BY: G. DAVID SLOAD, ABC KEYSTONE PRESIDENT-CEO
It is hard to believe that 2020 is over. In some ways, it seemed like a long year, in other ways it went very fast. We started the past year extremely strong. Operating in the third year of a very robust strategic plan, ABC Keystone was on its way to breaking attendance records for events and training, and more companies than ever were involved in the Chapter’s apprenticeship program.
Roger Brubaker, our 2020 Chair of the Board, was poised to direct the Chapter to new heights and looking forward to interacting with the members at all our events. Then, March 19 arrived. At 4:30 pm on that day, while the ABC Keystone Board was meeting, the Governor shut down all but essential businesses. Under the Governor’s original Order, construction was not deemed essential. However, under Roger’s leadership, it was determined ABC Keystone would not sit idle. In fact, Roger quickly pulled out and modified one of his favorite sayings from the movie Apollo 13, “Gentlemen, I think this will be one of Keystone’s finest moments.”
For the past 10 months, Roger led the Chapter in making sure we provided timely and pertinent information to help our members navigate. He was at the forefront, asking the Board to support free safety training during the first three months of the pandemic, and he helped drive the initial purchase of masks to get our members over the hump.
It was not your typical year, but the staff and I were happy to have Roger as our leader. He was the calm in the face of a storm. For all his time and energy spent with ABC Keystone, I say thank you.
Now we have entered 2021. What can we expect, and what will our 2021 Chair, Cleo Weaver, navigate in the year ahead? Normally, we would be embarking on the first year of a new three-year strategic plan. With COVID-19 still front and center, it was decided to continue as we are – at least for the first quarter of the year – then hold a Strategic Planning meeting in March to get us through 2021. By September of this year, we should be able to hold our typical Strategic Planning event, and at that time, we will set the three-year course in motion.
Cleo has already let the staff and I know that we need to take what we have learned through the last 10 months, in particular the use of advanced technology, and continue to deliver services needed by members. This will not simply be a year of maintenance, but it will be a year in which we continue to provide enhanced services needed by you, the members. We welcome Cleo in the 63rd year of the Keystone Chapter. We look forward to his guidance and his desire to continue the Keystone “It” Factor.
We learn from the past, but we look forward to you joining us as we write the next chapter in Keystone’s story. Let’s show the world that ABC Keystone knows how to not only survive a pandemic, but to endure and ultimately, to excel!