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Traditions are important, especially around the holidays. Great Aunt Tillie’s Jell-O salad – the one with the shaved carrots – has to make an appearance on the Thanksgiving table. Planes, Trains and Automobiles gets its annual family viewing party. During the pre-dinner round of “What Am I Thankful For?” 4 out of 5 typically go with the safe choice: “My family.”

I recently got into a conversation about the trend among families to start new traditions. For example, many people are defying the turkey-only rule by adding something new to the mix, like tacos, lasagna or fried shrimp.

This year, the Clearfield family is putting a little twist on our tradition of gratefulness, as well. Beyond showing thanks for one another, we’re turning our attention to the community.

We have a Management By Objective (MBO) program, in which each person/department identifies three objectives to work on throughout the year. This year, we are adding another element to the program: Living Our Values.

In other words, each individual or group is setting specific objectives on how to bring Clearfield’s values to life in the community. This not only reinforces a positive work environment and sense of achievement, but also will make a difference in the community.

We’re putting our money where our mouths are, too. Clearfield is rewarding those individuals who live those values with a special year-end bonus.

We see this as the beginning of an important, new company tradition. Whatever your traditions are, I would strongly encourage you to mix it up a bit this year. No matter your company, family, ethnic background, etc., consider starting something new.

Hopefully, it will make a difference in others’ lives.

By Cheri Beranek

A founding member of Clearfield, Inc., Cheri Beranek is considered a communications visionary. Her extensive leadership experience and unique management style combined deliver outstanding corporate performance.

Under her direction, Clearfield has recorded 10 consecutive years of profitability and posted historic gains in both the market capitalization and shareholder equity. Today, Clearfield is a multinational business with more than 250 employees and over 700 customers.