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A Message From Our President - June 2020

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In my previous President’s Message, I discussed the emergence of COVID-19 and the impact it was having on our day-to-day lives. As the country began implementing stay-at-home directives and the economy was generally put on hold, I initially thought this would last a couple of weeks until we found ways to stay safe and resume normal activities.

Clearly, I underestimated how serious this would become and how difficult it would be to stay safe, while resuming business as usual. We have witnessed unprecedented levels of unemployment and are seeing daily reports of businesses that will not reopen or are in serious financial straits.

We are beginning to see a gradual reopening of business, but most agree it will be many months before things start to resemble life as it was before COVID-19. There is concern that the relaxing of the stay-at-home directive and closings will result in a spike in new cases of the virus. However, we are hopeful that people heed suggested guidance to minimize new infections and prevent this from occurring.

The Impact on Our Chapter
The Baltimore Chapter of FEI is an organization that thrives on the interactions we make with our peers in the Baltimore area. Our monthly meetings are well-attended and members have the ability to learn about organizations that play a vital role in our community.

We were midway through a great year of events when the virus stopped us dead in our tracks, and all in-person events had to be cancelled. It would have been easy for the chapter to stand down until this crisis passed, but the board agrees that our members need the organization now more than ever to help get through these troubled times.

While we could not meet in person, I give credit to the board and our sponsors for getting creative and setting up several virtual events to help navigate COVID-19. Since March, we have hosted the following remote events:
Not to overlook the other significant event that has awakened the country this year – racism and police brutality – we are co-hosting a virtual meeting on Diversity and Inclusion with the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore on June 26 that promises to be an enlightening and informative presentation.

A Look Ahead for Our Chapter
While many of us miss the opportunity to interact in-person at our monthly meeting, rest assured we will be back to our traditional format as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. In the meantime, I encourage you to take advantage of the resources that FEI offers and reach out to our members and sponsors as we help each other through this crisis. 

We generally become less active in the summer months, but hope to schedule additional virtual meetings during July and August. Keep an eye on your email for any announcements.

Stay safe and stay healthy. I look forward to being able to interact in person in the coming months.

Best Regards,
Kevin