“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.” – Charles Dickens
The start and the end of this year may feel like the best parts because the middle was so turbulent.
Well, 2020 is finally coming to a close, and for all of us, this was a year of transformation. Whether you were leading your team remotely, converting a dining room into an office, or attending back- to-back zoom meetings all day, so much of our lives changed. When facing significant change like this, we often turn to others for support; yet the pandemic made that much more challenging, and as a club whose mandate it is to bring its members together, we had to find new ways to connect.
At the start of this year, who would have thought our Club’s primary function of organizing and executing world-class events would be turned on its head and every event would be cancelled? To say we had to pivot would be an understatement – we had to reinvent how we could connect in a virtual world. This caused us to pause, and the pause generated innovation. As I’m sure is true for many of your businesses, this time of disruption made us re-think how we engage. It made us ask ourselves questions about who we are, and how we can continue to bring great value to our members. With those questions looming, we had to innovate quickly and create opportunities for our members to stay connected – to us and to each other.
The answer was clear: our mission remained the same despite a need to do it differently. Our mission was, and still is, to provide networking opportunities for our members. We kicked off 2020 with CONNECT – connecting virtually through webinars, connecting socially through social media channels, and connecting through our stories of unsung heroes. We have been working on increasing traffic to our website to provide enhanced visibility to our digital sponsors. We look forward to connecting our members further with the release of our 2021 membership directory.
No other Club President has had to navigate the unique challenge of leading the Board through a global pandemic. Trust me, this is not a crown I wanted to wear, and it required leadership strength that I wondered if I had. Here’s what I’ve learned: that leadership is truly a lifelong endeavour, that collaboration is key to all success, and that persistence is driven by passion. I am grateful for these lessons, as they have made me a better leader today. Thank you to the Board and to Executive Director Denise Cardy for your hard work and dedication.
The integrity of the Club and the role it plays in our businesses and lives has never been clearer. That’s why I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that, if you haven’t already, it’s time to renew your membership. No doubt 2021 will come with more uncertainty and challenges; let’s continue to rally together, support each other, and connect in all the ways that keep us safe and healthy.
Stay safe, be well,
President, The Toronto Transportation Club