President’s Perspective: What’s the Goal?

Apr 19, 2022

My daughter was married on Feb. 18, 2022. It was a wonderful day for her and our family. She has found the love of her life and a wedding day is an awesome way to celebrate the culmination of many things that come together on that day. We routinely talk as a family about goals and that day, many things came together. The following is an excerpt of my father of the bride toast…


Today is a tremendous day for you and our entire family. As you know from growing up in our home, it is very common to hear the question, “What is the goal?” It is an open-ended question that can apply to any person in any circumstance. You heard it relating to everything from big decisions to what you wanted to accomplish for the weekend. You have heard it from me, your friends have heard it from me, many of my friends and family members in the room have heard it from me. It is a high-gain question.

As we have been preparing for today, it occurs to me, today is one of the answers to that question. Today is the culmination of many great things in your life. Today is the goal. When I reflect on today, think about the plans and planning for today and look around the room, here is what I see:

    1. Commitment – The commitment that you have made to one another and finding that partner that you want to make the commitment to.
    2. Grandparents – Being able to follow the examples of your grandparents and to have them here to celebrate with you. This is a privilege that not many enjoy.
    3. In-laws – Having great in-laws that support you as a couple and support your spouse individually is awesome. My parents have liked Ann better than me from the first time they met her. To be honest, me too. I would not have it any other way. Me and mom have learned a lot from our mothers and fathers in-law. There is a constant support system of siblings that are on your team through thick and thin. 
    4. Out-laws – Marriage introduces you to a new category of family. The outlaws. My in-laws by marriage that are not part of the family by blood relation. I have some terrific outlaws that keep some balance in the extended family relationships. 
    5. Friends – You have many friends that are in your corner and you are in theirs. You are with one another through many of the ups and downs through life so far and they will be in the future. Selfless friendship is the best friendship.
    6. Support – You have an awesome support system in this room and beyond. You never know when you will need them, but it’s great to know you have it when the time comes.
    7. Celebration – It is easy to over-focus on the execution of the goal and not take time to celebrate the gains you are making and the achievement when you have made it. Today is a great reminder to celebrate the wins and we are doing just that.
    8. Hopes & Dreams – Times like this are great to look back to see how far we have come and then to look forward to where you are going. To have hopes and dreams to pursue and to begin the journey to go after them.
    9. Sharing – You have someone to share the journey with. Look around the room and you see the many examples you have for this and what a joy it is to have someone to share it with. To push you and to pull you to be better and someone to cheer you on along the way.
    10. Love – The love here today is palpable. How cool is that? That is the goal.

Today is the goal for me and mom too. While this toast applies to you and Erik, it is shared by many and apparent to them today. Team goals are the best goals. We are all on your team and we will continue to be. Remember this day. I’ll continue to ask, “What’s the goal?” – and when I do, I’ll remember today as one of the great answers to the question.

It is often easy for me to look past the present and to focus only on the future. This wedding was a great time for me to be grateful for the day. I need to remember this more days of the year.


Mike Espeset