I want to share a story with you that relates to two of our customers, ABT Power Management and Coca Cola Bottling Consolidated Company. Mike Shemancik is the CIO at ABT Power Management and also a good friend of mine. Mike and I go back nearly 20 years ago when Joe Guy, and I worked with him at Financial Dynamics, a regional consulting firm. He is a very active athlete and participates in cycling events and competitions throughout the southeast. Mike is one those truly good people that is rare to find these days. Among his many qualities, he actively seeks ways to give back to the community and to those who are less fortunate. Through his participation in “Chariots of Freedom” he has come to know a young man named Eric Walker who lives with severe cerebral palsy. Mike has pulled/pushed Eric in some of his cycling events and triathlons. Here’s a picture of a triathlon that Mike participated in with Eric.
Eric is a huge Carolina Panthers fan. His mother, Melanie, tried to purchase playoff tickets for Eric, but the few handicapped seats they had sold out too quickly. Mike sent a plea out to his network to see whether there was anyone who could grant Eric’s wish to see the Panthers play in the NFL Playoffs.
This is where our other customer comes in. I’m not sure how the connection was made but somehow Frank Harrison, Chairman and CEO of Coca Cola Bottling Consolidated Company, heard of Melanie’s plea. Frank has a long history of charitable contributions to the community. And he has done it again, in a very private way. Frank invited Melanie and Eric to join him in Coca Cola Bottling’s Corporate Suite to watch the Carolina Panthers play the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.
I am moved by these authentic acts of kindness and generosity. We are so fortunate to have customers like ABT Power Management and Coca Cola Bottling Consolidated Company who take time to demonstrate how to make the world a better place. Kudos to Mike Shemancik and to Frank Harrison.
If you watch the game this weekend, keep in mind the joy that Mike and Frank brought to Eric and Melanie through their selfless acts.