Courage, Grace, Change
Hemingway said, “Courage is grace under pressure.” It’s a sentiment that has never been more appropriate for Fidelco than it is today. During the past year, Fidelco has experienced changes. Some designed to improve upon the delivery of our core Mission. Others imposed upon us by circumstance to challenge our mettle, particularly the U.S. economy and its resulting reduction in charitable giving nationwide. Fidelco also suffered an irreplaceable loss with the recent passing of our co-founder, Robbie Kaman.
Throughout all of these changes, Fidelco has summoned the courage to persevere. We continue to successfully deliver our Mission. We’ve redoubled our efforts to insure production of only the highest quality Guide Dogs. We’ve joined hands to create a best practices organization based on teamwork. We are succeeding, to be sure.
Looking forward to the future Fidelco, the Board of Directors and Fidelco’s senior management team will be working with me to effectively address several key strategic issues: coming to terms with our history; exploring our identity and direction; making necessary changes; renewing linkages; and committing to new leadership. We will continue to look for new ways to improve our product and service delivery.
We will continue to tighten our expense belt, everywhere appropriate, without sacrificing our future quality. We will continue to seek the input of all stakeholders.
We will continue to ask that you financially support your Fidelco as often as possible and as generously as you can. Each Fidelco German Shepherd Guide Dog costs $45,000 and takes two years to produce. In turn, we ask nothing from our clients except that they enjoy a more independent and mobile life – for up to 10 years or more with our Guides – in a world that presumes the ability of everyone to see. We have many happy clients thanks to your generosity and support. Recently, I received a thank-you email from Fidelco Client Ross Kirk, entitled, “Re-learning the Trust.” He very passionately summarized the challenging process that confronts every successor Guide Dog and handler relationship. I would ask that all stakeholders embrace his example of courage and grace.
The results will undoubtedly be stronger, more vibrant and even more successful future Fidelco. Forward together,
Eliot D. Russman
CEO & Executive Director