Colleagues, Friends, Family: New England Won’t Thrive Without Them

John Kassel

As some of you may know, I had one of those painful (and thankfully rare) life experiences this month that reinforce our natural instinct that people matter most of all in life. Thank you all for your kind wishes and support. It made a big difference.

Although that experience was personal, the same message – people matter most – is worth taking to heart in our professional lives. Our work colleagues are “family” in a sense; we help one another grow and thrive. In addition, in order to achieve CLF’s collective mission we need to connect with people who care about New England like we do – people precisely like you. We won’t succeed without you.

Brain Skerry @ the NEw England Boat Show with CLF.

Getting out to meet people where they live, work, and play is something we’re doing that right now at the New England Boat Show. CLF has a booth where the CLF family is meeting new people and talking about the wonders of New England’s oceans and the need for people to rally in support of them.

I’m very pleased to introduce the gentleman in the CLF vest, whom you may not recognize. He’s Brian Skerry, and you’re going to be seeing a lot more of him. He’s a world-renowned underwater photographer whose pictures have appeared many times on the cover of National Geographic. (He was signing his books at our table here; the girl in the yellow sweatshirt is reacting to his photos.) And he’s going to be our ambassador (and photographer) for the New England Ocean Odyssey – a project conceived and soon to be launched by our Ocean Conservation program team. It will take people on a journey beneath New England’s waves, and bring them to the surface fired up to protect and improve our marine environment.

CLF's Roberta Gilbert

It will also take us – CLF – on a journey, into person-to-person engagement. Here’s Roberta Gilbert, making friends for us. She was terrific! We at CLF will all be good at it – I’m sure of that – because we at CLF believe in what we’re doing. That’s the most important thing. You can’t promote effectively what you don’t believe in, and enthusiasm is infectious. Everything else is detail.

And why? It’s worth reminding ourselves. We cannot succeed without more people in our tent, providing activism for our advocacy, financial contributions, legal standing, moral support, and energy, ideas and enthusiasm. It’s everyone’s New England, after all, that we want to help thrive.

And so join us. We’ll be more successful, and it’ll be more fun.

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