Like many of you, I tend to become very introspective during the Holiday Season. This year, in addition to the usual events that cause me to look at my life and the impact I may have upon others, I was able to share in a whirlwind of events with my Jason’s Deli family.
As a Brand, our culture has been driven intrinsically through Servant Leadership, and the example has been set by our senior leadership group to nourish key pillars of their lives. Feeding the body through exercise and healthy eating, feeding the mind through self development and reading (One of Joe’s favorite quotes is, “Leaders are Readers!), feeding the heart through service and building relationships and, finally, feeding the spirit by recognizing and honoring G-d in all things we do. This November we had an opportunity to realize the benefit of these ideals.
For 3 years now, we have been able to realize a tremendous partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center. We were blessed to be able to donate the money we have raised to fund 5 pilot programs designed to prevent Cancer altogether or aid those that have gone through treatment to live healthier lives. In addition, myself and my wife Monique, Wade and Kim Sterns, Travis and Leigh Bryant, and Kelly and Kyle Finley, dedicated Jason’s family members, were honored to be part of the MD Anderson 75th anniversary gala to celebrate this wonderful institution. Listening to the stories of hope and Vice President Biden’s commitment to bringing much needed resources to integrate the battle on this disease was incredibly special and made for a night we will never forget. Certainly, as the catalyst for our partnership, Monique and I were truly thankful that we had that opportunity.
You may have also shared in our month long celebration of our 40th Anniversary. Being able to visit many of our markets across the country made me realize the impact we can have on our people and communities. An employee in Pittsburgh who said we saved her life because of the family she found once she came to work for us. The customers with whom I talked were gushing about our healthy choices, salad bar, unique offerings and focus on wholesome ingredients. I wish I could explain the pride that is felt when this type of personal engagement happens on visits to stores and markets. The closest thing I can compare it to is when your children do something on their own that illustrates an ideal or value you have been trying to instill in them since birth. It is validation, and it is inspiring.
I am especially grateful as I write this. My wife and I are getting ready to embark on what may be our last “family” vacation. My kids are in high school and college now. They are embarking on their own lives, becoming their own individuals and spreading their wings. We can only hope that the values we live by, instilled in us by the wonderful company and Brand with which I have been involved for 23 years, trickles down to all of them.
Jason’s Deli wishes all of you a wonderful Holiday Season.