“This is just like AES!” exclaimed my then-12-year-old son, Peter, as I arrived home. He had presented me with a rubber-band ball that he and his sister, Margaret, had proudly created. “See all the different colors and sizes of rubber bands; they represent all the different abilities and cultures of AES people.” (He had visited AES businesses in Argentina, Brazil, England, Hungary, Pakistan, Uganda, and the United States).

He then bounced the ball off the kitchen floor. “Dad, it does what it’s supposed to do. It bounces.” Peter took one of the rubber bands off the ball and threw it on the floor. “You see, it doesn’t bounce by itself. It only works when the rubber band is stretched around all the other rubber bands. That makes it bounce.”

I was amazed by and proud of his insight. He had captured much of the essence of what I was trying to create at AES: a group of people from different cultural backgrounds, with unique talents, skills, and aspirations, stretched and bound together to serve the world.