Greetings from Henrik Johansson, Chairman SACC Austin

Dear SACC friends,

 

I hope you and your loved one are staying safe and sound.  It’s only been a few months since Covid-19 changed our world forever, and already it’s starting to feel repetitive to talk about “unprecedented and challenging times”. It seems as TV commercials that used to have a simple and often cheesy message, like “Look what a clever commercial we made with non-actor real people. Now, buy a Toyota”, have suddenly changed to: “We care deeply about our customers and employees through these unprecedented and challenging times. Now, buy a Toyota.”  I guess you can see it as a sign of how resilient and adaptable we are, or maybe how cynical and deceptive marketers are.  Either way, it is what is it is, and all we can do is to “improvise, adapt, and overcome” our challenges (quoting Clint Eastwood here from the movie Heartbreak Ridge using an old unofficial slogan of the US marine corps).

 

I am involved with several businesses and nonprofits, and in some way we have all tried to “improvise, adapt, and overcome” our own unique challenges. Starting with SACC, I am impressed by the creativity across our network here in Texas, as well as our +20 sister organizations nationwide that are part of SACC USA. While most in-person events have been cancelled, chapters have been quick to organize online events and speaker series, organizing informal get togethers, and virtual board meetings. It’s never quite as good as in person, but connecting virtually is still a lot better than not connecting at all. In Texas we have also offered discounts to our members to encourage them to stay with us.  We are confident that we soon will back in full force organizing exciting events (maybe still wearing facemasks), and we greatly appreciate your continued support and engagement!

 

In my main business, Boundless (a branded merchandise company), we have faced a different set of challenges. Since a sizable chunk of our business comes from conferences and events, we as a company (and our entire industry) saw a sharp decline in orders and revenues from that segment in March and April, as pretty much all in-person events were cancelled.  Fortunately, we were able to leverage our supplier partners to quickly complement our existing offering with PPE products (personal protective equipment), like face masks, sanitizers, and other protective gear for health and essential workers, and that allowed us to stay afloat through the worst months.  It took a tremendous amount of effort from our team to make that change, involving every part of the organization, and I am really proud of how everyone was able to “improvise, adapt, and overcome” our challenges to survive through the worst of it, and as a result we’re now beginning to thrive again.

 

I hope that you will find your own way to “improvise, adapt, and overcome” this crisis. Please know that SACC is always here to help in any way we can. Do not hesitate to reach out for help or guidance. We have a lot of smart and well-connected people in our network, and we are always willing to help.

 

Sincerely,

Henrik Johansson

SACC Austin

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