Community Impact

Choosing Gratitude

By Ric Towner, President and General Manager

At Shepherd we pursue our core purpose of creating value and brightening lives in four arenas:

  • Providing world class customer satisfaction
  • Being a great place to work
  • Positively impacting our communities and society
  • Growing profitably


The focus of our work in each arena are the relationships with the people whom we serve; our customers, our colleagues, our neighbors, and our families. The challenge of battling COVID-19 and the economic and political uncertainty in which we continue to operate, has deepened my gratitude for these relationships in 2020.

A core value at Shepherd is, “to work for long term impact”, and I have been proud this year of how our team has prioritized safety, stable employment, and customer service over short term profitability. We know, with even greater clarity now,  that in the long term these arenas are never in conflict and we will remember the lessons of 2020.

On October 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving day proclamation and we have been setting aside the fourth Thursday of November in the United States ever since. At the beginning of November, 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the face of continued political and economic uncertainty, let’s follow Lincoln’s example and embrace the seriousness of our present challenges with a simultaneous affirmation of gratitude for the good gifts we have received and of hope in the resiliency of our customers, colleagues, neighbors and families.