Viridian: From the Heart
Australia has been an interesting chapter for my family. I have come to understand that one of the most consistent things in our lives is CHANGE. If you would have told me 18 months ago that I would be living in Australia employed as the Vice President of Viridian, running its first international expansion, I would have thrown you out of my house. Nothing could have been farther from the realm of possibility in my eyes. After all, Crius had become a wildly successful, publicly traded company, doing nearly $800 million in annual revenue. What could possibly be the reason Viridian would come knocking at my door? Well, I have come to find great comfort in surprises. Michael called me one day and said, “The Company is not the same with out you and we want you back.” As the story goes, a few months later, I was living in Australia. (Michael can be very persuasive)
Change is a beautiful thing. Change offers fresh perspectives and interests anew. No matter how routine our lives become, change is always around the corner. Careers change, responsibilities evolve, and sometimes you are asked to move half way around the world to launch a new market for a friend you admire… and because you love that boss like a brother, as well as what you do for a living, you gladly accept that challenge.
The emotions I feel for the Viridian community are similar to those that a parent would feel for a child. After being there when it’s born and then nurturing it through the many trials and successes of its early beginnings, you see it finally start to spread its wings. Similar to my own family here in Australia, Viridian is in the process of writing a new chapter in its life story.
Where it all began for me was when Michael and I spent 3 hours at Nobu in New York where he spelled out his vision and mission for the company during what was supposed to be an ‘interview’ for the VP role. I was sold from the beginning. I bought it all hook, line, and sinker. His passion for what Viridian could become was infectious. I borrowed his belief for a period, until shortly after, when the time came where I believed in Viridian as much as he did. The job was MINE. The offer came as fast as my belief in his vision. That belief kept me working form 8 AM until 11 PM most days. I grew to care for this tiny little start-up company in a very similar way a parent would care for a newborn child. I watched Michael attended to its every need. Eventually he was able to bring in others to help support it and nurture it with the same affection a parent would for a child. Like many children, this baby grew fast. No matter how fast it grew, he never lost sight of how much it meant to him. Its features in the beginning only became more pronounced as it grew in size and support. No matter how big it got, it was still recognizable as part of Michael.
To continue this analogy, as parents, we often make decisions that are hard for us, but that are in the best interest of our children. I think the decision to write this new chapter in Viridian’s story, was approached by Michael with the same care and sensitivity that a father needs to make difficult decisions on behalf of his child. This was no doubt a decision over which Michael labored. I empathize with him in his choice to allow Viridian to grow and prosper in an environment better suited for its success. I also see great wisdom in his decision, and from that, a newfound respect. Under this new structure, Viridian will be allowed to grow with unrestrained speed. I feel so blessed to be on this ride. I am so grateful for the day Michael invited me to share in this journey. This new chapter will be full of milestones and company records.
In all the change, here is what remains consistent;
- Michael remains an owner and stays on as a board member, I can only assume to be close to the future of something he will always love.
- Cami becomes a Partner in the new company and assumes the role of Chief Operating Officer. Her staying is a HUGE WIN for Viridian.
- And I get to keep doing what makes me smile, building teams and building dreams with tens of thousands of Associates around the world who represent the brand, the family, and the friends I love.
Here is what I know for certain, due to Michael’s selflessness, Viridian’s future shines brighter than it ever has before. Thank you Michael. I am in for the long haul.
— Vice President Robert A. McFadden