5 min read

Grateful For Togetherness

Nov 2, 2023 6:30:00 AM

Thankful Pumpkin2

In the middle of my dining room table sits The Thankful Pumpkin. It sits there every fall. Next to it sits a Sharpie for our family to write things we are grateful for on it.  

The Thankful Pumpkin is one of my prized possessions. Why? It’s a reminder of what we’ve had to be thankful for, are thankful for, to be thankful for small and great things, the tangible and intangible, the seen and unseen.  

One of the rules of adding to the pumpkin is there cannot be repeats. It causes us to take a moment to look deeper within for what we are really grateful for.  

Some of the things found listed on our pumpkin include:  
Nikki pumpkin
Game Night
Supportive friends 
Hearing school day stories 
Hudsonville Ice Cream (IYKYK 😉) 
Family vacations 
Chats around our table 
Talks with my sister 
Laughter & hugs 
Road trips 
Listening ears 
Taking the dog on evening walks with my son 
Early morning talks with my daughter 
Childhood memories 
The wisdom of elders 

There is a common theme all these items have…togetherness.  

When you have each other, you overcome the hardest of obstacles, achieve the unimaginable, fail together, succeed together, and go further together. Best of all, you are not alone as you mourn losses and celebrate wins. 

I’ve seen this value of togetherness at home as well as at work.  

Several years ago, Gibson transitioned to a team model for our service and production teams. At the time, I was guarded about the change. I took ownership in the clients I serviced, and I didn’t want to trust them to anyone else. In time, I learned with the team approach we could do more for our clients…together. Giving clients a better overall experience.  

There were days it was like running a relay race. We would hand the baton off to each team player as it was their turn to do their part for the client. When we were finished tackling the task at hand, we celebrated together at the success we had in helping the client…together. It was more fun than taking care of the client alone and the client had a team addressing their needs. 

Fast forward a few years, I would find myself transitioning to a new role on the team. After 20+ years of doing the same thing, I would be moving into a role I had never done before. Was I nervous? Was I scared? You bet I was. I was also grateful for the opportunity. Grateful Gibson heard me when I said, “I need a new challenge…”

Something else I was, and still am, grateful for was the team. Knowing I would still have a supportive and encouraging team made the dream of taking on a new role possible. I also knew the team would make me accountable as I wanted and still want to make sure I do my part to make sure we succeed…together.

The team has allowed me to grow in my new role and has given me opportunities to support them in ways I’ve not been able to before. We bring our unique talents and strengths to the table, while receiving strength from our teammate's talents and strengths in our weaknesses. We pick each other’s brains on ideas and call each other out where we can improve. All for the greater good of the client, the agency, our families, and our community. We are truly better together, and for this I am thankful. 

Topics: Executive
Nikki Bicknell

Written by Nikki Bicknell

Nikki is a Client Executive for the Construction Insurance and Surety Bond team. She is responsible for working with clients to determine their overall insurance and surety program goals and developing strategies to achieve those goals. Her objective is to see clients grow their business and obtain optimal bond and insurance programs.