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CEO Message: Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on Nov. 26, 2015 ( comments)
Bill Robertson Thanksgiving 2014

Bill Robertson, President and CEO of MultiCare, helps serve a Thanksgiving meal to employees and visitors at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital's cafeteria in 2014.

The taxi driver was a young man — I guessed about 30. As the details of his life bubbled up through the conversation over the time I was in his cab, I discovered that my guess about his age was pretty close.

He came from Algeria at age 21 — by himself. No family or friends, just him. He has been here nine and a half years. He wasn’t always a taxi driver but he likes it. He’s been saving his money.

And then, as his smile spread wide and filled what the mirror showed me of his face, he told me his big news: “I just got married. One and a half months back. I am so happy now.”

I wanted to make some contribution to the conversation so I said, “Well, it will be a good Thanksgiving for you.”

Suddenly the intensity on his face deepened. “I love Thanksgiving,” he said. “It is the best of all holidays. It is for everyone.”

I agreed, but I could see he wasn’t finished.

“When I came here I was by myself. My boss came to me and asked, ‘Where are you having Thanksgiving?’ I didn’t know what it was. He said, ‘You are coming home with me for Thanksgiving. My wife is cooking a turkey.’ So I went to his home for Thanksgiving. By myself. I was alone. But not for Thanksgiving. My boss made a family for me. We had the best day. I loved the turkey and all the special thanksgiving food. After dinner we played games together — it was so much fun. From that day onward, I have always loved Thanksgiving.”

I was pretty much speechless. Before I could really say anything, he had one last detail to add to his story.

“This year, I will cook a turkey. My wife has never had Thanksgiving. She will see why we love it so much here.”

What more could be said?

For all that we have received, may we be truly grateful. And for all that we may share with others from the bounty of our lives, may we be ever mindful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in: CEO Perspective

About The Author

Bill Robertson Bill Robertson, President and CEO
Bill Robertson has served as MultiCare's President and CEO since May 2014. He came from Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prior to Adventist, Robertson served as CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City, Kansas.  More stories by this author
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