By: Davies Hood, Induron President
2020 has certainly been a crazy year for several unexpected reasons, ranging from a global pandemic to unprecedented social unrest to a significant economic slow-down impacting the worldwide economy. I don’t really need to get into the details of exactly how hectic this year has been… you’ve witnessed it first hand and survived!
As we approach the holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, I am having a hard time ‘transitioning’ into a more calm, thankful mindset. However, as a nation and a world I can’t think of anything more valuable at the current time!
Thanksgiving here in the States originated as a harvest festival by the pilgrims and Native Americans. The centerpiece of Thanksgiving celebrations remains Thanksgiving dinner. Now, I’m starting to relax a little as I imagine the smell of turkey roasting and the taste of my grandmother’s pecan pie. However, I have always thought that the true meaning of Thanksgiving was to celebrate with family and having a truly THANKFUL mindset/attitude. Celebrating with family (at least extended family) is another casualty of 2020 brought to us by COVID-19. A THANKFUL attitude is something that each and every one of us can have, regardless of the stresses imposed upon us by the stresses of 2020.
I for one am thankful for a lot of different and various things, including:
- The health and general well-being of my entire family, both insular and extended.
- The continuance of long-standing relationships and in some cases a renewal (Ed Bates and Terry Smith… I’m talking to you!) with some of my best friends, ranging from my neighborhood pals growing up to college buddies to newer friends that I have developed strong relationships with over the last decade!
- My new quarantine puppy, Maggie.
- The success of my favorite football teams – Go Steelers and Roll Tide!
- The opportunity to work with and help lead the INDURON TEAM every day!
This might sound corny, but that last one really is important to me. Throughout 2020 (and I’m going all the way back to the beginning when the world was happy, travel was abundant and readily available and economies were humming along with record low unemployment numbers), the Induron Team has been strong, supportive and worked with a mindset that brighter days were ahead.
Our company, like many others, have had our share of ups and downs this year, ranging from ‘highs’ like the introduction of innovative new products like MortarChem to the lows of experiencing a very scary fire in our breakroom. All of this has been achieved under a near constant stress provided by fear of an invisible virus that even now is not very well understood.
Our operations crew, who simply can not work remotely because literally nothing can be manufactured via Zoom or internet, has performed admirably throughout these trying times. They have continued to work hard and manufacture materials safely, efficiently and in-line with our customer’s expectations and our rigorous quality standards. I have been impressed with not only their ability to show up day-in-and-day-out throughout a pandemic, but also by their positive attitudes, which result in near zero mistakes or accidents. This shows the quality of our team, the culture of our company and the expertise of the leadership.
I am also very proud of our sales team, who is still responsible for and being held to the same high standards as pre-pandemic times. Their ability to continue forward, persevere and adapt to new sales techniques that have replaced in-person meetings, trade shows and ‘brown-bag’ lunches is truly impressive. I don’t think we ever really appreciated what we had until we had to generate the same (improving in most cases) results through Zoom meetings, phone calls, mask wearing, and no-contact job site visits. In fact, we just completed a wildly-successful ‘virtual’ sales meeting that exceeded all expectations as measured by attendees post-event comments. Like seemingly everything else in 2020, we’ve had to adapt.
In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I am truly thankful for many things during this crazy year, but mostly the attitude, culture and people that make up the Induron team. THANK YOU for outstanding effort and attitude during a trying, pandemic-influenced year. I appreciate it and YOU! Happy Thanksgiving!