An Exceptional Year

Posted on : 06 Apr 2021 | No Comments

It has now been a year since the pandemic upended our lives. With the passage of that grim milestone, I thought it would be worthwhile to reflect on your remarkable ability to adapt, overcome, and achieve. You all did something truly extraordinary.

As humans, our well-being is dependent on maintaining close social bonds with one another. An especially cruel irony of viruses like COVID-19, is that they harm us by exploiting our social desire. That is, to “survive,” a virus must continually propagate to new hosts, which is only possible if the hosts—us—facilitate transmission through close physical proximity. In turn, to stop the spread of a virus, we must deliberately deprive ourselves of what we cherish most: each other. Now, after a year of hardship, the pandemic is winding down. In considering our shared sacrifice, I am reminded that we are so much more than the sum of our parts, and how, when we put the well-being of others before our own, we all do better.           

So it is for KANDU. While the last year will be remembered for the pandemic, that is only part of what KANDU has overcome. There was also significant organizational upheaval. Jake Reed was promoted to head of production. An exceedingly complex and challenging job under normal circumstances, it is unimaginably more so while navigating a pandemic, leadership changes, and a global supply meltdown. You welcomed Interim Executive Director, Barb Kelley, and then our exceptional new Executive Director, Kathy Hansen. There were, less importantly, many board-level changes as well. Amidst all these challenges, of course, the worst pandemic in a century put Best Events (but not its people) out of commission temporarily. It should have been a terrible year for KANDU.  

But this team never got the memo. Instead, they got to work. Rod and Julie gathered their teams from Best Events and Client Services and went over to production. Jake’s team welcomed everyone, and they went to work as one team, putting mission first and doing whatever needed to be done. Given the challenges of operating safely during COVID-19, a significant slowdown in production would have been understandable, but Jake never got that memo either. Instead, he got his family. Enlisting this additional help was necessary to keep up with the flood of work Jake and his team brought in.

In true KANDU spirit, everybody worked together. It was mission first, all the way and as a result, KANDU had an exceptional year. Production revenue didn’t just meet its (pre-pandemic) expectations, it obliterated them. It wasn’t just a good year; it was the best year. Ever. By an astounding 25%. That is a stunning achievement, and it belongs to every one of you. I hope you are so incredibly proud of what you accomplished, and that you will carry it with you always. You worked together while we were forced to be apart, and together you did the (seemingly) impossible. Very well done!