Mary’s Message

Mary Kemper
President and CEO

As UMA leaders head into fall with a renewed focus on creating healthy workforce cultures, can we learn something from the high school marching band?

At 7:00 AM sharp, on a stroll through the neighborhood, I heard the sounds.

Nearly two miles away, through the trees and over the hill, I heard the hallow rumble of drums and the rhythmic boom of the high school band in the distance. Without any conscious effort, my steps fell in line with the beat. It was second nature.

I could imagine the flute, clarinet and tuba players; the flash flags and color guard and envisioned a chaotic scene as freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors spread across the football field to begin practice and learn the skills to work together. I could sense the early jitters of a new season.

Whether you marched in the band or watched from the stands, you must recognize that the band is a reminder for all of us that collective talents big and small can work together to make an impact. With each drum beat and practice, the band members’ varied sounds, skills and paces learn to fall in steps and move as one unit. It requires seeing everyone’s potential. It takes time, commitment and strong leaders.

How can our member organizations create environments where every individual team member is valued and encouraged to lend their unique gifts? From the frontline workers to board members, everyone plays a distinct part that collectively supports the mission and makes a difference.

The same is true for UMA. Our distinct and diverse UMA members demonstrate the strength of our faithful ministries. Working as one network, in ways big and small, they support each ministry toward excellence.

Yes, we all have days where it feels like the exasperating first day of band practice.

 But like the marching band, with faith and perseverance, when it all comes together, the performance is powerful.