“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life is hectic. It seems like we are always busy. We have jobs. We have family obligations. We have meetings to attend, shopping to do, clothes that need to be cleaned and a never-ending string of chores that need to be completed. With all of this going on it is hard to find time for ourselves. Time to rest. And when an opportunity does come along to do so, our natural impulse is to find a comfortable couch and seize the moment!
But some people don’t think this way. Instead of resting, some people find peace by helping others. My law partner, Ron Sykstus, is one of these people. I have always known Ron to have a servant’s heart but this fact was underscored for me this week when I saw that his volunteer service had been spotlighted by the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program (“MCVLP”).
Ron is the Managing Attorney for Bond, Botes, Sykstus, Tanner & Ezzell P.C. in Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama. This position alone carries an enormous amount of responsibility and is very time-consuming. The folks that work with us aren’t always aware of Ron’s sacrifices but I can account for many instances over the past twenty-five years plus in which he has lost sleep agonizing over another employees’ challenges, worried about how to keep the best possible health insurance options available or simply how to meet firm expenses during a slow period. Ron sets an example for all of our attorneys with a great work ethic, by constantly expanding his legal skills and by pushing the rest of us to do the same.
Several years back, Ron started his own podcast called Next Lawyer Up. He did this to create visibility for our law firm but also to highlight the careers of many fellow attorneys. Ron volunteers a lot of time in preparing for, recording, editing and promoting the podcast. His efforts have paid off and the podcast is now featured on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify and other popular podcast directories.
In addition to work responsibilities, Ron has a busy family life. He and his wife, Patty, have raised three fine young men, helped care for aging parents and have assisted extended family and friends on multiple occasions.
So, with all of these responsibilities, Ron simply can’t have much free time. Right? But what does Ron do with his extra time? He volunteers to help others. A veteran himself, Ron has spent countless hours doing volunteer work for other veterans. In addition to his work with the MCVLP, Ron has volunteered with the Veterans Legal Clinic and Operation Stand Down Huntsville. He also helped his wife, Patty, start a non-profit named Not One More Alabama (“NOMA”) to address the epidemic of substance abuse and addiction in the state of Alabama. Ron serves as Legal Counsel and a Volunteer for NOMA.
Our communities have many volunteers who give of their time to make thing better for others. We are fortunate to have people like this amongst us and, at Bond & Botes, we are particularly blessed to have a servant leader like Ron Sykstus.
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.