One of the darkest days in Ambassador Solutions’ nearly 20 year history occurred on a fateful Thursday in September of 2000 —Black Thursday.  In response to the precipitous decline in demand for IT services during the post Y2K/dot com era, we announced our one and only layoff. I will never forget that day –one of the saddest of my life.  In fact, the current economic crisis gripping our nation has brought back painful memories of those similar times some eight years ago.  Similar, but different…

Similar in that no one could have imagined what was happening.  Prior to the dot com bubble bursting, no one could have imagined tens of thousands of unemployed IT professionals.  Prior to the credit crisis of October ’08, no one could have imagined the stock market dropping to nearly half of its 2007 peak.

Different in that demand for IT services fell off a cliff for several years after the turn of the millennium, but is currently experiencing what is widely expected to be merely a brief slowdown.  In fact, our business has picked up very significantly in November.  We are closing out a great year and going into 2009 with a great deal of momentum.  Most industry experts expect companies to be very cautious about adding employees, while outsourcing their cost-saving and revenue producing IT projects.  This should bode very well for IT consulting firms.  That’s why we’re forecasting no less than 25% revenue growth in 2009.

Don’t get me wrong…these are difficult times.  And, I’m not suggesting that our firm is totally exempt from the present pain.  However, I can think of very few businesses that I would rather be in.  We are, after all, in the business of helping organizations do the very things they must do to survive and then thrive through times like these.  Those who choose to see the current economic glass as half full will soon be rewarded with increased market share, higher profit margins and intensely loyal customers.  At Ambassador Solutions, we’re determined to help as many of those “half full” clients as we possibly can.

I see no “Black Thursdays” in Ambassador’s foreseeable future.  For this, I am truly thankful.  For those experiencing tougher times, please be encouraged to know that tough times truly do make one stronger.  Should you find yourself among the unemployed, you may find additional encouragement in this letter.

So, whatever your current circumstance, my hope and prayer for you this Thanksgiving is for a half full glass and a completely full heart…a heart full of thankfulness for life’s simple pleasures and invaluable treasures –faith, family, friends, food and fun.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!