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I don't know about you, but after over 2 years of things being turned upside-down, I feel like the world is forcing us to take a new perspective. Clearly at work, with staffing shortages, supply shortages and patience shortages (both with our associates and our guests) we've had to stop and rethink things we used to do automatically. And while we've had to keep business moving forward while searching for answers, a key word has also been STOP! The most effective solutions have come not from taking action, but sitting still and taking the time to look at things anew.

One obvious example is how many jobs have been able to move to working remotely. Once not even considered an option, it is now frequently the norm. Another is flex hours. In order to attract employees we've not only had to increase pay rates but there's a cap to how much the budget can afford to pay and therefore other options, like flexible hours, have become a new consideration/benefit. And once upon a time we spent hours in live meetings, now meeting via Zoom is the new norm.

Our HFTP Global and chapter leaders have had to do the same; stop, think and consider what other options we have to maintain member involvement and attract new members. It’s no surprise to hear that over the last 2 years membership has dropped across the country. Job and role changes, including added workloads, and lifestyle changes, force goal changes both personally and professionally.

Our chapter goals have always been education, networking and community involvement. With much consideration our chapter board took another look at how we achieve these goals. In doing so we've chosen to scale back our in-person meetings and instead have educational webinars at lunch time. With staffing shortages we've all had to learn new ways to multitask and one of those choices has been listening to webinars while we work or while we take a break. Our chapter's plan is to keep the webinars short and informative, and of course free.

But we haven't lost sight of the fact that as humans we are social beings. Therefore we are also working to offer regular in-person social meetings in the evenings, where those who wish to can personally connect, network and also receive information on new and innovative ideas and technology from our sponsors. Plus we will continue our community outreach with outdoor activities like the AAWL Walk to Save Lives. And we will carry on supporting our hospitality program scholarships with Scottsdale Community College, Northern Arizona University and, beginning this year, with Grand Canyon University (we’ll be touring their campus in 2023).

So while things in our world are going to continue to be different, as a chapter we are going to change with the times yet remain consistent with our values and our long term goals. (Is there an oxymoron in there?)

And on a more personal level, I believe one of the biggest lessons to come out of the pandemic is to not take anything, or anyone, for granted. For me, and others I know, it has been a clarification of priorities. While work and goals are important, they can always be switched up. Our health, people, friends and family - are not so easily replaced. If you haven't experienced a loss personally, I'm guessing you know others who have. It is more important than ever to take care of ourselves, and to care about others.

So please, sit and consider what is truly important to you. And your comments are always welcome!

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