To say thank you does not do justice to the welcome that I have received. In over 20 years of professional or volunteer leadership work, I have never received such a warm, thoughtful, and celebrated welcome. I am humbled and grateful. And as I take the mantle of executive director, I fully understand that I stand on the shoulders of the amazing leaders who came before me. Thank you for your trust and confidence as I look to build upon the last thirty years of successfully developing leaders and building our community.
I also want to assure our alumni, friends, sponsors, and community partners, that the special and unique affinity that you share for Leadership Oakland is not lost on me. Countless alumni have reached out to me to share their unique and personal experiences with Leadership Oakland. It is in these conversations that I have developed a profound respect for the comradery and friendships that start with a retreat and go on to span decades. I see the personal and professional fulfillment that comes from the discovery of purpose and passion. And I cherish the decades of the impact that Leadership Oakland's class projects have brought to our community.
2019-2020 is an exciting year. In September, 54 intelligent and compassionate leaders gathered together for a thoughtful and challenging retreat, and in doing so, launched a significant milestone class - LOXXX. This milestone is special both regionally and nationally, as Leadership Oakland is one of 24 independent organizations, of our size, nationwide that spans 30 years or more. This is awe-inspiring when considering that there are over 300 leadership development organizations nationally.
On behalf of the board, staff, and numerous alumni volunteers, I want to welcome all of our approximately 1300 alumni to join us in celebrating this milestone year. Whether it is attending a Breakfast of Champions, sharing a story on social media, connecting with a former classmate, or sponsoring a class meet up - we want you to celebrate with us.