Friday, January 30, 2009

American Prosciutto

Our good friends Herb and Kathy Eckhouse are featured in a delightful NY Times article about their terrific entrepreneurial adventure, La Quercia. Herb was kind enough to visit my Entrepreneurial Leadership class last fall and share his story with Drake Univeristy undergrads. What he and Kathy have accomlished is a tribute not only to their creativity and tenacity, but to the entrepreneurial imperative that sets us apart from the rest of the world. Herb sums it up nicely in the article as follows:

“One of the things in the U.S. is we don’t have the thousands of years of tradition of making prosciutto — or of making anything,” Eckhouse said. “But we have a much broader perspective. I feel like for the guys in Parma, they’re somewhat limited in what they can do to make the product better.”
Now there may be guys in Parma developing new prosciutto (over their grandfathers' dead bodies) or a new digital gadget. Why not? But, I'm betting it happens here first.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mourning and celebrating

We gathered yesterday to remember and mourn Mike Brown, husband, father, outdoorsman. The Rev. Jim Wallace presided over the service. Despite, or perhaps because of, the ponderous sadness and confusion wrought by Mike taking his own life, Jim eloquently provided comfort and solace to the many friends and family in attendance. Referring to a prayer form the Anglican Church, he suggested that we "let not the manner of his death cloud the good memories of his life." While I struggle with faith constantly, I took great comfort in Jim's words and in the notion that we are all members of a greater community.

Then today, I watched a young man, younger than me anyway, ascend to the highest office in our land. President Obama (still hard to fasthom the meaning of those words) eloquently acknowledged the honor and duty bestowed on him while admonishing all of us that we must do our part to lift the burdens of these times. Again, I take great comfort in the sense of community. I really believe we can overcome; we can not only endure, but prevail and prosper.