By Tara Russell
CCG Friends –
Last week, Don, Tracy and I had the opportunity to take one of our largest out-of-town donors + believers through the CCG facility and introduce the CCG team and our work in person. Â Â It was emotional reliving so many memories of how weâ€™ve come to the place we stand today. Â I choked back tears as I watched the pride that beamed across Saraâ€™s face as she explained that her â€ślife has transformed completelyâ€ť now being with CCG for months after having spent 4 years in prison. Â During a hug, I didnâ€™t want to let go of Martina, a petite Mexican woman with strength and resilience beyond what most of us can imagine. Â We shared various stories of hope from just a few of our many CCG all-stars â€” and I marveled at how far weâ€™ve come, together. Â It has literally taken thousands of you to do what weâ€™ve done. Â Youâ€™ve invested time, money, and most of all, love in action that has made our transformative work possible. Â We are so very proud of what weâ€™ve done, and Iâ€™m more grateful than I can express, truly.
Some of you may wonder, ‘why all the change at CCG the past couple years?â€™. Â Life is about change, isnâ€™t it? Â đź™‚ Â I personally have been working to ensure that CCG has all the tools and resources it needs to grow, thrive and have incredible impact in Boise and beyond. Â I knew we needed Don Berryâ€™s operational leadership to strengthen CCGâ€™s foundation + ensure we were ready to scale CCG to the next level, and Iâ€™ve always known that Tracy Hitchcock would play a broader role at CCG, when the time was right. Â Meanwhile, Iâ€™ve also been working to figure out who I want to be when I grow up and how to best care for my familyâ€”how to best use my gifts + talents to envision + create scalable impact vehicles, marrying my past experience in the corporate world with my passion for marginalized communitiesâ€”most recently building Fathom (www.fathom.org). Â
Tracy will bring excellent global foodservice experience and leadership, along with a true passion and long history of love in action with CCG. Â I have so appreciated her keen watch of the food industry + how the landscape is changing, and where and how CCG best fits in. Â I have loved watching her powerfully articulate CCGâ€™s magic, and CCGâ€™s opportunities ahead. Â I have admired her careful, thoughtful, preparatory consideration of this new roleâ€”and all she will bring to the incredible, diverse CCG team. Â She loves CCG, and she canâ€™t wait to be more formally part of the daily magic. Â Â
While Iâ€™d have loved for Don to work with CCG until he was 127, I believe Don deserves the opportunity to retire (again) and we know heâ€™ll continue mentoring + training our team as he so naturally does (when heâ€™s not jet-setting, or on the golf-course, of course!). Â đź™‚ Â Don has invested his heart + head into CCGâ€™s strong base, bringing incredible milestones with our team – and he too has fallen in love with our addicting mission of empowering others to reach their full potential through job-training and employment. Â We will forever be grateful for his investment, his wisdom, his never-ending humor, his disciplined leadership and his smart support through these past couple years. Â
Things are just warming up, friends. Â CCG is just beginning itâ€™s journey. Â Remember, Starbucks didnâ€™t open their second store for 7 years, right? Â We at Create Common Good are proud, honored and SO excited to continue to use food to change lives, in Boise and Beyond. Â As Chairman of the Board, I cannot wait to continue this important and impact-FULL work with Tracy and the entire team. Â
Thank you for sharing your head, heart and hands to make so much life change possible – please join us as we embark on an exciting new season together!
With so much love + gratitude,
Founder & Board Chair, Create Common Good