In the following presentations, Phil Fish, CFP® and Estate Planning Specialist with Sandy Spring Trust shares his 30 plus years of experience.

  • In the seminars, Phil talks about key issues in relation to estate and financial planning.
  • In the Professional Discussion Series, Phil interviews local professionals in the areas of estate planning, tax, finance and health care.

We hope you find these libraries to be a useful resource and invite you to share them with your family and friends.

Negotiation and Dealing with Difficult People with Steven Shapiro, Esq., Resolution Matters, Inc.

Philip Fish, CFP<sup>®</sup> and Estate Planning Specialist with Sandy Spring Trust

A Real Life Matters Discussion Series.

Philip Fish, CFP® and Estate Planning Specialist with Sandy Spring Trust interviews Steven Shapiro with Resolution Matters, Inc. as they discuss the challenging assignment of working through conflict.  How can families prevent fractures during stressful times such as the illness or loss of a loved one or the challenging role of business succession?  Steve shares his years of experience helping business owners and families mediate and negotiate with the goal of avoiding conflict that could damage family relationships.

Guest Speaker: Steven A. Shapiro, Esq. owns Resolution Matters, Inc. and provides mediation, arbitration and legal services to the community.

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  • Question

    Negotiation and Dealing with Difficult People


    - Hello everyone, and welcome to Sandy Spring Bank's Real Life Matters Discussion Series. My name's Phil Fish. I'm a certified financial planner and an estate planning specialist with Sandy Spring Trust. And I'll be the host as we interview local professionals in the areas of law, tax, finance and healthcare on different topics, all focused around helping clients navigate through different stages of their lives. Before I introduce our guest today, Steven Shapiro, there's a brief disclaimer that I do need to read. So if you'll bear with me one moment. "Sandy Spring Trust does not endorse "nor recommend the services of any person or entity "not affiliated with Sandy Spring Bank. "The opinions and statements expressed "by Steven Shapiro and Resolution Matters Inc. "reflect their own views and do not necessarily "represent the views of Sandy Spring Trust. "This material is provided solely for educational purposes "by Sandy Spring Trust, a division of Sandy Spring Bank, "and is not intended to constitute tax, legal, accounting "or healthcare advice or a recommendation "for any investment strategy or transaction. "You should always consult with your own tax, legal, "accounting, financial or healthcare advisors "regarding your specific situation and needs. "Sandy Spring Trust and the Sandy Spring Bank logo "are registered trademarks of Sandy Spring Bank, "and all rights are reserved." So thank you for allowing me to take care of that housekeeping. And Steve, thank you for joining us in our discussion series. Before we talk about the topic today, which is negotiation and dealing with difficult people, why don't you give me a little, and the audience, a little background on yourself and your business and how you ended up in this line of work?

    - Sure, be glad to fill in. Thank you for hosting today and first in this discussion series. Proud to be part of this. Resolution Matters started in 2008 after I retired from Federal Service. During my time in Federal Service, I worked as an attorney with a small agency known as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. And in that capacity, I had the opportunity to, when Congress passed something called the Administrative Disputes Resolution Act, which required all federal agencies to begin to use mediation, arbitration, partnering, negotiated rulemaking, how to set policy and whole array of cases from procurement contracting torts that it became part embedded into the culture. And I was on that ground floor when it was getting established in the 1990s, going back a few years. So, also in that capacity, I had the ability to train hundreds, if not thousands of staff across federal agencies in using these conflict skills, part of which is dealing with difficult people. For example, my agency would have public meetings and often in public meetings, if you're putting a pipeline for example, or a transmission line, you're going through NIMBY type issues, backyard issues.

    - Okay.

    - And you could have some pretty strong vehement opposition. So the skills, the tactics that you use to really listen to understand, so people feel heard, people feel recognized, all the things we learn about, are amplified when you're on the ground in some small town in Iowa who's having, again, pipeline go through it. An interesting story, I'll share this. Texas just got hit really hard by these electrical storms. And I was working in East Texas, right on the border of Louisiana when a hydro-power electric dam flooded, and the downstream area. So it was almost like an Appalachian style, that's where the economic status was of those folks. And there were a couple of deaths and there was foams washed out. And I ended up mediating that issue, not the wrongful death but on behalf of the federal government, trying to find some framework to bring people together, to allow people to start expressing what they were going through, what was being lost rather than just willy-nilly coming in and throwing resources, like, how does FEMA work well with other federal agencies and how that was structured. So that was one of my first tests in the fire of being able to fully deal with difficult people.

    - And how did that lead you into your current line of work.

    - Well, I began mediating business to business disputes in the federal government. So these were types of contract disputes between utilities that the agency wasn't necessarily regulating but because we had this the Office of Dispute Resolution that I helped defined, we would take on these non-regulatory matters. And so after a number of years of doing this, I figured I could do that on my own. And so I retired and began to do commercial mediation, arbitration for energy companies. But also when I got trained as a mediator, at that same time in the early '90s, when Congress passed the Administrative Disputes Resolution Act, I got certified in the courts and I became a family mediator.

    - Okay.

    - So that brought hundreds and hundreds of cases that I could. This was right when ADR was becoming popular through the circuit courts and they were establishing procedures. And so in the courts through today even, ADR is a very definite vehicle to reduce case loads.

    - Okay.

    - It brought me and exposed me to family law, family mediation. It was something that in law school, I actually was keen on and studied more of a major, if you will, in family law. So it's an interesting background to be able to go between very complex commercial energy matters and also complex emotional family matters, which leads me into where I am today and really wanting to expand my family business.

    - Okay. In our line of work at Sandy Spring Trust, obviously as a corporate trustee, we get named as a decision-maker or we're hired to help family members who are serving in the difficult role of being a trustee or a personal representative, and as you and I have discussed many times, 'cause we've known each other for a number of years is family and money and power is a very dangerous combination when it gets mixed together. And we see when a client becomes sick or dies, we see the best in people and we see the worst, and we see a lot of what we're gonna be talking about today is how do we navigate through families fighting over businesses or pieces of property or land, or a teddy bear or a painting, dad's army jacket, you name it, it just all comes to the surface, all these emotions. People deal with grief in many different ways. People deal with stress of dealing with a sick parent. And I think you've been probably very busy during this time with COVID because it has amplified all of the stresses that we normally feel. And it's just been a really difficult time period for many people.

    - Absolutely, absolutely. Before jumping into that, I just wanted to give some mention when you talk about your role as the trustee and working with other trustees, just the role, I'll come back to my background, the role that I played as an advisor to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, and understanding the role that a trustee has over a large fund that's established to compensate thousands, right now it's almost 40,000 people who have been compensated. And the intricacy, the emotional aspect, the trauma aspect, all has contributed to my deeper understanding of what you're addressing at the micro level, also expands, for example, during COVID to a macro level that we're all going through right now.

    - It's been a difficult time for many of us as we try to deal with isolation, we're social beings, and it's nice to gather and be close to friends and family and co-workers. And unfortunately right now, I think a lot of people have been challenged by just that lack of human interaction. And also just in your line of work, dealing with difficult situations, it's hard enough when you can't get people into the room for safety reasons and social distancing. It must make things even more challenging now in your line of work.

    - Yeah, I think you're addressing what I have identified and I've been studying for a number of years now, is this intersection between trauma and conflict. And so when we're under a certain trauma, and it's such a broad concept in a sense, and maybe misused, I'm not sure because there's various layers of it. Someone who has had a family trauma, grew up in a family abusive household or, you look at the attacks on the Capitol, that in itself involved senses of fear, are we gonna be safe? We're all a few miles from the Capitol. September 11th is having it's 20th anniversary, will that anniversary invoke a sense of trauma that's activated by everybody who had lived through it? And then you add on top of that, this pandemic and 550,000 dead and rising still. And even with vaccinations and a higher success rate of people, 90% we're hearing, right? But there still are people who could die from their various variances.

    - Yeah.

    - And that causes people to act a little concerned and funny. So how do you deal in that situation? And that's, I think one of our questions that we're trying to get underneath.

    - Yes, so what are some strategies that you've used and you've found success in dealing with? We can just go through a couple of different scenarios or you can highlight a few, but what do you find has worked well for you in your practice?

    - I'll give you a simple example, which is a COVID example of a group of six siblings who had care responsibilities for their mom that had passed away about 20 years ago. And they called me to assist in just setting up some general guidelines protocols for who could come to the house to visit mom. Pretty harsh in today's territory to tell one of your siblings, "You can't visit mom because we don't like "that you have these other groups in your bubble."

    - Yeah.

    - So we had to sort through all these different permutations of who's in whose bubble and set up the foot guy, this is early on during COVID. But it just proves the point though that when you bring people together, when you have a neutral, when you have somebody listening and reflecting back what's important to them, spending a little time with them individually so they feel understood and heard. So that's one of the keys in my line of work is being neutral. Being able to hear everybody not have judgment about where someone is at, but really getting what's at their core, what their core interests are. In negotiation, I like the focus on the interests, the options and what I call legitimacy. Does it measure against other standards of reality?

    - Okay.

    - You could come up with an agreement but if the agreement makes no sense, it's not lawful then what good is it? So it has to have a reality check. But the interest is something we all could be doing. Everyone listening to this podcast could focus on what's important to the other person, and why is it important to the other person. And slow down your breathing, slow down your own metabolism a little bit just to listen to the other person, not to agree, but to just make sure you're hearing them correctly. And I guess when you use the adage of, when you're on two different train tracks, and I'm going 75 miles an hour and you're going 35 miles an hour, it's very hard for us to communicate.

    - Okay.

    - When we could co-regulate to about 55 or 45 miles an hour and we're breathing together a little bit, and we're expressing ourselves together, there's literally a chemical reaction that occurs where we could hear better. Now, maybe folks, that's a hard one to always remember, but if you could train yourself to listen and to go for and understand the interest of the other, and that distinguishes from positions. The simple story that I tell is if you have two little girls fighting over an orange, mom gets frustrated, she cuts the orange in half, you take half, you take half. And then all of a sudden, she stopped and she said, to one of her daughters, what do you want the orange for? And one daughter said, I just want the juice, I want the juice out of it. And the other one says, "I just wanna make icing from it." So you have a distribution of the resource that's using the entire resource rather than just cutting in half, and having a reduced pie to work with. So, when we're focused on interest and listening, we have the opportunity to expand the pie, so to speak.

    - Yeah, I know in our line of work, within the Trust division, we help people manage assets, we deal with estate planning issues. And the big focus we have is trying to be proactive, to try and work with the parents while they're alive to think about what issues might be faced when they face an illness, so when they pass away, and can we be proactive and preemptive? Things like what to do with the beach house, what to do with items inside of the house. Because once the parents are gone and the kids gather, if there isn't a plan, then it doesn't always end up in tension and fights, but it increases the likelihood. And it's so sad to see siblings fighting over a kitchen table or a painting and it can get. Because it's not about the painting, it's just, everyone's very upset. And the painting just triggered the spark. One of my passions, been with the bank 20 years, been doing this over 30 years is to prevent those things by trying to get ahead of it. You sometimes get brought in when that preventive track wasn't taken, and now we are in that state of conflict and we have to calm the waters and find a way to move forward, because some of these family conflicts last generations. And there are family members not speaking to one another and they'll tell the story back in 1982, this happened. And it's like 1982, that's nearly 40 years ago. And that's what we, I think you and I and others in our line of work do this type of work, try to prevent the fracture that can, in a worst case scenario, become a permanent fracture where family members stop speaking to one another, which is terrible and sad.

    - Yeah, I had it in my own family. I was reminiscing my uncle who had an antique shop in Brooklyn, no children. And so my sister and I were in the will and other cousins were in the will. And the other cousins came over and started grabbing the antiques for themselves. And my mother who had an accounting background, she said, "Okay, let's just record what everyone is taking." And that led to a complete blow up in the family. "How dare this woman say what I can have and can't have?" And she wasn't saying, you can or you can't, it's just what are you taking so that it could be valued as part of the estate. And then when we had them on our wedding list, my mother said she wasn't coming .

    - Oh, no , that's so sad. But that's what we do with. The family, the emotions. And it's like you said, with trauma, when a family member faces an illness, or when a family member passes away, everything boils to the surface and all of these feelings come up, and it's a very difficult time for people, it's a very stressful time and it's a dangerous time, 'cause things can be said that can cause some serious harm, unfortunately.

    - Yeah, lemme give you an example on of both sides of the equation. On the preventative side, what I'm involved in is something called partnering. And I'm working with a psychologist colleague, gentleman by the name of Dr. David Gage. He's has been dealing with this partnering work for about 30 years. And basically, it's working with the family members and working with the first, second generation owner who needs to be thinking about succession planning. And maybe doesn't want to because he's avoiding that issue, we've seen that all too often. But in this situation what we do is we'll work with that individual and their children and help to devise a plan.

    - Okay.

    - And this is more family business-oriented. So it's looking at what the ownership is gonna look like, what the roles and responsibilities are gonna look like, what their personality styles are and who work well in what area. Begin to look at whole assortment of concerns that they have about operations of the business that exactly right to prevent what's gonna happen after that first-generation owner passes on and then they're left to sort it out.

    - Yeah.

    - And you're exactly right. Most, if not all of my cases are, otherwise, that are mediation-oriented or where that doesn't occur.

    - Yeah.

    - And I could tell you a lot of very interesting stories on that.

    - With business owners, Sandy Spring Bank obviously has many business clients and we stress to them. It is so hard to do that type of work. And business owners are so busy. They're just thinking about now and next week and next month, maybe next year. And the issue of business succession is so complex. And so complicated. There's so many variables, legal, tax, finance, family. You've got four kids, two are involved in the business, two are not. In the business, in many times is the primary asset. So, how do you find quality? Having four children equally own the business is gonna end badly especially when two were involved and two were not. But there can be resolution, it just takes time and effort and thought. But, we see a lot of businesses fail because the client has not planned for their illness or them passing away. And then everything grinds to a halt. Who pays the bills, who writes the cheques. And it's such a shame to see something that the individual's worked so hard to build just not get the value that it should or just end up having to close. We see businesses sometimes having to close down because there was no plan in place.

    - Right. And I hear the consideration that things are busy, but it's so worth the investment.

    - Yes.

    - 'Cause we'll come in on a weekend, we'll come in, in evening. We'll work around folks to schedule, to build this partnership charter. And the charter is gonna have all the aspects of the roadmap for what they're agreeing to for the next two to three to five years and maybe come back and tweak it from time to time, dealing with what the governance structure is gonna be, what the ownership structure is gonna be. But doing it in a thoughtful way that again, just dealing with difficult people, modality and listening. And we use a couple of different personality style testing that people are just starstruck when they learn about themselves, and how badly they may be dealing with someone else, not just their siblings. But then you realize that the issues around siblings are not just today, but they're going back from childhood that gets patterned into how they're dealing. The child who's always the victim shows up as the victim and the child who's the bully, may be the bully. And so until you get to a place where you can neutralize those concerns, it just perpetuates itself.

    - Well, and from a financial standpoint, it is an investment but business owners many times will look at return on an investment, and the money that can be saved by being proactive through protecting the business and it's value, saving money on taxes through smart tax planning strategies on how to transfer the business in a tax efficient way. We try motivate individuals, yes, it's a lot of time, but the rewards can be so significant, and ultimately it can keep the family together and prevent maybe major family conflict. So it's just a matter of finding. With each client I find what's that motivating factor? Is it reducing that tax bill? Is it increasing the value of the business and so preserving the value? Is it preventing a family fight or some combination? But whatever tools, we'll throw the whole toolbox out there because there's such a huge difference between getting ahead of these issues than dealing with them once they occur. 'Cause once they occur, the client's no longer around in many cases, they're sick or have passed on. So now it's just the kids. And so it's a much more difficult path at that point. But on behalf of the community, for the work that you've done, Steve, both with 9/11 and more recently, thank you for the work you do and your other colleagues, and resolving these issues because if we prevent one family from not speaking to each other, then we've had a good day at the office.

    - And one of the keys, thank you Phil, and one of the key is again, the collaboration aspect. I had a office park dispute in Cleveland recently with two brothers who had 50-50 ownership. And they were both vying to be the president, to be the decision-maker. And we've seen them sometimes alternate back and forth. And that's actually what we ended up doing in our mediation. Is they alternated stepping into the role. And in stepping into the role, they had to come up with their own design and business plan for what they would do. And when the younger brother couldn't fully get there, couldn't hold that vision in place and orchestrate a business plan, it was pretty clear that the older brother was ready to step into it. But working with the estate attorneys, and coming up with some pretty income skipping, operational trusts, got him a very nice seat, he was bought out. So they stayed family, they stayed close over time but he wasn't gonna be part of the business. I have another similar case right now. You wouldn't think of it as a family business but it's an Orthodox Jewish community where the father recently passed away. Had two sons running what was a college, a high school.

    - Wow.

    - Tree school, synagogue, preschool. So there was no succession plan.

    - Okay.

    - The younger brother was vying for more leadership and opportunity to play a role. And we came in and basically got them, again, to see their styles, to see how they operate in stressful situations, and this is during COVID. And because things had to close down, and you may be aware, there's a lot of issues in the news around some Orthodox communities that continue to meet and even in the face of restrictions. So one brother wasn't happy with that. But the two brothers have stayed friends through this. One left, the other one has taken charge and we're continuing to work with him in developing a partnership charter for what's gonna be his new organization because he was always used to depending on the younger brother for certain aspects that he did a good job at. So it's important to be able to have a neutral who could listen, work with the experts as well, and then bring all that together into a game plan, essentially

    - It must be very rewarding for you to see start to finish. You start with the position of conflict and friction. And as you work with yourself and with the partners that you bring in to see it through where you see a family unit held together and the resolution being positive, I'm sure there are frustrating times when you just can't get there. But for the situations where you do, it must be incredibly rewarding for you to see that process start to finish and see your skills being used in a very positive way.

    - Yeah, that's deeply rewarding. And I often use the the Japanese vase example where you have a crack in the vase and the crack symbolizes the conflict.

    - Okay.

    - And the job of the part is to fill that crack with gold. And it's that seam that's being healed between them, between the family, then allows that for this new object to appear more beautiful than it ever was.

    - Yeah. So what else would you like to talk about today, Steven? We've covered a lot of issues. In our line of work, we deal with the business succession, we deal with siblings, we deal with parents. One thing we find is there's a lot of issues between parents and children. And one of the things we stress is for there to be lines of communication between the parent and the children as they plan for transitions, whether it's retirement or illness or death. But it can be very hard for mum and dad to have conversations with the sons and daughters about finance, about healthcare, end of life wishes. And so, I'd imagine you get involved in that type of work as well, dealing with the different generations. It might even be grandchildren getting involved as well. But, that's something that we see a lot of is the challenge in just getting a parent to be willing to open up to a son or daughter about things like where are legal documents kept? Where are the bank accounts located? Who's their lawyer, who's their accountant. But information is gonna be critical because that son or daughter maybe named in the parents' legal documents and may have to step into their shoes and take over. And so many times we see a lack of communication which creates a really difficult transition when mom or dad gets sick or pass away. And the kids don't even know where the legal documents are kept.

    - Right.

    - They don't know where the assets are located. They don't know the passwords to the computer and the accounts to get the information that they need.

    - Yeah. I think we should start an app Phil. That has all those steps. Because obviously this is something that concerns all of us, all in our society, all your clients, all my clients.

    - It's is.

    - It's not an easy answer. People are very private, and as you get older and you get more fearful, even with your children, whatever it is, it's that protective element that doesn't wanna share that information.

    - It's also very hard for the children to talk to their parents about their parents' upcoming illness or death. The kids don't wanna think about mom or dad not being here. They wanna bury their head in the sand and say, "No, you'll be here forever 'cause I can't imagine a life "without you being a part of it." I know times when I've had clients reach out to the kids saying, "Hey, we need to get together "and we need to talk about what to do with the family jewels "and with the paintings and the antiques." And the kid's like, "No, we don't wanna talk about that." For the 20 years I've worked at Sandy Spring Trust as an estate planning specialist, I do a lot of public speaking. We have seminars hosted on the Sandy Spring Bank website that I do, that people can go and watch. But a very common recurring theme is proactive communication to the parents. We need to engage whoever you've named in your legal documents. You have to get them involved because if you don't, then we run into that crisis mode. Dad gets sick and we're all running around saying did dad have a will, did he have a power of attorney? With business owners, what's the plan? Dad ran the business, he knew everything. He knew how everything worked. He had all the contacts, he knew who to call, if this doesn't work. And it just comes to this grinding halt. And so the challenge is we're all so busy, we all run around and we all get caught up in our daily lives, and we're like, yeah, I'll deal with that later. It's one of those very important non-urgent issues that gets pushed and pushed. And I meet with clients with significant wealth who don't have any estate plan. They don't have wills, they don't have powers of attorney, they don't have trust. One of my thrills is being able to help those clients get through that difficult process of moving forward and seeing them get to the end of that path, working with estate planning attorneys and other professionals, and say, "Okay, now I have a plan." And it can be a journey. How do we break down that parent-child barrier that we find so many times?

    - Well, with a lot of therapy, in some cases the parent-child relationship is very complex and many kids are carrying stuff from their childhood into their adult relationship, if they haven't had an opportunity to work it out. So that's something to be mindful of. And again, having the advantage of a third-party who could sit down and listen to both parties, if the senior is open and willing to do that. But it's all in the purpose and the aim of everything you're saying, to create a smoother transition 'cause that's really why we're here. This is all about a smoother transition planning process.

    - Yeah.

    - And I admire the work that you're doing and continuing to echo that sound that people have to call that this was essential. 'Cause that serves the family system, it serves the wellbeing of the family. And otherwise it's very disruptive to not have that order in place, and we have seen it way too often.

    - Yeah, many, many years ago, I was a very young trust officer of the bank before I joined Sandy Spring Bank in 2000. I was a trust officer with another bank and I was very green around the edges. And I was involved in a nonprofit organization called GROWS, the Grass Roots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors. And it's a group of healthcare practitioners. They get together and they have meetings. And I would go there. And I was, probably one of the few banking people who were there, and they were all asking, "You're a banker, why are you here?" It's like, "Well, I'm a trust officer "and I deal with clients, many of them are seniors, "and I'm trying to figure out how to help "and how to take care of them." And then I started developing a group that you were very involved with, the Transition Planning Group, which was a network of professionals in different disciplines, law tax, finance, and healthcare, which is what led us to this discussion series, 'cause I'm always asked where can I get good information from? What books can I read? Where can I go? So, our hope through this discussion series is to build a library of content where people can go to They don't have to register, they don't have to give us the name or email or phone number or anything. They can just go peruse the library of discussions, this would be one of them that we're having today. And then watch at their home or office when convenient and learn. And at the end of today, we will share both our contact information. So if people watching this program have questions, they can reach out to you and reach out to me. And we can help directly, or we can help indirectly. So before we wrap up today, 'cause we've covered a lot, there's just one thing I wanna touch on is you and I have taught many times over the years, and you mentioned a while ago about something about stepping out onto a balcony as a strategy, and I remember it, could you remind me what that strategy is 'cause it's something that I thought made a lot of sense.

    - Sure. It's an executive leadership strategy that anybody at the bank or anybody in any stressful type situation can employ, is the notion of staying objective to the situation. So the balcony is the metaphor for looking down onto the stage.

    - Okay.

    - And so if you're in a conflict with someone, if you're not having a good relationship with a boss or a co-worker or sibling, whatever the case may be, to be able to go into the balcony and then maybe invite that individual to sit next to you in the balcony, in your silence. Again, going back to the interests conversation we had, what's their interest, what's their concern, what's really bothering them to try to tune in to that and understand it. And then I carry it a little further, and I use the notion of, okay, now there's this bridge that's going across the stage. And this individual is on one end of the bridge, you're on the other, and you been begin crossing over, and you're watching this from the balcony. So it's multi-dimensional.

    - Okay.

    - And you stand next to this individual on the other side of the bridge, your parent, your boss, whoever it may be. And you ask them to tell you what's going on with them. And you're just there to listen, to hear, to play it back, reflective listening for them to be understood. And then it switches, you go back to your side of the bridge and that other person crosses back over to you and hears what you're feeling, what you're going through. So there's this mutuality that's occurring. And because it's happening in the balcony, I use the language that it's actually in the field, it's the dynamic of the energy field or mind field that's occurring, and something does actually happen. And I use this in every case that I have. And it's a way to begin to move things in an emotional psychic-spiritual way, not just the physical realm, but in all dimensions that we're living in and working in. And I find it quite remarkable. And I find that actually there's movement, so that when you go to talk to your boss over a difficult issue, and you've gone through this exercise, you've actually broken the ice with that individual before you even sit down.

    - Wonderful. Well, I think we've covered a lot today, Steve. So thank you so much. Before I do closing remarks, are there any final words that you'd like to share with the audience today?

    - Just to emphasize slow down your mind, listen to what other people are saying, stop rehearsing what you have to say, stop trying to be right all the time. What we need right now more than anything is love. And there's no reason that love can't be brought into business dealings, family dealings, from the professionals as well as everyone else we're working with.

    - Wonderful, and again on of the community, Steven, thank you for the work that you did with 9/11 and helping those individuals for the past, it's hard to believe, 20 years. And thank you for the work you do within the community. Dealing with negotiations, mediation and helping difficult scenarios. So, on behalf of the bank and the community, thank you for the works that you do out there. And thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join us in this discussion series and please take care.

    - Thank you.

    - And for those of you watching, thank you for joining our discussion series. As we mentioned, this is a community event program. If you notice, when you clicked on to view our discussion today with Steve, you did not have to register. We didn't ask for your name or your telephone number or your email address. We wanted this to be a community event. Sandy Spring Bank has been a part of the community for 152 years, back in 1868 when this bank originally was formed in the little village of Sandy Spring. We found in the bank charter, they made a specific reference that we would accept deposits and make loans to anyone and everyone, there were no restrictions. And in 1868, a lot of banks had restrictions on who they would do business with, Sandy Spring Bank did not. It's one of those little facts about our bank that I'm very proud of. For the past 20 years, I've been a part of this financial institution and I will retire here. It's a wonderful organization. If you bank with us, thank you, and if you don't bank with us, we hope you might consider us for any of your needs. Steve's contact information will be listed at the end as will mine. And as I mentioned, we'll be hosting other discussion series posted on our website. And I'll also post different estate and financial planning discussions that you can also listen to, which are also on's website. So on behalf of the bank, thank you for joining us today. Please take care and have a wonderful rest of your day.

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