Farewell Address to MacKenzie-Childs
May 7, 2008
By Pleasant T. Rowland
The typed text was distributed to
senior staff and read to all employees.
She told the Wall
Street Journal that local criticism did not drive her way.
But the previous week, she told the MacKenzie-Childs employees that she
sold the failing company due to local resistance to her development
plans for the Village of Aurora.
Nice way to introduce still more "rancor and divisiveness" into the
comunity! If Twin
Lakes LLC shuts down MacKenzie-Childs, the employees have been told
to blame not years incompetent management, but their neighbors and
Did anybody laugh out loud when she started quoting Mother Teresa?
"I am sad this morning because I have come to say
goodbye. Goodbye to this place of extraordinary beauty, goodbye
to an unfinished vision, an goodbye to all of you...
Together we have saved MacKenzie-Childs. Day by day, inch by
inch, we have moved it along the path to recovery...... All of these
successes are because of you and all of their results can be measure --
in terms of manufacturing yields, packages shipped, phone calls taken,
products sold, catalogues mailed, and ultimately dollars to the bottom
line. But there is one part of MacKenzie-Childs that can never be
measures -- only admired -- and that is its commitment to beauty.
Beauty in the objects we design and make, and beauty in the
extraordinary environment we work in.
I arrived in Aurora last evening just as the sun slipped under the
horizon across the lake. I cam straight to MacKenzie-Childs
wanting to see it one last time in the fading purple light of
evening... Beauty beyond belief, indeed. I have loved this
beautiful place beyond any I have every known. I have cared for
it as if it would be mine forever.
Alas, it was not to be. I leave it now to Mary Anne and Doug and
Corinne, to Kirk and to Dave, Betty ad Nancy, to Monica and Sasha, to
protect and preserve it, to be the stewards of this beauty... I am very
proud of all we have accomplished together, of all the obstacles we
overcame, of all the hard work we did...
In closing, I want to be sure you all
know and understand why I have sold MacKenzie-Childs. For me it was part of a larger vision of
restoring Aurora -- a project I undertook with energy and
optimism. As MacKenzie-Childs was rebuilt, so too was this
enchanting, historical village. I am equally proud of the work I
did there. The buildings and businesses I preserved and rebuilt
were worthy of my efforts, and I took great pleasure in the work of the
But unlike my efforts at
MacKenzie-Childs, my work there was meet with distrust and
obstruction. While countless people have expressed their
admiration and appreciation for my efforts, others resent and resisted
it. The last thing I intended to do when I began was to create
rancor and divisiveness in this small community. It became clear
that my work could not move forward, and once the projects I had signed
on for were completed, I had no choice but to leave. Much
that was said and done to me was very hurtful. But this too shall
pass, and in my absence of the last year, Aurora seem sot have settled
down. I am glad for that.
As it became clear to me that I had to leave Aurora, I also knew I had
to leave MacKenzie-Childs, for they were inextricably woven together in
my vision. I will always be sad that I leave with that vision
incomplete -- but I know that that which I leave behind is better,
stronger, and more beautiful for my being here and that is all that
Over the years, in the difficult days, I have taken comfort in wise
words from a wise woman, Mother Teresa. I would like to share
them with you today:
'People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them
Page created May 18, 2008