Lunch meeting
Corporate Culture

A Simple Lunch Turned Into 18 Years of Mentoring and Friendship

Travis Dent
Travis Dent
Sr. Vice President, Employee Benefits

Our Corporate Marketing and Communications team is full of talented people. They come up with seemingly endless ways to creatively engage and communicate with people both within and outside of our organization. A skill the team possesses that may go underrecognized is their ability to follow up, like, when they have to follow up with me on more than one occasion to get my blog started (and finished) by deadline time. This is a perfect example of one of those times, and without nudging, the prose that lay before you may have never come together. Thanks, team!

Kidding aside, I did have a hard time getting past inertia with this particular blog. We are in a hectic season of budget planning and forecasting for our clients, and my mind tends to live within a spreadsheet.

Succumbing to pivot-table-induced writer’s block, I decided to further procrastinate and head to a Rangers game the other night. I guess I should back up a bit and give a little context as to why I was at the game in the first place, as it’s relatively significant and a salient point to the whole direction of this blog.

While a new stadium with an actual roof atop the facility should be reason enough (you know, Texas summer is hotter than the surface of the sun), that is not why I attended the game. The actual reason I was there was to celebrate a dear friend and colleague who is hanging it up after a long career.

Ed Oleksiak, who acted as our Compliance Officer and Senior Vice President for Holmes Murphy, is retiring after 19 years with the company. Ed actually started as a client of Holmes Murphy’s before becoming an employee and counts one of his accomplishments as being the only person in our company who can say that Den Bishop, our President, was actually his consultant at one point.

While Ed’s contributions to the company are many, it’s one in particular that sticks out to me and is the real purpose for my blog.

As I was standing at the game talking to all of my great coworkers, many of whom I hadn’t seen in person since before the pandemic, something struck me. You see, Ed took me to lunch with our office manager, Gracie Faubion, on my first day of work at Holmes Murphy. I was young, a little intimidated, and certainly unsure of exactly what we did as a company. With one simple invite, Ed put those fears to rest and he poured into me on that first day with equal parts questions about me as well as with his history in both the industry and at Holmes Murphy. That was 18 years ago this past May, and Ed has never stopped investing in me and others along the way.

As I sat in the middle of all of my colleagues cheering on both the Rangers and Ed, I realized that his legacy and what he did for our company is at the core of who we are. He took the time to teach and invest in so many, allowing us to apprentice from his knowledge along the way. At Holmes Murphy, we are a “people” business, and our job is to leave good footprints. Ed left great footprints along the way and helped so many of us reach where we are today.

I am grateful to Ed and to so many like him who have made and continue to make Holmes Murphy great. Thank you for the time, Ed, and thank you for the reminder that the people (employees and clients alike) are why we do what we do.

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