SCRANTON, PA – OCTOBER 14, 2016 - This is a special day in the storied history of Kane Is Able. Our beloved founder, Gene Kane Sr., passed away on this day in 2010 at the age of 80. Everyone who came in contact with Gene knew what a special person he truly was. He loved his family, his business, and all of his associates. He thoroughly believed it was an honor to serve great companies and employ terrific, dependable people.
We celebrate though, not mourn the life of Gene Kane. We carry his lasting legacy in the KANE Code, which works as our operating guidelines based on Gene's business philosophy.
Below is the acceptance speech he gave upon being awarded the President's Medal from the University of Scranton in 2008. On this day of reflection, we thought it would be a fitting reminder of how one person's passion and perseverance touched the lives of so many.
Thank you, Senator Casey for your kind words and generous
introduction. Thank you for being here this evening, thank you for all you do for your constituents and thank you for being a wonderful son of the man I most admired, your father, Governor Robert P. Casey.
Father Pilarz, Trustees of the University, Alumni, Honored Guests and Friends. I want to say only a few words tonight, mostly words of thanks. It’s hard to express how much this award means to me. This is not just because of how important the University is to the whole Scranton community which I love. It’s also because of the direct support this event gives to the education of the young men and women selected to be Presidential scholars.
The University does not seek simply to educate the next generation of doctors, lawyers, and business people, but to form the whole person, making for compassionate doctors, just lawyers, and generous business people. The mission of Jesuit education is the formation of men and women for others.
This is something I care deeply about. Together, Joan, my wife of 53 years, and I have raised eight children, teaching them to care about others. In my business, I have long said that the most important thing I could do was to create jobs for our associates. These jobs convey dignity and worth, and by them, our associates are able to raise their own families and take care of others.
And so, I am truly and deeply honored by this award.
One of the unspoken perks of being my age is that you get to give people free advice and they usually defer enough to listen. So I have three pieces of advice to leave you all with, but especially the young people here tonight.
1. Be kind.
2. Be careful.
3. Be yourself.
Be Kind: Kindness costs us nothing, but enriches others. Each of us has the power to touch the lives of those we meet by treating all with kindness. You do not know if the person ahead of you in line is caring for a sick child or parent, worried about making ends meet, or facing some other challenge. You can be pretty sure however that kindness is the best way to treat that person since it lightens whatever burden they may be carrying. I have found that you cannot give kindness away; it always comes back to you.
Be Careful: That is, be full of care, in your relationships to others, and also in the decisions
that you make. By “care”, I do not mean “worry”; in fact, being “careful” allows you to focus on what’s most important and not sweat the small stuff. So my advice to you here is this: Do the right thing always and let God take care of the details.
Be Yourself: Think about this: among the 7 billion people alive today and the billions more who have lived before us, you were created to be a unique individual with some specific part to play in God’s plan for the world.
So many people are trying to get a break by getting an introduction or letter of reference. Those things help, but remember that you have been given a role by the ultimate “big-wig”, the Creator of the universe. So when you “be yourself”, you never have to worry about being accepted or being “in”. And you see that what applies to you, applies to all others. They too have a special role to play.
And that’s why we do need to take care of others, to treat everyone with kindness, to be men and women for others in the best spirit of the Jesuit tradition.
To help you remember this advice, I’ve had it painted on the back of all of Kane’s trailers. Think of it as a 53 foot note to self.
It is with great humility that I join the ranks of the six accomplished candidates, who starting in 2002, have been honored before me. Thank you.