Looking back at 2020, you can say this year will live in infamy. Even though infamy is generally a negative term, there are still plenty of positive things to be grateful for. Your association’s Board of Directors made decisions to withstand the challenges COVID-19 has posed. NARSA/IDEA has been impacted just like a lot of other businesses. All of our in-person events this year were canceled and future events are on hold to see what the beginning of 2021 looks like. This doesn’t mean we don’t have reasons to give thanks.
Please let me outline the positive changes that have resulted from COVID-19. First, the Board of Directors has figured out a way to have board meetings without the necessity for travel by using Zoom. Since we are not meeting in person, we can meet more frequently so the board decided to have four board meetings a year instead of just two. This allows the board and inevitably the association to react quicker and make policy changes to better navigate the tumultuous business climate.
At the last board meeting a new president was elected, Robert Duran. I have known Bobby and cooperated in business with him for nearly 10 years. I look forward to working with him as he steers this association. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with such a fine young man for the next two years.
Our mission as an association is to create one idea, one opportunity and one connection. It was necessary in the midst of a pandemic to pivot from in person events and pursue a virtual event to continue our mission. The board decided by the end of the first quarter that we would hold a virtual conference. This virtual conference was a first for NARSA/IDEA and we had more than 180 attendees with 14 countries from around the world represented. Although there is no substitute for live events, the virtual conference expanded our possibilities for future online learning and training. I am thankful for holding the virtual event and a great team with the necessary skills to be able to accomplish this event.
Realizing we must continue to offer education and support for our vision, it became evident that NARSA/IDEA would need to think differently about the future of disseminating information to our members. As a result of the success we enjoyed with the virtual conference, NARSA/IDEA has committed to a new webinar and podcast series. I am thankful for the opportunity the association has to offer these additional programs which without COVID-19 would probably not have come to fruition. Stay tuned and look out for notices as to titles and times for these new events.
I am most thankful for the continued support from our members, the board of directors and the NARSA/IDEA staff. Mary Margaret Miller, Linda Skoglund and Sandy Taylor are the glue that keeps this association together, and I am thankful for their dedication, expertise, and energy. I am thankful for all of the board members who volunteer their time and talents for the improvement of this association.
As we get ready for the start of a new year, I look back and I am thankful for the time that I had with my wife and son during the lockdown. For a few months, life slowed down ,and we were able to enjoy our family in a way that would not have occurred otherwise.
NARSA/IDEA has been impacted just like a lot of other businesses. All of our in-person events this year were canceled and future events are on hold to see what the beginning of 2021 looks like. This doesn’t mean we don’t have reasons to give thanks.Mark Taylor, NARSA/IDEA Executive Director
A huge thank you to all of our members who have chosen to continue to support the association regardless of their financial position this year. We are eternally grateful for your support.
Give your family plenty of hugs and kisses and let the people in your company know how much you value their service. There is light at the end of this tunnel. And as inpatient as we are, life continues to remind us there are certain things we just can’t control.
Happy Holidays and a joyous New Year to all!
NARSA/IDEA Executive Director