Testimonial Speech

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Testimonial Speech I am delighted to be a part of this gala evening, and especially pleased to have the opportunity to share some of my thoughts and observations about this evening's honoree -- and my good friend, Cliff Kendall. Leader of the year -- certainly the term fits Cliff like a glove. But look around the room. This place is filled with leaders. This is a "power lunch," moved to the evening and dressed up in black ties and cocktail dresses. So how, do you suppose, did the Board of Trade choose one from the many deserving of honor for this singular recognition? Why Cliff above all others? I'd like to think that I can shed some light on that choice. There are dimensions to Cliff that set him clearly apart from most…show more content…
And just a couple weeks ago, the Washington Post listed CDSI as one of the 50 largest public companies in the greater Washington area, describing it as "the grand daddy of information technology services in the area." The baby, it seems, has grown up. Cliff continues to chart CDSI's future today, in his role as chairman of the board, and he continues to regard the people of CDSI as part of his extended family. More important than what Cliff has done at CDSI, though, is how he's done it. Few stereotypes are more pervasive today or -- certainly in Cliff's case -- more unfair than that of the corporate business leader as crass, heartless, adept at taking but incapable of giving. Cliff, in the life he has led and in the model he has established as head of a hugely successful company, gives lie to that stereotype. His approach to corporate leadership is founded on his innate humanity, his basic decency, his involvement with others on a human level. Cliff is living testimony to the thesis that one can do good while doing well. As one of Cliff's close associates puts it, "For a guy who's done as much as he has in business, it's refreshing to find that he always has time for others. He's a very special combination of businessman and 'people man.' He gives of himself to everybody." Cliff has given of himself not only to the enterprise and the people of CDSI, but in full measure as well to
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