Reflections after being named Eugene’s First Citizen

Posted by & filed under Community, Life, Office, Tips of the Trade.

I’m Eugene’s First Citizen. I join a relatively short list of people who’ve helped shape our community. I feel proud and humble. I was honored at the Eugene Chamber’s Celebration of Business just a month ago.

So many people reached out to share my joy and say “thanks.” Flowers, plants, chocolate, hand-written notes, email and social media posts. Plus, many heartwarming one-on-one conversations. The memories and reflections mean so much to me.

At the Chamber meeting, I spoke about three threads that create the fabric of my life:

  • Listen: Is there anything more powerful than talking with someone who is listening to you? Not only do you feel good, but you also find their questions stimulating, which usually expands your thinking or gives you a different perspective. Good listeners think about what they’re hearing. They make connections with other things they’ve heard, which can spur the conversation into previously unexplored areas.
  • Dream: We all have dreams. Often, they scare us. Maybe they seem too big. Maybe they seem like they’ll take too much time. Maybe we don’t know where to start. I love working with people who have dreams and helping make them real. It’s a privilege to hear what someone wants to accomplish and join in a collaborative effort to bring it to fruition.
  • Collaborate: Listening and articulating a dream naturally leads to collaboration. As you know, it’s not always easy to get people to work together around here. We often share common goals and passions, but don’t agree on how to achieve them.

In my heart, I know why I was recognized. I’ve been a part of some amazing teams over the years – whether in the community or at work. Those joint efforts led to achievements that took the best of each of us and led to a powerful synergy. My appreciation to everyone who’s shared this journey with me.

Photo: Liz Cawood and Brittany Quick-Warner, CEO for Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

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Liz Cawood

Liz Cawood


Liz’s creative outlet is writing – and gardening. She’s dabbled in fabric arts and done a few oils, and even did some rock painting for “Flood the Streets with Art” last November. She’s a voracious consumer of content and enjoys the mental gymnastics of playing with ideas.