Special Message from the CEO


Fri, Jun 5, 2020 06:14 PM


Furman quote

To All Greenbrier Employees and Colleagues:

For over 40 years, Respect for People and for Humanity has been at the core of Greenbrier's shared values.  Healthy relationships between people drive healthy companies, and healthy societies.  When trust and respect erode, things can go downhill very quickly.  Yet, trust and respect are fragile, and can be broken by the bad acts of only a few. Trust and respect can also be broken by indifference to human suffering, by inhumanity, or by divisiveness and ill-will toward others.   

The world has been under considerable stress in recent months from the pandemic, from extreme economic shock, unemployment, and in America from the sad events of the past 12 days, played out vividly, repeatedly and starkly in the public media.  The combination of all this is saddening, and difficult to absorb.  It is a legitimate time to be anxious about our families, ourselves, our own values, and the values of our country.  We should all take the opportunity to look into our hearts to think about a better, less selfish, less aggressive world and about our relationships with each other and with all human beings.  This is a time for coming together, not coming apart.

In my role, I have had the opportunity to see Greenbrier's people demonstrating outstanding values in all our daily activities…not all people at all times but the vast majority of people in the great majority of times.  Of all things in my career this has brought me the most happiness and joy.  I have faith, and trust in our people to demonstrate good character, and follow their hearts in peaceful pursuit of the right path during these trying times.

History has taught us the dangers of bigotry and hatred.  It has taught us that none of us is perfect.  Progress occurs when we acknowledge our shortcomings and open ourselves to the perspective of others.  This idea is captured in the words of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln:

"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better."  And, "a house divided against itself cannot stand." 

Today we live in a divisive and conflicted world.  These are not ordinary times. But, we are all just people, ordinary and mortal human beings, worthy of respect. 

Greenbrier's commitment to Respect for People, and the compassion that it brings, is more important than ever.  It is also easy to do.  Take some time today and reach out to a co-worker, friend or family member.  Ask them how they are doing.  Listen to them and let them know you care about them.  As Lincoln also said:

"I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down."

When times are difficult and the world feels heavy, that's when small actions can make a big difference.  Thank you for demonstrating your respect, care and concern for each other. Let's all try to do the right thing, whatever the price, in peace and without rancor.   

There will be better times than these.