A belated Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. My mother, Jean, passed away eight years ago at 91. Nice Italian lady. The life lessons she taught me were priceless — dusting the furniture, loving family first, believing in God, having integrity, being creative and kind to others, and more. She did everything to benefit my brother and me.
She also helped my Dad, who sold stoves; she was his back office and logistics traffic manager and used a dial-up phone and manual paperwork. Spring break was not in Cancun; it was spent spring cleaning closets, the basement, etc. Mom was darn tough mentally and physically, because she had me to deal with and had a few things physically wrong with her. I think she held out as long as she did to see the birth of her great grandson. I know she hated being the last to leave this earth because she came from a big family and missed everyone, especially my Dad.
There are days when I don't believe Mom had a great life because she did not travel all over or have a lot of expensive things — but I would be wrong. She taught me that material things are not important. She cared for and nourished two sons; my brother was an Eagle scout and is the man you want on your team, so I have to say she did a very good job (the jury is still out on me). She passed away happy. I think of her daily and wish I could tell her what I'm doing, that life is good. I think she would be proud.
Avnet moms, I have no idea how you ladies juggle the toddlers, daily teenage issues, dramas with school and illnesses, and give 100 percent, 8 to 5, every day, for the company. Unless, of course, you folks just want to get away from the kids (as per Rodney Dangerfield's quip, “Now I know why tigers eat their young”). All I know is, I'm not sure where I would be without my staff moms: Michelle Gorel, Michelle Kershner, Michele Spiegel, Lisa DeBride, and Jan Miller.
I can't even keep track of me, yet Michelle K, who's focused on making every written word perfectly crafted, 24/7, for our C-level folks, has twin daughters, and their lives seem to be perfected managed. The daughter of our incredible PR lead, Michelle G, is graduating from high school (the prom was last weekend) and is an artist.
Michele S has two boy athletes and one princess; she works from home and gets everything done on time and perfectly communicated to our employees (plus, she's remodeling her new house!). Lisa, our employee morale coordinator, has one growing boy, who has done great in high school — all this while being a single mom (she just got married in the fall). Lisa is never still; she's always helping somebody.
Last, but not least, is Jan, a mom of two successful ladies and one son who has made her a proud grandmother. Jan, who I've known for 25 years, is more active than most of us, and she's always trying to contain and encourage me, at the same time.
The bottom line is that all these women admirably handle the pressures of raising children, married life, and work. They handle all that life throws at them while doing their jobs perfectly. And they deal successfully with the tough part of working for an old grouch like me. Wow! Moms, you've helped make Avnet a Fortune 100 admired company, and I'm not sure where I would be without you. Thank you.
PS: To my wife… thanks for everything and leading the raising of our son. Nice job, Mom.