I hope all of you are coping as best you can during what has repeatedly been called an “unprecedented time.” We keep hearing there is no roadmap for this, which should give us some comfort when we feel completely unmoored and our teams are looking to us for guidance. Like many of you, I’m trying to keep the day-to-day activities of our association running as normally as possible, while managing a staff remotely who is used to working face-to-face and trying to respond to members’ needs that are very different and more pressing than ever before.
So, my first bit of advice is to give yourself some grace. Trust your instincts and rely upon the skills and knowledge that you have developed to do what needs to be done to guide your organization through this crisis. But also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. What better time, than during this unsettling period of social distancing and sheltering in place, to demonstrate the true value of community that is the very foundation of what associations are all about? And while your association is modeling that reality for your members, don’t forget that you are also part of a community that is here to support YOU.
For some TSAE members, particularly those of you who work for our hotel partners and CVB’s, the impact of COVID-19 on your business has been swift and painful. My heart goes out to all of you and my hope is for the hospitality industry to be back up and running very soon. It should be a busy fall! For associations, the impact may not be felt for months to come when it is time for membership renewals, or if your annual conference has been postponed or cancelled. But no matter which side of the industry you’re on, now is the time to tap into your TSAE network to connect with your peers and utilize all the tools provided by TSAE for learning, connecting and sharing. From Virtual Roundtables to Webinars, the Career Center, the TSAE Exchange and the newly launched CEO/Executive Director-Only Community, there is a wide range of information at your fingertips to help you navigate these uncharted waters.
So, keep on Zooming, having virtual happy hours and trivia nights, organizing staff meetings from the back of your cars at a Starbucks parking lot, or whatever you need to do get through the weeks ahead. We will all get through this together (just NOT together), until we can actually BE together in Fort Worth in September for the 2020 New Ideas Annual Conference.
Tracy Tomson, CAE
2019-2020 TSAE Board Chair
Executive Director & CEO
Restaurant Facility Management Association