Celebrating Years of Friendship: A note from Jim and Chris
Friendship multiplies the good in life
At 1-800-Flowers our mission is to help people express and connect with the important people in their lives. We have always believed in the importance of human relationships and the way in which durable, supportive communities are built atop them. We see this mission as especially important right now, as many of us still remain physically separated from the important people in our lives.
It is in this context that we look toward a wonderful holiday at the end of the month – International Day of Friendship. Each year on July 30th the United Nations recognizes this day to promote and defend "a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship." Friendship is an essential part of a fulfilling life. Research has shown that close friendships help keep us fulfilled, healthy and happy. But the busier life gets, the more challenging it can be to nurture the bonds we share with others. As work and family commitments often take up a majority of our time, friendships can often unfortunately fall by the wayside.
The People We Hold Near And Dear
As we all spent a bit more time at home and inside this summer, let's use this opportunity to strengthen our friendships. Here are a few ideas the team put together on how to nurture relationships – from small gestures to big. There are lots of ways to let a friend know how much you appreciate them. This could be a simple text to a friend who is having a hard time, or a group Zoom call with your friends scattered across the country.
We keep in mind the friendships we have gathered through the many different facets of our lives. For many of us the lines are blurred between friends, colleagues, and business relationships. We have had the pleasure to work with incredible people throughout our career, who make work a joy and push us to work harder and smarter. A few people that we hold near and dear come to mind…
Jay Scansaroli – Jay has been a longtime friend, we all grew up together in Queens. Jay has always been a great sounding board for business projects, and he's been a powerful sounding board for Chris. We cherish his advice. Jay also joins us on the Board of Directors at Smile Farms.
Len Elmore – Chris and I have known Len for most of our lives as we grew up near each other in South Queens. He has had an extraordinary career as a sportscaster, lawyer and former NBA player. We are lucky enough to have him as our longest standing Board Member. Just recently he did a virtual Town Hall for the Flowers community, attended by over 1,600 associates, where he spoke about life and race-related issues in a thoughtful and elegant way.
Katherine Oliver – we've known Katherine for a long time. In 2002, Mayor Bloomberg appointed Katherine as the Commissioner of Entertainment for NYC. She is credited as revitalizing the city's entertainment sector. Katherine is currently a principal at Bloomberg Associates where she does consulting work with major Cities globally. Chris and I asked Katherine, also a 1-800- Flowers Board Member, if she would mentor female managers and professionals at 1-800-Flowers. She has helped so many young women in our company by sharing her advice, knowledge and experiences with them.
Frank Marzano – Frank is a great friend of ours and through his very successful financial management firm, GM Advisory Group, manages both of our family finances. Frank is a generation younger, which we are thankful for, so his relationship can continue with our families for many years to come. Frank has been instrumental as a founding board member of Smile Farms (our charity devoted to helping people with developmental disabilities). He is a great family man who is enthusiastic about helping people.
We would love to hear how you have been keeping close with the friends in your life – in both your professional and personal networks. We will be having a conversation on Social Media as International Day of Friendship approaches. Hope you will join the dialogue.