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    Finding the Right Words and Leading Through Challenging Times

    Our country is in extremely tumultuous times. I think it's fair to say that we have all been touched in some way by COVID-19 pandemic, which is hitting home more closely for some than others. At the same time, many of us are also trying to understand and respond to tragedies resulting from longstanding but not always visible racial injustices.

    It took me a few days to write this message, because I honestly did not know what to say – or if my voice would even be welcome in the conversation. In these moments, I take comfort in and rely on the wisdom of those who always seem to have the right words, even when I don't.

    I think one of the best at helping fill painful voids was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

    When I try to apply Dr. King's words to the current environment, I think they provide an appropriate challenge for each of us to better understand and fight the injustices we see, but also force ourselves to look harder and open our eyes to the injustices that may not be as visible to us – or that we may otherwise leave for someone else to deal with.

    That is what I'm planning to do, even when – and perhaps especially when – it is not convenient or comfortable. That is what leadership requires. And I want to do my part to help lead us to a better place than where we are today.

    I hope that all of my family members, friends and business colleagues will join me in this call to action.

    Dennis J. Leonard, President and CEO, Delta Dental of Massachusetts