As 2023 draws to a close, the Civic Heart community will bid a fond farewell to a beloved leader and in January welcome a successor to take the reins of the organization.

Ms Stagg has graciously committed to supporting our new CEO, Kionta Carter, by bringing her 23 years of Civic Heart experience to bear during the onboarding.

But what about the rest of us?

Who will we be in the matter of the new CEO’s and the agency’ future success?

For starters, we can be on mission to embrace and empower our new leader. We can show her the grace and compassion we show our clients and each other on the team, at the level we hope others would gift us.

We can forgo the wait-and-see approach, which only calls us to judge another, and instead grant our new CEO our trust and unwavering support.

We can celebrate each small victory during the CEO learning curve and be wise teachers and committed collaborators.

We can best honor our retiring CEO by providing leadership in whatever capacity in which we serve. By performing our functions the best we ever have, we can be a reflection of all Ms Stagg taught us to be and imbued into our unique and beautiful culture, of which we are now the keepers.

We can choose in every moment not to give way to fears and concerns, and instead remember love in action is the answer, no matter the question.

We can live the fundamental Civic Heart belief that there is nothing of significance we can do by ourselves. We can open our hearts and stand ready to create and cultivate a thriving community.

We can foster growth, celebrate triumphs, and stay resilient in the face of challenge and doubt. We can stay strong, grounded in enduring hope.

We can be given by an explorer’s heart, unafraid to consider the new and unfamiliar, and take risks to play just a bit bigger, outside our comfort zones.

We can seek to understand and support one another as we grow stronger working together.

We can remember we are each other’s destiny.

We can face the many challenges we encounter in structural and systemic inequities, wealth disparities, being locked out of social networks that help connect us to funding organizations, and implicit biases. We can stare down these obstacles that can feel daunting – and still dream, and cause.

We can keep our faith in these simple dreams, and as Representative Garnet Coleman said recently, “Live our days in possibilities.”

We can practice good self-care so we do not grow weary of doing good.

We can pay close attention to the people we are serving – and create a community of love.

We can appreciate differences and diversity, honor another person’s ability to be independent, autonomous, and trustworthy, and respect the dignity of each person.

We can take time to listen and see people in their unique strengths, skills and contributions.

We can help everyone feel included.

We can speak straight, always with honesty and compassion, and never around or about another.

We can operate as our word in the matter, with integrity and generosity.

We can train our sights on our higher purpose.

We can empower others, including our new CEO, to help themselves, and celebrate their wins and encourage them through shortfalls.

We can be committed partners dedicated to strengthening the organization to propel it on a course that will continue to positively impact lives and communities for years to come.

We can maintain and increase our contributions of talent, funds, time and connections that will make more possible for more people in our community.

We can get to the heart of any matter, by being the Civic Heart in the matter.