MLA, what to say. As I sit here and write this, we didn’t even know each other five years ago. Now, you have become one of my closest friends and an immensely important part of my inner circle. You have been so supportive of me and DSM through up and downs and everything in between. For that, I am immensely grateful to you. You’ve also taught me a great deal about “the value of a relationship” and how it can impact business and yet still amaze me with laughter and good food. Ah, yes, our shared love of fantastic food and wine. It’s taken the relationship to the next level. The Three Musketeers have become the Quad City Rollers with Uncle Gary and Chaz. I appreciate these times so much because while we talk about business and improvement, the main goal is to invest in each other. It’s special, and I am immensely grateful.
To know about MaryLynne is to know her midwestern roots, her amazing accent and her beautiful smile and heart. She’s incredibly caring and makes it a point to ensure that whomever she is speaking with has her full attention. ML, I’ve seen you in crowds of 150 or around a table of 3, in each instance, those around you knew that you were listening intently and cared deeply for what they were speaking to or about. No matter how boring or lame. You say it’s your job to listen and care. I call BS on this. I’ve been in some of these convos and watched how you handle yourself. The concern is real and legit. I stand in awe of that, it’s a gift.
As a friend, you have forged an indelible place in my life. The times we’ve shared have been so amazing. Love getting together for lunch. Putting our heads together to brainstorm world domination :-). I always know that when you call or text, you have my best interest in mind, and for that, I appreciate you immensely. MLA, you put others first and foremost. My hope in the coming years is to reciprocate that kindness. Staying true to your word and being radically transparent are the qualities I admire most. I learn from you every time we speak, and that is why you’re special. Don’t change for anyone, kiddo!
To put a bow on this Homage, MaryLynne, you are one incredible human. Our friendship is something that you don’t come across every day. The time and care you put in are something that I cherish and appreciate. My hope with this interview is to showcase perseverance and to speak to your importance in my life. You lift me up and keep me grounded with your presence. You always tell it like it is. You’re a true friend, and I’m forever grateful that you consider me one as well.