Late last week I received an email from a friend of mine who works in the Detroit area. He had just returned from a week-long trip to Providence, Rhode Island. In spite of being a bit bleary-eyed from his drive in from the east coast, he wanted to share information about how many law firms sponsor local community events. He also made a few comments about a ten-day trip another friend is on in central Europe. He's visiting family members who work for the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia. Their plans include traveling through rural Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. My own travels this month included a trip to Washington, D.C. on behalf of a client. The meeting went smoothly and a lot was accomplished. I won't bore you with the frustrations of the two-hour drive in from the airport in rush-hour traffic with a driver who was heavy on the brake pedal nor of airline engine problems which ultimately kept me in D.C. for an additional night.
I have always had an appreciation and understanding for those whose careers require them to travel extensively and be away from their families and some semblance of a regular routine. Even with all our new fancy electronic devices to stay in touch, it's not the same. I still struggle with juggling multiple offices and trying to make sure I am available to attend my kids "big games". The one factor that makes all the difference in the world are the people and the communities I encounter during my trips. As a traveler I looked at this experience differently while thinking about my firm's heritage of serving not only our clients, but the local communities in which we practice. And I realized that local is simply a matter of geography. We all benefit in one fashion or another, wherever we are, from the generosity of companies who sponsor local events and activities and from the volunteers who give so much of their time to make these events a success for local residents and visitors alike.
With the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaching it signals the beginning of summer vacations and weekend getaway trips. Many will travel out of the country, or to other states, while others will travel closer to home to resorts or the family cottage. Regardless, enjoy yourself and the local events, festivals, and activities that were planned and sponsored with you in mind! Dan A. Penning
P.S. Not to rush the season, but do plan to attend the annual Suttons Bay Fireworks Celebration over Labor Day weekend in the Marina Park that The Penning Group co-sponsors each year!