“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” –Philippians 1:3-6
The first and most important thing I must say is thank you.
Thank you for your visionary leadership and constant support of our teams, both locally and globally. You have built a culture of encouragement and collaboration while holding us all to the highest standards of performance and results, which has created a more unified global staff than ever before.
Thank you for your tireless work ethic and unending energy. You have traveled the globe time and again to foster relationships, launch partnerships, raise support and point us toward our future direction - one that is full of possibility and innovative solutions.
Thank you, most of all, for your unending dedication to Opportunity International clients around the world and for furthering our progress toward ending extreme poverty in our lifetimes. Because of your leadership and effort, millions of women and men are now able to work and earn a living, send their children to school, provide a healthy home for their families and build a better life for today, tomorrow and the day after.
The significance of your work is perhaps best understood by the numbers themselves. Under your leadership, Opportunity has grown significantly. In 2012, we created or sustained 11.4 million jobs; today, that number is 17.3 million. When you began, we provided 4.2 million loans and savings products to clients and now we provide 9.6 million. We have expanded our agriculture finance and education finance initiatives, entered and grown our presence in new markets, particularly in Asia, and have developed strategic partnerships that now provide countless possibilities for our future. We continue to serve more clients and address more needs than ever before, and we are grateful for your vision that has led us to this exciting place.
But while the numbers demonstrate the remarkable scale of the impact you have had on our organization over your tenure, I’m confident that what you’ll remember most are the stories. The pride of a woman working for the first time or the laugh of a child going to school or the busy hands of a farmer cultivating his crops - these are the memories that I’m sure resonate more than anything else, and these are the people that make Opportunity so special. You and I share a love, not only for the work to which we have been called, but for the people that we serve. These incredible individuals inspire me daily, and I know they have shaped your time here at Opportunity as well.
Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to work alongside you and transition leadership between us. Your partnership and expertise have been invaluable and it has become increasingly clear that your work has laid the foundation for our future. I am thrilled to continue advancing and scaling these initiatives to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients and work toward our ultimate goal: ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.
Beyond my gratitude for your contributions to Opportunity’s future and admiration for your professional accomplishments, I am proud to call you a friend. While we are losing you as a staff member and organizational leader, I know that we are not saying goodbye. Your passion for our work is evident, and I am excited to continue our friendship and collaboration, only this time as staff and donor!
We are sending you on to your next adventure with excitement, gratitude, recognition and the confidence that we will continue to partner together as we drive Opportunity forward. This is not a farewell, after all, but simply a see you soon - the next step in both our personal and organizational futures.
I can’t wait to see what amazing thing you accomplish next, and I hope you will watch with similar anticipation the future of this organization we both have called home.
I send you on to your next step with the words from Joshua 1:9 that you so often shared with all of us here at Opportunity: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Thank you for your leadership, partnership, strength and vision. All of us at Opportunity are grateful for you and are sending you off with endless encouragement and celebration.
Blessings and see you soon,