Executive Director's Outlook - Spring 2024

By Rose Epperson on Sunday, March 31, 2024

The concept of "all about the dash" is a poignant reminder of the brevity of life and the importance of making the most of every moment. It is the realization that the dash between the dates that represent birth and death also tells a person's entire life story – their joys, sorrows, triumphs, and struggles. This simple punctuation mark serves as a powerful symbol of the legacy we leave behind and the impact we have on the world.

Living life "all about the dash" means embracing each day with purpose, passion, and gratitude. It is about making the most of the time we have, both at work and at home, by being present, engaged, and mindful of the moments that matter. It is a call to live authentically, to pursue our dreams, and to cherish the relationships that enrich our lives.

At work, being "all about the dash" means approaching our tasks and responsibilities with dedication, enthusiasm, and a commitment to excellence. It is about going above and beyond, not just to meet expectations, but to exceed them. It is about being a team player, a leader, and a source of inspiration to others. It is about leaving a lasting impression through our hard work, creativity, and integrity.

In the professional world, the dash represents the legacy we leave behind – the projects we complete, the goals we achieve, and the impact we have on our colleagues and our industry. It is a reminder that our time in the workplace is limited, and that we have the power to make a difference, to leave our mark, and to be remembered for the contributions we make.

But living life "all about the dash" is not just about our professional accomplishments – it is also about how we show up in our personal lives. It is about being present for our loved ones, creating memories, and building meaningful connections. It is about being kind, compassionate, and supportive, and making a positive impact on the lives of those around us.

At home, being "all about the dash" means prioritizing our relationships, nurturing our families, and creating a warm and loving environment where we can thrive. It is about being there for the important moments – the celebrations, the milestones, and the challenges – and showing up with love, empathy, and understanding.

In the world of event coordination, it's all about the dash – that little line between the dates that represent a person's entire life. On February 6, we said goodbye to Ryan Pendleton, the beloved event coordinator of the Western Chapter ISA. Ryan was not just a creative and kind soul, but a person who touched the lives of everyone around him with his warmth and dedication. His passing leaves a void in our hearts, but his memory will always be cherished, and his legacy of love and admiration will live on forever.

Ryan joined our team in July of 2011. He was assigned to support the TreeCircus during the California State Fair. It was a temporary summer assignment that ended up lasting almost thirteen years: in retrospect, a lifetime. Ryan made the most of his “dash.” He traveled all over the world, immersing himself in all the cultures. He made friends everywhere he went. He was a loyal friend to all he met and never missed an opportunity to help friends or family. On behalf of his family and the team at Epicenter, I want to extend a humble thank you to everyone who has reached out to offer condolences, share memories, and acknowledge his work. We are forever grateful.

Ultimately, living life "all about the dash" is a choice we make every day – a commitment to be fully present, fully engaged, and fully alive. It is a reminder that our time on this earth is limited, and that we have the power to make each moment count. So let us embrace the dash, live with purpose and passion, and leave a legacy of love, kindness, and joy that will endure long after we are gone.

Looking forward to seeing many of you in San Diego at the end of April. We will be celebrating our 90th year. Although things may look different this year, we are confident that the week will be one for the ages. Let’s enjoy every moment.

Cheers to trees,


"The Dash” poem by Linda Ellis.

“For that dash represents all the time spent in their life on Earth. And now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash.”