Steven P. Feldman, Professor Emeritus, Case Western Reserve University, coined the term “Moral Memory”. In a nutshell: Great businesses become great because corporate, as well as personal choices, are based in moral values; they consistently make the right decisions and continue to support that decision-making process by remembering and retelling stories of the same. Successful businesses nurture all: the customer and the team member.
In 2010, a business league was created in Syracuse entitled, Syracuse Business Organization for Strategic Synergy [SBOSS]. Several local business owners were involved in its creation. That organization is now doing business as the West Davis Chamber of Commerce. A month ago, I was asked by its managing director, Ryan Rentmeister, to write a brief history of the organization. I was happy to do so. I’ve always cherished those involved in Syracuse business. Many are my mentors.
The current COVID-19 epidemic is a war between two worlds: the whole of the earth’s human population against an invader, seen only with the aid of an electron microscope. COVID-19 exacts a tremendous cost!
Concerned about our local supply chain, I asked Spencer Kammeyer, General Manager of our local Smith’s Food and Drug, as well as Cody Shumway, General Manager of our Walmart, to sit with me for a few minutes and help me understand what they do to protect staff and customers. They responded immediately and are well-prepared to meet the COVID-19 battle. They explained their workings with suppliers, and they champion the needs of local residents. I assure you, they are operating with high moral fidelity! I tell the story!
The city is operating with a partial activation of its Emergency Operations Committee, (EOC). By design, that body is organized and managed by our City Manager, Brody Bovero. My job is community observer. I’m the fly on the wall. Officer Erin Behm of the Police Department is the Public Information Officer, and she, by assignment, is charged with supplying essentials to sustain city operations. Early on, our first responders were in need of ear-loop face masks, and they were as good as gold. She was desperate. She pointed at me and ordered, “Get me some!”
Colleagues are a wonderful thing. I turned to my Syracuse dental peers and divided them in half; I thought I’d approach the first half with this initial wave, and then, if the need persisted, I’d tap the other half later. I found all of them furloughing staff, shutting down practices, and facing a horrible prospect of crippling if not killing financial loss, all ordered by the state department of health and the recommendations of the American Dental Association.
If your family dentist practices in Syracuse, you are blessed! Without regard to their own agency-ordered plight, each member of the dental community that I called was eager to offer face masks, which were sitting on shelves, to the city’s first responders. The urgent need has abated for now, but you peers in the second half be ready! I feel so blessed to claim colleagues that make moral choices every day. I am more than happy to tell the story.
“Gratitude is the moral memory of mankind.” – Georg Simmel
Michael Gailey, Mayor