20 Years Strong, and We Are Just Getting Started

Happy New Year!  

Ringing in any new year presents all of us time to reflect on a year that was. These reflections and the lessons learned from them offer us greater clarity about what we believe our future can be as we turn to making hopeful resolutions for the year ahead to be better, do better, feel better, and live better.  

In Act 2 of Shakespeare’s The Tempest there is a scene where the character, Antonia, utters the words, “What’s past is prologue.” I am not a Shakesperean scholar but I hear this phrase in lots of settings. While there are different ways people interpret the quote, I have come to understand it to mean that history sets the context for the present; that past experiences set the stage for new opportunities.  

Twenty Years of Armstrong McGuire

This year Armstrong McGuire marks our 20th year of service to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Our firm’s past is indeed our prologue as we honor all that has brought us to this moment and use it to prepare us for new opportunities.  

Honoring Our Past

Honoring our past starts with remembering all that we learned from two giants in our nonprofit and philanthropic community – leaders, mentors, and friends who helped set the firm’s course but who left us too soon. First among those is our co-founder and friend, Tom McGuire, whose personal integrity, kindness, and generosity made him a philanthropist of the highest order in our community and state. His wisdom and understanding of the impact nonprofits could have transformed the organizations he worked with and supported. Tom was our team’s greatest champion. We miss him greatly and seek to honor his legacy by carrying on this work that was so important to him.  

While not a founder, Judy Bright left a profound and lasting mark on our firm. Captain Judy shared her skills as a gifted strategist, facilitator, and coach. More importantly, she recognized talent and knew how to bring out the best in those in whom she saw potential. She saw great potential in me, Tom, and in her protégé, Shannon Williams. She brought us together, brought clarity to our thinking about the impact we could have on the nonprofit community, and encouraged us to achieve at the highest levels. Judy will forever hold a place of honor with our team and all who were blessed by her friendship and her work.  

Celebrating Our Growth

Our firm is different in many obvious ways from when we started our journey two decades ago:  

Our team has grown substantially as we have welcomed new professionals with diverse lived experiences. Today, we have a team of deeply talented employees and Senior Advisors, a growing network of Armstrong McGuire Certified Interim Executives, and a host of uniquely skilled Strategic Advisors and Partners.  

We have expanded our service offerings across our leadership, organizational and resource development platforms to ensure we can meet clients where they are, address critical needs, and help them achieve ambitious goals.  

Our geographic footprint is deeper and wider. North Carolina will always be home, and we continue to deepen our work in communities from the mountains to the coast. We have also made investments in expansion and today our brand’s reputation and services reach across the Southeast and other parts of the United States.  

On the surface, Armstrong McGuire looks a bit different today than when we launched the firm on January 1, 2004. The changes we have made position us for an exciting future. But there is one thing we tenaciously cling to from our beginnings that we believe is the biggest reason for our success: our unwavering commitment to our core values of Integrity. Experience. Relationships. Results. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, these tenets guide our work, our relationships, and our decision-making. Hard stop!  

Looking Forward to Our Future

Moving forward, we are recruiting more talented members to the team, studying new models and strategies for serving clients, and measuring our work and its impact on clients. We will blend the best of our new stuff with the lessons learned over our two decades to continue bringing the best version of our firm to the work ahead.  

To our clients, team, partners, funders, and everyone on this journey we us, we offer our gratitude. Your support has been instrumental to our success, and we are grateful for the trust you place in us.  

Cheers to 20 years! We look forward to another 20 years of walking alongside you to #UnlockPotentialTogether.

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