As I write this, we are several weeks into what is shaping up to be a longer-than-expected new normal — the work-from-home/shelter-in-place reality. Some find themselves with more work than usual, not to mention an abundance of once-elusive family time that now has the kids asking, “When are you going to the office?” For others, the downtime has allowed us to max out on all streaming services and completely purge our closets. We’ve stared at books and possibly even pulled some off the shelves to read. If you’re like me, you enjoy your time at home, but even we homebodies draw our energy through personal connection beyond the digital world.
WISE is built on these connections — a passionate community dedicated to supporting and celebrating the advancement of women in our industry. Our signature events, the WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon and accompanying WISE/R Symposium, are prime examples. However, during these unprecedented times, WISE National has taken a step back to determine what is most prudent. Out of respect for our national partners and members across the country, who are working on a daily basis to ensure the health and well-being of our industry and who will be even busier when it returns, we have decided to postpone our upcoming June events until next year (details to follow).
Our reasons are simple. We want the celebration of this year’s honorees — Susan Cohig, Rosalyn Durant, Elizabeth Lindsey and JoAnn Neale — to be as exceptional and robust as their accomplishments. I wish I knew when our industry will be back in full swing, but what I do know is that these honorees, like those before them, deserve to be celebrated in front of a full house of colleagues, family and friends. And our members and partners should not be shortchanged either.
Sport has always been at the center of national recovery, and surely, this time will be no different. Like all of you, we’re eager for the return of the games — recreational, collegiate and professional. Until then, let’s do all we can to actively support and encourage those brave men and women on the frontlines. Then next year, the WISE community will have that much more to be proud of and to celebrate when we come together again.
In the meantime, WISE National and our chapters are here for you. We will continue to provide the encouragement and resources you’ve come to expect from us with more of a focus on the unique challenges we’re facing in these uncertain times. Look out for financial guidance, self-care tools, and more on our website, WISEworks.org.
For now, virtually hug someone and focus on keeping yourself, your family and your collective community safe and healthy.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
Kathleen T. Francis
National Board Chair and President