We made it - 2021 is finally here! In celebrating this new beginning, I must first thank each of you for extending hope and inspiration when our spirits were tested due to the shock waves caused by COVID-19.
Think back to January 2020; we had no clue what was in store for us. Though it's uncanny how life takes us in any number of directions every year, we would never have imagined the events of 2020. Looking into the rearview mirror of all that happened in the past 12 months, the most significant impact was the tremendous shift in our personal lives and the way we conducted business.
Without notice, most of us had to adapt quickly to a virtual work environment and navigate uncharted business challenges while balancing child care and homeschooling. Then there were those of us caring for elderly parents, spouses, and other loved ones. No matter the situation, we especially were cognizant of making every effort to keep up with the COVID safety protocols. Yet it was through these rough patches that we were at our strongest.
In addition to the unthinkable challenges caused by the pandemic, we continue to bear witness to social injustice and discrimination towards Blacks, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and LGBTQ+. We know these inappropriate actions affect and diminish all of us. Hence, it is our leadership role that will enable us to make a difference in the community or workplace by changing policies and shifting the culture to become more inclusive and diverse. This also ensures equity across all spectrums.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama once said, "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." I am entering this new year with gratitude for all we have accomplished amid extraordinary circumstances. Programs and projects could not occur without TEMPO Madison, TEMPO Foundation leadership, Past President Shana Lewis, and our members.
Due to their hard work and dedication, we hired a new executive administrator, Erin Fabrizius. Erin started in April, and her initial luncheon experience was the first time we delivered a monthly luncheon via Zoom. Social distancing mandates required us to reimagine the way we network and connect with our members. As such, we did not allow the distance to separate us and continue soldiering on with successful programming and networking opportunities.
For the first time, TEMPOShares was held virtually, raising $5,700 towards scholarship funds. Membership remained strong and welcomed exceptional new members to our roster. Project REACH continued its initiative to assist members in serving on business boards. And, last, certainly not least, Vice President Elaine Rich, along with the planning committee, has started working on the 40th Anniversary.
Though much of 2021 will require the same diligence in overcoming the pandemic, our hope in the greater good and the collective power of talented women coming together shall propel us forward into a new year as "Ambassadors for Change." May we continue being of service to those in need, open to taking risks, lead with vision and empathy, and live a well-balanced life in pursuit of peace, happiness, and prosperity.
Cheers to new beginnings!
TEMPO Madison President