It is hard to begin any message without reflecting on the changes that have occurred in the past 18 months. COVID has drastically altered everything about our lives, from how we do business, how we socialize, and how we interact with society in general. Many organizations, including the Engineers’ Club and Engineering Center struggled through the process, trying to stay relevant and engaged in order to provide continued value to their members.
Like similar organizations, the Club and Center didn’t make it through unscathed. Our busy event schedule for 2020 and 2021 was decimated, and our building stood empty for much of COVID. Fellowship Nights, which were bringing a hundred people to the Club every month were cancelled, as was the 2020 Annual Dinner. E-Week events were held virtually in 2021, and while they were successful it did not have the same impact as past events. This has obviously impacted our finances, which was partially mitigated by the PPP and EIDL programs established to support small businesses. Club Manager Gina Falvey did a fantastic job controlling expenses and developing virtual and in-person events during COVID – please thank her when you see her next.
However, even with the struggles of the past year, the future for the Club is bright! Fellowship Nights are back to in-person with proper precautions, and I look forward to seeing everyone face to face again! Outside events are also again being held at the Club, and it is open members and affiliates. Jake Jare and E-Week are the two biggest fundraisers, and these events are planned to be held and we are expecting great attendance and support!
As everyone has heard, we are in the process of selling the building and looking for a new home that will better allow us to serve members and fulfill our mission. I will continue to provide regular updates at the monthly Fellowship Night, and I hope you can attend to hear the latest. Of course, you can always send me a note or give me a call, I’m happy to chat and provide updates. The Focus Group led by Paula Hart is working with our broker to identify new facilities that will work for the Club, Center and Affiliates and we look forward to sharing that with you.
Committees are a great way to volunteer and are important groups to help manage the Club and provide benefits to members. For example, the Educational Committee is being reinvigorated by George John, and we look forward to future events offering PDH opportunities for Members. The Board of Directors has also created a Strategic Planning Committee, which will build upon previous strategic planning efforts to confirm the mission and develop guidance for how to set up the Club for long-term success.
Finally, I want to thank every one of you for continuing to support the Club and Center. Your support over the past year has been vital to the organization. Even though we couldn’t provide the same level of service as we did pre-COVID, you have stuck with the Club, and I cannot express how much that means to me personally. I look forward to seeing you at a future Club or Center event!