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 friends.

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 work. 

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 matters.

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 enemies;
        Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
        Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
        Build anyway.

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 got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
        It was never between you and them anyway....'"

Page created May 18, 2008

The Aurora Coalition