A few days before January 1, 2021 my iPhone notified me of my ‘2020 year in review’ photo album. Like many of us, 2020 could be considered one of those years I’d like to forget. A global pandemic, more divisive politics than I've ever experienced, a drive for social justice - and the government and societal response to that, record unemployment, remote learning for our children forcing parents to become teachers, record natural disasters, and a marked lack of travel photos…it has been quite the year. Given all this, I had pretty minimal expectations for my 2020 photo album.
However, on a personal level, as the photos began to scroll, I began to realize that while 2020 was certainly different, perhaps it wasn’t all bad.
2020 brought me the opportunity for even more meaningful time with my family in ways that were more creative and unhurried.
The lack of travel opened up time, which I finally used to start another graduate program. This was a long time bucket list item and those who know me will be grateful that I'm no longer just talking about this dream, I'm finally pursuing it. At the end of this term I'll be 2/3 of the way done.
I was overly grateful for the moments and experiences prior to March 2020 when the world was ‘normal’...
On a professional level, 2020 may not have been the year any of us hoped for, but it brought unexpected creativity and flexibility from the team that is truly awe inspiring. As we've previously shared on the VTM blog, our Event Management Group pivoted and quickly ramped up to manage and drive some awesome virtual events. Our Engineering Technical Services applied over 20+ years of compliance workshop experience and implemented a virtual compliance testing model that allowed continued go-to market and interoperability testing for products. We continued to be contacted by industry leading companies interested in associations. Every single team member dug in and delivered on our promises to each other and our clients.
While those are all notable, reviewing my 2020 photo album reminded me to step back and appreciate what we have here at VTM. The work that our team does every day to keep the lights on and support our clients. How this team pivoted to continue our work for clients despite external stressors. How we were able to help each other, both as co-workers and human beings. Those efforts resulted in some staggering 2020 metrics for ourselves and our clients - check out the stats below.
Since 2005, VTM’s Community Outreach Efforts have provided our employees with the opportunity to expand beyond the office into the greater Portland area and support those in our neighborhood that might be struggling. Each year employees are given the opportunity to nominate organizations to support for the coming year. VTM’s support of these organizations occurs through both financial contributions, as well as volunteer hours. In 2020, we were proud to contribute to the following organizations
For our annual Q4 community outreach, we adopt local families and provide them with holiday meals, pantry supplies, personal items, gifts, and more. Check out our 2018 Facebook video below for a glimpse of the dedication our employees contribute to this effort.
Year over year, we increase our commitment to support local families. In 2020 we adopted 28 families, serving 28 adults and 34 kids. Yet again, VTMers rose to the occasion in support of the local community and found a way to manage the logistics of this effort virtually. Below are a few photos from our 2020 shopping expeditions, including a 5ft reciept!
As we look forward to 2021 I personally am grateful. For our clients, our team, our health, and so much more. I am also hopeful. Hopeful that we are nearing the end of COVID, hopeful that our political and social world might find more...respect, and hopeful that we can actually learn from this last year as we move back into normalcy. The future is bright and I look forward to being part of it with you.