a season for family fun, and for creating great memories!


Summer is also a season of growth. The seeds that were planted, watered, and fertilized have grown into fields of crops that will soon be ready for harvest. Our agribusiness clients depend on the long, sunny days of summer to maximize their yield. That same “law of the harvest” is also very relevant in our personal and business lives. We plant the seeds of our future success, and nurture their development to ensure a great harvest in the future.


Many of us have children who are now adults pursuing their own careers. For those of you who do, you understand the challenges they face competing for a foothold on a career path of their choice. Because of the changing nature of the global economy, their career path may take many turns during their lifetime. They are entering the spring and early summer of their careers, and are working hard to reap a long and fruitful harvest.


What is the advice that we give our young people who are starting their careers, so that they maximize their own personal harvest? I think it’s much the same advice that we’ve followed, as we set the sort of example that we hope they embrace. For instance, we suggest that they pursue their passions and play to their strengths, work hard and also work smart. We teach that there will be bumps in the road and adversity to bounce back from, but that they should always remain positive and see the opportunity that may be disguised as a challenge. We teach them to be excellent at their jobs, because while America provides equal opportunity, none of us are guaranteed success in a competitive economy. And in the process, we want them to practice the virtues they learned in kindergarten: to work and play well with others, share their toys, clean up their messes, and apologize and make it right when they’ve hurt someone else.


Over the past year since I joined Tolman & Wiker, I’ve noticed how many seeds for future success we’ve been planting, watering, and fertilizing. We’ve rebranded our look and changed our name, to reflect the important heritage and difference we bring as a privately held firm with a strong tradition of innovative personal service, relationships, and trusted advice. We’re investing in new technology, both in sales and in service, so that we’re working with tools and resources that keep us relevant to our clients, and at the forefront of our business. We’re also investing in significant training and development for our team members, so that everyone here has the opportunity to grow their career. And we’re bringing in new, talented team members when we see the need, so that our team continues to be strong and so that our clients continue to receive great service and achieve outstanding results! At Tolman & Wiker, our primary purpose is to attract and retain great clients, and to remain independent and privately held. Everything we do is focused on accomplishing those two objectives.


Let’s remember that we need the right combination of sunshine (positive attitude), water (clients), fertilizer (your hard work and excellence), and good soil (our supportive team environment) in order to have a great harvest! With our sunny climate, great team, and favorable growing conditions, we can have a growth season all year ‘round! Thank you for your focus and commitment to serving our clients with excellence, which helps all of us maximize the harvest and rewards that come to us when we deliver on our promises!


We have a very bright future in front of us! Enjoy the rest of your summer!


– Greg Van Ness, CEO

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