If you have ever had the pleasure to talk to those who have served our country in the military and who have seen combat, they will tell you that when you are in the foxhole and bullets are flying, you quickly learn who you can count on. Who will have your back and do whatever it takes to succeed, and who is all about themselves.
Today, some will say that we are in a battle. A battle for lives, our businesses and our future. We all have been going a thousand miles an hour trying to get ahead of this crisis, trying to protect our businesses, our employees and our families. And what has really buoyed me in all of this are the people who, while they are in the same crisis we are in, are ready to help others — giving back to make the industry and our association a little stronger.
Over the past few months, ASA members have been stepping up to help. Each week we have conducted webinars and best-practice town hall sessions. In each session, fellow members (and sometimes competitors) stood out to offer others their insight and expertise on what they are doing to protect their businesses. I am so proud of members such as Bill Condron, Steve Edwards, John Howe, Jay Hults, Joe Poehling, Kip Miller, Brian Tuohey, Chris Reynolds, Dan New, Patrick Maloney, Michael Hobbs, Tim Morales, Brian Burke, Rick Fantham, Jeremy Smith, Christy Ellis, Bob Williams, Brian DiVincenzo and Bill Gray.
Each took valuable time from their business to offer insight, help, and most important during these difficult times, hope. Every time that we have asked one of our members to help, it takes them all but a few seconds to say, “Yes, I’m happy to help.” I am so proud of our members. These volunteers and the hundreds of others who serve ASA in various voluntary roles are what makes this industry so great. They exemplify a willingness to serve and to be counted on when you’re in the foxhole.
Lastly, we hear a lot about the “new normal” and how things will change once we get through this. While some things will change, some things won’t. What I know won’t change is that we will always need business leaders who will be there when we need help. What I don’t think will change is a reliance on the long-standing friendships and close working relationships we have forged over decades of personal interaction. What I hope won’t change is our strength as an industry built on strong social interaction through years of personal meetings.