April Update from our CEO.

As I sit to compose my CEO section of our newsletter, I am struggling with where to start and how to end. Like most of us, I am flooded with emotion, anxiety, and fear of the unknown. You cannot open email, turn on the news, or have a conversation with someone without being overwhelmed with the pure emotional weight of the present. These times are unlike anything we have ever seen, challenging us both professionally and personally.
As we head into another week of social distancing, quarantine, lock down, or wherever you may find yourself, I would like to counter the despondency surrounding us and reframe on the good.
While unfortunate circumstances have and likely will continue to come from the COVID-19 attack, during these past few weeks, I have also witnessed and been part of many positive and extraordinary things.
I will start with the most important thing of all–family. We have been pushed into a situation where we are required to spend every chaotic day and restless night with our loved ones. In a world that has been moving so fast, we often get lost in its speed and forget to slow down just enough to give your child a hug or tell a parent you love them. I, for one, forgot what it was like to have the entire family sit at the dinner table and actually talk. Now, we do just that every night.
We have closed our businesses risking significant financial impact and livelihoods. We have stopped going to places we enjoyed such as the movies, parks, or restaurants. We have locked ourselves in our houses only leaving out of complete necessity all the while dawning masks. Why have we done this? We sacrifice to save lives–not only of our family or those of America, but all lives. If this is not a remarkable example of the altruism we are capable of, I do not know what is.
I will close with a very plausible comment that applies to all reading this–the transformation of the business relationships between vendor, company, and employee. We understand that in order to grow and run a successful business, it all comes down to making a profit. I have talked with business owners and employees alike who say loyalty from either side is dead. Vendors look at customers as profit centers and not partners. This is the hapless reality of the business world of the not so distant past, but we are witnessing firsthand a deeper understanding of business values. Transformation is happening right in front of us at our place of work. Business owners are echoing this change by doing everything possible not to lay off staff or make pay cuts; employees are putting in extra hours and voicing their appreciation, fully understanding the financial impact this virus likely has on their employers; vendors are providing financial assistance, whether through discounts, deferrals, or other creative purchasing programs. I hope each of you can reflect on your own stories of greatness both in the home and at the office.
We are in unprecedented times indeed, and our world is now greatly shifted. My hope is that the positive changes stay indefinitely.