Dear Willow Creek Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,
When we shared with you all in January that my role at Willow Creek would be changing, many people assumed that I was, in essence, announcing my retirement. Many of you have wondered what on earth I’m doing with my time and are surprised to find me in the office, at my desk, still focused on the business I created almost 40 years ago.
I have always advised business owners to prepare a plan for succession, and I am a person who practices what he preaches. Like a parent dreams one day of their children leaving home for college or career, I too planned for the time when my business would take on a new leader and leadership team. The Willow Creek leadership team, which is now led by Tim Admire, has been working together over the last 15 years. Much like a very proud parent, I am thrilled to see this team continue to coalesce around the Willow Creek vision and mission set forth so many years ago. Our succession plan ensures that Willow Creek will outlast its founder, remaining strong, agile, and innovative well into the future.
So, what exactly am I up to these days?
Outside of work, I am spending more time gardening, swimming, traveling, and hiking; I am more engaged in philanthropic endeavors and nonprofit boards, work I have always committed to and enjoyed.
I have found that I get my best ideas when swimming laps or out in nature, so it has been very beneficial for me to create time and space to ponder big ideas. As Chairman of the Board and a member of Willow Creek’s Marketing Committee, Sustainable Investing Committee, and Investment Committee, I remain actively engaged with the future of the firm, focusing on the questions we are facing: What will the post-COVID world look like for our firm and the larger financial services industry? How can I leverage my experience and expertise in the growth of the firm? How can we continue to enhance our client experience? Additionally, I remain engaged with clients on topics where they or their advisor would like my input.
I am very proud of the transition we have made, and I have the utmost trust in the Willow Creek management team to lead us into the future. Handing the baton to this team has been such a privilege, and their commitment to the independence, health, and growth of the firm is inspiring. With new team members, a continued focus on client experience, and innovations in portfolio design, we are poised to enter this new era with enthusiasm and positivity.
P.S. I recently sat down with our President and CEO, Tim Admire, to discuss his role, how he’s preparing the firm for the next four decades, and how we as a firm are approaching the post-COVID era. Enjoy!