Some of the most important leaders in our lives will never read their name in an article, receive a fancy award, or see their face on a billboard. They may not even consider themselves leaders. But these #EverydayLeaders are keeping our communities, our neighborhoods, and our families together. They show up, they step up, they keep us going, they make our lives better.
We want to honor and celebrate them. We want to scream their names from rooftops. We want to shower them with goodness. Most importantly, we just want to say thank you.
Showing 71 nominations
Ben is the most inclusive, thoughtful leader I know. I had the pleasure of working with Ben at the very beginning of my career and I can honestly say he shaped me into who I am today and I am so grateful. He is the type of leader who always has his door open for anyone, it doesn’t matter who you are, and is ready to give you the tools you need to succeed and move past any limitations you’ve set for yourself. Thanks to Ben, I became confident in my skills and ideas and felt empowered to lead and speak up, and that has carried over to every position I’ve held since working with him. I still call him to this day whenever I need advice or someone to bounce ideas off of, as I know he is always in my corner. Aside from the guidance and mentorship he’s given me, he’s managed to grow the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) into a truly GLOBAL organization. He’s scaled the organization into something no one would’ve imagined, but a vision he always spoke about and felt was feasible. Through various diversity and inclusion initiatives, he’s given so many people a voice and opened doors many of us would’ve thought impossible or out of reach. Ben is truly an inspirational leader, and beyond that, he’s a leader who thinks it’s important for others to have a seat at the table and who is committed to rising others up along with himself.
You can check out his LinkedIn for some of his highlights and best work!
City: Chicago, IL, USA
Why his leadership matters to me:
I am the proud son and husband of a nurse. Nursing is one of the most under-appreciated professions in our society, and that lack of appreciation has become even more profound in the midst of a global pandemic. Tim is the Assistant Unit Director of the Surgical and Cardiovascular Intensive Care at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. More importantly, he’s been a dear friend of mine for many years. He oversees multiple nursing units and 135 members of staff, and still remains directly involved in bedside care. The Rush health system has assumed the front line of Chicago’s battle with COVID-19, and the demand for traditional forms of care have not conveniently subsided as this profound challenge landed on our medical professionals. Tim’s units have courageously led the charge in this fight while also continuing to serve the expected needs of our community. He represents everything I love about the nursing profession, the City of Chicago, and about Midwestern pride and compassion. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Tim, and to the entire nursing community that has bravely and tirelessly fought a virus that has shaken the foundation of our global community.
City: Chicago, IL
Why her leadership matters to me:
Jamie is one of my closest, oldest, and dearest friends. She’s a mother of two who moved with her family to Chicago at the beginning of 2020, and when the pandemic hit she and her husband found themselves raising a baby and a toddler in lockdown in a not-yet-familiar city. One of the ways she channeled her anxious energy (which we’re’ all dealing with in our own ways) was to dive into helping her local community through participating in and organizing donation drives for those in need. The link below is an Instagram post about a clothing drive at which Jamie and her neighbors sourced and distributed items like winter coats, boots, hats, and gloves to help families get through this uncertain winter. I’m inspired by her example and send her all the love and thanks!
City: Decatur, GA
Why his leadership matters to me…
When my pup Koda was nearly disemboweled by a vicious dog in the neighborhood, Dr. Ronald A. Bickley and his staff were the heroes that saved us both.
Koda was badly injured and bleeding in my mother’s arms when we arrived at the Wesley Chapel Animal Hospital. We showed up just before the clinic opened as first time clients with no appointment. The office was closed to visitors as a COVID-19 precaution and the doctor’s schedule was completely full. The sympathetic receptionist, Kim, asked that we hold while she spoke with the doctor. Maybe he could help.
Dr. Bickley came to collect Koda then, seeing our distress, allowed my mother and I to accompany them inside of the clinic. He cleaned Koda’s visible wounds and cautioned us about what he suspected were more extensive internal injuries. He shared with compassion that Koda needed surgery and that he might not survive it. I rubbed Koda’s head while my mother sang to him. Dr. Bickley and his assistant, Stephen, gave us the space to say our tearful goodbyes and assured us that they would do their best to care for our fluffy family member.
Dr. Bickley made time in his schedule for over 3 hours of emergency surgery. Kim answered each of my numerous phone calls before/during/after surgery with patience and understanding. Stephen sang to Koda while he slept on the operating table. Then finally, when they told me that Koda had survived surgery but would need to spend the night in the hospital, Julius carefully prepared a soft bed for Koda to rest and recover.
Dr. Bickley knew that I would not sleep while anxiously awaiting news and decided to call hours before the clinic opened the next morning. He told me that Koda made it through the night, was awake and doing so well that he tried to wag his tail. He agreed to let Koda convalesce at home and made arrangements for us to pick him up as soon as the clinic opened. For the next week, Dr. Bickley called morning and night, even when he was traveling, to check on Koda’s progress. He gave us his personal mobile number and made sure we knew that he and his staff were there should we need them.
Thanks to Dr. Bickley’s kindness, leadership, and care, Koda is alive and healthy. Dr. Bickley opened the Wesley Chapel Animal Hospital 47 years ago and has been in dedicated service to his community ever since. He and his staff build lasting relationships with the people and pets they serve. They celebrate happy occasions with their clients and mourn the community’s losses as their own. Dr. Bickley shared our joy for each recovery milestone. Our gratitude was met with humility and lavish praise for his staff. Rather than accept complements himself, he chose to focus on the critical roles of Koda’s caregivers — his staff, my mother, and me.
True leadership is often quiet and humble. It inspires confidence. It gives hope. Dr. Ronald A. Bickley is an exceptional veterinary doctor. More importantly, he is an exemplary leader. His staff and his clients stay with him for decades. I know that I will do the same, owing to him both Koda’s life and my renewed faith in human kindness.
2) City where they reside: Detroit
3) Like all the articles that I linked to below imply, Sommer Woods—a first time volunteer for the Department of Elections—was tasked with overseeing logistics for the ballot counting happening in Detroit at the TCF Center. She was supposed to ensure that the right number of ballot watchers were there for each party, and that they were adhering to COVID protocol for number of folks in the building. But in the process, she was called on to protect democracy. When a group of angry supporters of a candidate descending on the location and tried to enter the building and “stop the count,” she stood between them and democracy—protecting the workers inside diligently ensuring that every vote was counted, and ensuring that no voter was disenfranchised. She is an incredible example of the heroes that emerged in 2020—unafraid and unswayed by the challenge of the day. And committed to seeing that our democracy and our basic right to vote (and have that vote counted) could withstand any partisan divide, and would be protected, no matter what.
For creating a unique and necessary space for organizations across sectors to come together and work to solve the increased isolation brought on by COVID-19. Your leadership and care has been seen by all of us and ultimately touched thousands of people across the UK.
Marcus stepped up to be the voice of families who couldn’t afford to feed their children when the government refused to do their job. He cares for his community and those he will never meet, he used his platform to bring awareness and enact real change for people who were going hungry all around the UK.