The CEO Column: November 2021
EmBe CEO Kerri Tietgen reflects on the organization’s 100-year history of programming and leadership in the region.
This year’s end marks a century of anticipating and meeting the needs of women and families in our region.
We were the first to offer women a dedicated place in the community, the first to bring preschool to the region, the first to open a pool in downtown Sioux Falls, and now–the first in our region to vocally, and perhaps, vehemently value the work of women.
At EmBe, we recognize that our mission of empowering women and families is “powered by me” and this important work wouldn’t be possible without all of us and all who came before us. This is why I’m proud to tell you our next 100 years will come with more firsts, more leadership, and more value for our employees and our clients.
Although we have always been overt in our efforts to make positive impacts on each other’s lives, I also want to say that our road to the next 100 years isn’t paved in rainbows and butterflies. We already have steep challenges on the near horizon and our communications will continue to reflect and affirm the reality we navigate together.
Speaking of reality, the state of childcare as we know it today is broken. While we can point to the pandemic and government regulations that have exacerbated the chasm between the value of childcare work and the cost, we should also talk about the way society has valued childcare work, and historically, the work that belonged to women. And we will.
The stellar news is that we’re already taking big steps to resolve it for ourselves, the individuals we serve, and our greater communities.
Beginning with ourselves, our recently-announced benefits expansion for all full-time EmBe employees is an investment in our ability to power the work we do. It will also help us attract caring individuals who will work alongside us to support today’s workforce and build tomorrow’s leaders.
As for the communities we serve and the individuals that enrich them, we remain focused on program development, expanding access to quality childcare, and ensuring all who want to participate in children and women’s programming may join us. Our progress in these areas is also reflected in the many moves, decisions, and investments that we will soon discuss–and celebrate!