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A Press Conference
Emily checked her make up in the mirror one last time before adjusting her tie. She wore a black business jacket, white shirt with a black tie, and a knee length black skirt. Black suited her mood just fine. She was still grieving, and she was more nervous now than she had ever been. She left the dressing room and took a deep breath. She had called for the press conference. She didn't hate the press, and her reasons for avoiding them had been simple - she was grieving and stressed. She couldn't think straight. She wanted them to have real answers. Eventually the press sought out her board and even her employees. Thankfully, they had been trained well to say "no comment."

The Press Room was set up like a stage - a raised platform at the front with a lectern on top with a curtain behind it. The Shale logo had been lowered from the ceiling. There was a backstage area and as Emily entered, her board of directors went on stage and took seats. Her assistant, Andrew stood out of view of the crowd. He wouldn't enter until she did.

She approached him. "Are you ready?"
he said.

"I don't know. Am I doing the right thing?"

Andrew gave her an encouraging smile. "Emily,"
Andrew had known her since she was a little girl - using her first name wasn't unusual, but it was the first time he had used it since she had taken over. It got her attention. "I saw your parents build this company from the ground up. Trust me when I say they'd be very proud of you."

Emily could feel the tears starting to well up in her eyes at the compliment. "No crying - you'll smear your make-up."
he said with a smirk and Emily let out a short laugh and wiped her eyes. "The sooner we start...."

"...the sooner it's over. Let's go."
With that, Andrew turned around and walked on stage, Emily following with a smile and working up the courage to shake hands.

Emily waved and moved to shake hands with the board members. Each one rose to take hers. The applause from the crowd along with the clicking sound of cameras added to her nerves. The board members knew she was nervous and each one gave her an encouraging smile. They had decided to have the board sit behind her - a literal symbol that they were all behind her. She moved to the lectern.

She waited with a smile for the applause to diminish and spoke. "Members of the press, board members, honored guests, colleagues, and friends. I thank you for your patience as this meeting comes to order. Shale Industries has lost a pair of visionaries and we have needed the time to grieve that. For your patience, we thank you."

Emily could feel the tears welling up in her eyes and she thought of Andrew's little joke to force them back. "The death of my parents has been painful, but it has brought us to thinking about what they stood for. They were businesspeople - and they felt that is was important to use their success to help others. Shale Industries wants to restate it's dedication to helping the underprivileged get training and jobs and stretching out a hand to those who need to be picked up. Believing the family is the most important unit in society, Shale Industries is announcing 'The Orphan Project.' This initiative will work to make sure that orphanages are properly staffed and will seek to find ways to speed up the adoption process so that orphans can find loving families more quickly."

More applause and camera clicks. Emily's smile was genuine and she couldn't help but feel proud. "The Orphan Project" was her idea. She looked at her notes, and the smile disappeared as her heart saddened. The people in the room noticed the change and for the first time since the conference had started, the room became silent - even the clicking cameras had stopped.

"Shale Industries was founded under the principles of helping those in need, and today, we see that. The crisis in Sierra Leone and the tragic bombings in Mexico City cannot be ignored. There are people there suffering, so Shale Industries has decided to pledge one million dollars to both Sierra Leone and Mexico City to aid those affected and to assist with rebuilding in the name of Martin and Victoria Shale."

The silence was broken once more by applause and cameras. Emily waited once more for the noise to die down. "The question remains: What will become of Shale Industries. We pride ourselves on our philanthropy, but also on our innovation. Shale Industries will continue to remain dedicated to bring our customers the finest products we can. A product can always be improved and we are continually looking for those improvements. Our employees show their dedication to their work daily - it is why we've seen so much success. With that dedication, we will continue to research new technologies, develop better software, build more bridges, and continue to provide you with the finest products for the best price."

A slight pause. "I know some of you doubt me and I do not deny that I have large shoes to fill. I remember though, that the success of this company was not built only on my parents' shoulders. The men and women behind me were there - many of them from the beginning. Our employees are dedicated. All of this has made Shale Industries what it is today. To all who work under the Shale Logo, I thank you for your hard work and dedication. I know that with your work and dedication, Shale Industries will not only continue to be successful, but it will continue to grow. I'm confident in the future of Shale Industries. Thank you."

Emily ended her speech and more applause rang through the room. She shook hands with her board members again and went back to the lectern. Doubtless there would be questions, but Emily was feeling confident now and wasn't worried.

Edited by Emily Shale, Sep 27 2014, 11:59 AM.

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