From The Desk of the President: 2022 Reflections
2022 Reflections From CA President/CEO Lakey Boyd
People often talk about the magic of this time of year. There’s that chill in the air as we walk the pathways. Decorations greet us at the entrance of our favorite fitness center. The glow of lights at the Lakefront now reaches us as we drive on 29 (thanks, Community Operations team!).
While I no doubt feel the magic around the holidays, I often talk about a different kind of magic: the magic of community. It’s that special thing that happens when we all come together. It’s where we not only connect, laugh, and celebrate, but we also learn, grow and make things better.
As we approach the end of 2022, I can’t help but reflect on the challenges that we have faced and continue to work to overcome. But I also am heartened and hopeful when I think of all of those moments where the magic of community – despite those challenges – still managed to happen. That’s where positive change is made. And wow, have we seen it this year across Columbia!
The calendar year-end actually marks the mid-year point for CA. Our fiscal year runs through May, and as we hit this halfway point, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together and excited for what’s ahead. I’m also reminded that we have many months of hard work ahead of us.
Your efforts to connect and engage with CA matters. Your willingness to step up and speak out in support of our organization and the work we’ve been doing speaks volumes. The growing support from the community is proof to me that we’re moving in the right direction, and I’m reassured that the work we are doing each and every day is having an increasingly meaningful impact. I am listening. We are listening.
There are many moments and achievements I could single out as meaningful to me this year, but here are a few that come to mind:
- Beating budget last fiscal year and having positive financial performance the first two quarters of this fiscal year
- Launching Lakefront Live and bringing 55 nights of free entertainment to our Lakefront focused on more inclusive, representative programming
- Building and strengthening relationships with community partners who are doing the work for a more equitable future in Columbia
- Reaping the early benefits of the organizational realignment we started last fall, like the cross-functional work teams and increased collaborative programming
- Being recognized by the Howard County Commission on Disabilities as a top inclusive employer
- Expanding the CA Points Program to 20 schools to move the needle on accessibility and inclusion
- Officially joining the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce CA’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% within 10 years
- Launching a number of new, free programs aimed at improving community wellness, from Columbia Moves to Walk with a Doc
- Diligently working through multiple phases of our CRM modernization efforts, which will have impacts on the usability of our system for both customers and team members
- Continuing to advance clean energy in the community, from new solar installations to welcoming commercial electric vehicles to CA’s fleet
- Updating and expanding our image inventory and increasing our use of videos to be more relevant, representative and accessible to everyone in the community we serve
- Having the CA team members show up in a big way for me and my leadership was both humbling and inspiring
Thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to lead this special community. I’m so grateful for the kind words from countless individuals, organizations and associations from all corners of Columbia — it means more to me than you know. It fuels my ongoing commitment to this community and inspires me to keep strengthening our connections and working toward a better future in the New Year.
I hope you continue to find ways to stay connected to and active with CA, and that through that, we will continue to better serve everyone in our community. Together, #WeAreColumbia.