Thinking Back, Looking Forward

Things will get better. Just keep saying that. And when we come out on the other side of the pandemic, we will face a world far different than the one we left behind.

The past year has brought new meaning to “working from home”. It has challenged personal and professional relationships, while also helping us appreciate and in many ways re-discover the simple pleasures in life. We have cooked more, watched TV more, (thank goodness for streaming!), experienced more time outdoors, and spent more time with our pets (or got a pet for those who did not previously have one).

For VSAE members, 2020 was a “once in a century” disrupter. As we emerge from the darkness, we are all wondering what the future holds and as importantly, how can we help shape the future we wish it to be? It has been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. One thing that is for certain, VSAE members are not ones to sit still and just hope for the best. On the contrary, we see many examples of our members acting “future forward” to identify opportunities to bring positive and sustainable change to themselves and their organizations

Several are choosing to focus on their professional advancement, taking part in the CAE Study Groups in preparation to sit for the CAE exam. Others have participated in the SIG meetings and virtual learning programs to expand their knowledge and share their experiences relating to hybrid conferences, technology solutions, communications and marketing plans, strategic planning, and virtual education. VSAE continues to adopt, evolve, and reinvent itself to best serve its members moving forward.

In January, the Board approved a revised strategic plan that emphasizes expanding participation and engagement among non-CEO professionals and industry partners in all regions; providing more opportunities for deeper connections among members; mentoring and developing VSAE’s leadership pipeline; and encouraging dialogue and sharing of best practices on diversity and inclusion.

Looking ahead is also the focus of this year’s Annual Conference in Virginia Beach, scheduled for June 27–29. Our theme, “Reconnect, Recharge, Reimagine,” is about getting back together with friends and colleagues to share the lessons learned from the past year and to reimagine ourselves and our organizations moving forward. Mark your calendars for some quality time in Virginia Beach!

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