Spring signals the change to warmer weather, longer days, and a sense of hope and renewal. This time of year, I think of service and our company’s annual Day of Service, which we do in honor of my father, Larry H. Miller. Service, often the quiet variety, was one of his hallmarks, and we celebrate his “do good” attitude each April 26 (his birthday) with acts of service around the communities where we do business. It’s a fitting tribute to our company’s founder while continuing an important legacy for the Group of Companies.
In 2013, when we were putting on paper the values that make up the Larry H. Miller Group, service was one that rose to the top. It is the perfect companion to our other core values of integrity, hard work, and stewardship. Our annual Day of Service gives us a chance to demonstrate all these values at once. We give our word to the communities and organizations around us that we’re committed to making a difference and improving the world around us. We work hard cleaning, raking, digging, planting, painting, and more. We’re careful stewards over the company resources used to help with the projects and the funds donated to the various organizations. And for a few hours in April,* we serve.
Many of the businesses my parents started or purchased were not driven by potential profit but by the service that could be rendered through them. One such example is Jordan Commons. The property where the Megaplex Theatres at Jordan Commons now sits was once a public school. Jordan High School opened in 1914 and served students in the area until 1996 when a new high school was built. My father was approached by the mayor of Sandy City to do something with the large plot of land now vacated by the high school. My father’s first thought was a park, but then the idea of a movie and restaurant complex took hold; he wanted to build something and give back to the community.
The old Jordan High School building was on the National Register of Historic places, but it had fallen into disrepair over the years due to the lack of funds in the school district to keep it up to code. As old and worn out as it was, the school was a community landmark and dear to the hearts of many, especially alumni. Instead of placing the restaurants and retail store fronts along the high-traffic, high-visibility street, Larry preserved the grand front entrance of the school, keeping a promise made to the community. Architecturally—inside and out—it is one of the most unique movie-plexes in the country.
Since its opening more than 20 years ago, the theatres, restaurants, and office spaces at Jordan Commons have become landmarks for family entertainment, delicious dining, premium workplaces, and, yes, service to the community. In addition to supporting independent filmmakers, the theatres and surrounding buildings provide meeting places for religious and charitable organizations as well as the headquarters of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.
For us as a family and as a company, service means giving of yourself. When you serve someone, whether with your time, energy, attention, or talents, you are giving a part of yourself away with no expectation of anything in return (though we all know we often come away “richer” for having served). Quiet service, the kind where you act on your own, without any prompting or being asked, is where the value of service shines and where giving of yourself blossoms like a flower in springtime.
By Brilliant Miller