I have thought long and hard about what I wanted to say as 2020 draws to a close. I didn’t want this message to be just a few nice words and pleasant thoughts.
As you know, it truly has been an extraordinary year.
For many of us, the year started with great optimism and hope. Then we faced the COVID-19 pandemic. Uncertainty, loss of normalcy, and growing anxiety ensued. Strategic plans had to be shelved; fundraising goals went unmet; trips were cancelled; events went online or were postponed indefinitely; our homes became classrooms, virtual offices and/or global headquarters; and “you are on mute” became the most frequently quoted statement.
Even though I have been training families, businesses and communities in disaster preparedness, response and recovery for a number of years, the pandemic forced me to put this theory into practice as well. My number one goal quickly became navigating EDA successfully through these turbulent COVID waters.
What I know, without a doubt, is that with every crisis comes opportunity. I am proud of the work the EDA board and team has accomplished this year. Our focus has been simple. Keep our members interests core, while increasing the value of what we offer. While it has been challenging, I believe we have re-envisioned how we do things, established new partners, and become more resilient as a result.
To be honest, it has been tough. I’ve said on a number of occasions that I have felt like a pretzel- having to turn, contort and twist continually. We had to reinvent our Annual Conference, Ministry Dinner, Invest in Alberta publication, Leaders’ Summit, CEDTP training and AGM to name a few. I feel tired writing this....
I recognize that everyone is disappointed we have been unable to meet in person, but I believe our economic development family is still very much connected and engaged. The pandemic will pass, and we will find our next normal, hopefully soon. In the interim, we will continue to make lemonade out of lemons.
To all of our devoted partners, board, members, and supporters, thank you for your continued support, encouragement and active engagement this year. Rest assured, I do not take your support for granted and look forward to reconnecting in the New Year.
I trust you will be able to celebrate with your loved ones (in whatever form that takes) this holiday season, and may you continue to enjoy COVID-free health and success in 2021!
Sincerely,Leann Hackman-Carty, CEO