Part 1 - The Job
Part 3 - The Father
Part 4 - The Earring
Part 5 - The Budley
Peter came to work with me in 2004. It was just to two of us in the office for the next six and a half years. He was the boss. I was the clean up crew and everything else.
When Peter recounted his first few days as director here, he told me he was skeptical about me. He had no idea about my skills. He had no idea whether I was competent or not. With me being the only person in the office, I was all he had to work with. He was stuck with me. Thankfully, I think I was able to meet his challenge.
To be fair, I had my reservations about him at first too. Turns out, he wasn’t the easiest person to work for, but once I learned the dance, I enjoyed it. As the weeks and months went by, our mutual respect for each other grew in spite of the days where days he drove me nuts or I frustrated his patience. We found a great appreciation for each other.
We figured out how to work together. We worked. And it worked.
Peter taught me more about economic development than I ever wanted to know. He helped me gain an appreciation for things that I never knew existed. His standards were high and his professionalism was constant. Being influenced by those character traits made me want to be a better person, even on those days that he drove me crazy being so driven.
In January of this year, I was busy planning Peter’s retirement party. This was his retirement not just from our office, but from work altogether. He was in the business a long time before he ever came to our office. He has a lifetime of friends and associates all over the state and country. It was going to be a bigger party than I had planned in a very long time.
He tried to retire the year before, but then changed his mind after the new resumes came in. When he announced his retirement this time, we teased him about staying still another year, but we all knew this was it.
As his final day approached, the harder it was to make myself go to the office. I was very happy for Peter, but not so happy for myself. Peter accomplished a lot in the few years he was here. He built a strong foundation. For me, there was way more at stake than just who the new boss would be. The whole vision and program of our professional mission would likely change.
Peter was the one who reminded me to leave some things behind. He was the one who motivated us to move forward. Now, he was moving away.
The loss was palpable. How were we going to move forward without the one who had been pushing us in that direction?
I have no idea. But I do know that Peter constantly reminded us all that we could be better than we are.
And I’m going to try.
Realize that wisdom is the same for you. If you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will never fade. Proverbs 24:14