Today marks my first day as CEO. While I have a lot to learn, I am incredibly excited about the opportunity and our future. We will have plenty of occasions to discuss our future in more detail going forward. However, before we look forward, it is important that we look back.
Today also marks Don Slager’s final day with the company after more than 35 years of service. As many of you know, Don started his career with Republic in Chicago. He held a number of frontline roles with the company including multiple years as a driver. Today, he is concluding his service with Republic by working alongside one of our drivers in Chicago. He will be riding on one of the very same routes he operated more than 30 years ago.
This is a fitting conclusion to Don’s extraordinary career with Republic. Don never forgot his roots. Although he held executive roles for the last 20 years, he always elevated our hardworking colleagues who support and serve on the front lines of our business. He recognized and celebrated their contributions every time he had the chance.
While Don was a product of his past, he was never a prisoner of his own experience. He welcomed new ideas and different perspectives. He championed our culture of inclusion and diversity long ago because he knew it would make us better.
In addition to creating a great culture for our employees, Don bettered the lives of all our stakeholders. He improved our service to customers. He ensured we were a great partner to the communities in which we operate. He delivered outstanding results for our shareholders.
Along with all of those achievements, Don’s lasting legacy will be the lives he touched over the course of his career at Republic. I can personally attest to his leadership. He supported, coached and mentored me over the last decade. I am prepared to take on my new role because he invested so much into me.
While Don will no longer be working alongside us day to day, his presence will always be felt. Our ongoing success will be based on the strong foundation he so tirelessly built. Please join me in wishing Don, Kim and their entire family all the best in the days ahead.
Thank you, Don.