Brian Halverson – President
One of the most legendary expeditions was led by Sir Ernest Shackleton from 1914-1916. On a ship rightfully named Endurance, he led a journey known as the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. This expedition had no guarantee of returning home safely and promised an abundance of adventure in the unknown.
With a clear goal, a strong team, and a mighty ship, the crew of 28 set off for the Antarctic Circle.
Over the next two years they encountered multiple obstacles. Their ship was engulfed by the pack ice (and eventually crushed and sunk). The crew spent four months with no sunlight and over a year-and-a-half without touching land. They hiked and rowed hundreds of miles in freezing temperatures to reach Elephant Island.
From there Shackleton and five of the crew members sailed over 800 miles in a 22-foot lifeboat to eventually make it to the southern coast of the tiny island of South Georgia. However, the only radio was located at a whaling station on the north side of the island. The group was forced to traverse the snowy mountains and valleys with minimal climbing gear to reach the station and call for a rescue.
Once they had been rescued, Shackleton immediately turned his attention to recovering the remainder of the party. After four attempts and just over four months after leaving Elephant Island, Shackleton returned on a steam ship and picked up the remainder of the crew.
This piece of history demonstrates leadership, teamwork, and determination. Although their primary objective was not accomplished, it is still a success story for the ages: all 28 crew members came home alive.
In the game of life and business, we also might not reach every goal we set out to accomplish. Even if you don’t attain your goal, it doesn’t have to be a failure. Antarctica was successfully crossed 40 years after Shackleton’s attempt thanks, in part, to knowledge gained from his 1914 expedition.
Whether we succeed or fail is not as important as whether we endure in our attempts and learn from the journey. The same can be said about the team at Heartland Trust. We make every effort to give the best possible service and outcomes. If we ever fall short, we will at least have gained the knowledge to apply to the future. I am proud of every player on our team and the value they bring to the service we strive to deliver.