Good Morning Team:
March 2021, how is that possible? Has it really been a full year since I last gathered in person with this amazing team? I could have never imagined going this long without sharing a meal or gathering for a celebration, not even as much as handshake with my OneDigital family. In some ways it seems like it was just a short while ago and, in others ways, it feels like a lifetime.
As I reflect back, I can still feel the anxiety and pit in my stomach as we first gathered our executive team and then our full leadership team to discuss our plans to send over 2000 employees to their homes. We scrambled to gather additional equipment and provide instructions to our teams. We set up phone trees with plans to check in on each other in case this lasted more than a few weeks (yes, a few weeks to a month was what I was preparing for). And, as I organized myself to leave my office in March 2020, I recall asking Mandi to pop in one last time to give me a quick tutorial on how to use our new video conferencing software- “What’s it called again Mandi- Zoom?” I can still vividly remember my first week in my makeshift basement office. Those first few days seemed like a lifetime jumping from call to call and zoom to zoom as we laid out our plans to embrace our customers and most importantly our people. The news was getting worse by the day and I just kept telling myself – BE STRONG!
Team, I’m not sure I ever admitted this to you, or even myself, but as I reflect back now, I was scared. I love everything about my job, my team and this incredible organization and I was fearful of losing any part of that. There is nothing worse than thinking about your family going through pain, and it’s that fear and concern that motivated and consumed me. As I steadied myself to focus on the difficult journey ahead, I quickly realized that my inspiration and strength was right in front of me. Day-by-day I saw the strength of this incredible team as we rallied around the needs of our customers and each other. It’s in our culture and DNA to endure and thrive in challenging times, but I’m not sure even I could imagine that we would respond and rise to such heights. We not only refused to lose any team members but have since welcomed dozens of new teams and hundreds of talented family members to OneDigital. In the early days of the pandemic, we coined the phrase “OneDigital Strong” and it’s that strength, fight and sense of togetherness that has carried us through every step of the way. We did so much more than just survive, we’ve accomplished amazing milestones together and I’ve been so happy to share those moments with each of you along the way.
Although we are not physically back together, the future is beginning to look much brighter. We are still not ready for all of our team members to come back to our offices, but I am quite confident that this time will be coming soon. As we approach the 2nd quarter, we certainly invite more folks to come together with periodic visits to your office as you feel comfortable. And, it’s my hope that we will be able to get the majority of teams back together by late summer as the infection count continue to fall and vaccine levels increase.
We have so much to celebrate and I can’t wait to do that in person when that time comes. We’ve started 2021 strong and the future is very bright for us all. Our financial stability, strategic vision, customer focus and “People First” culture have never been stronger! The last year has shown us that there is nothing we can’t accomplish and rise above together. I remain proud, grateful and inspired by the strength, heart and soul of this growing OneDigital family.
Thank you for inspiring me to find my strength in the toughest of times. Yes, it really has been a full year and I will forever be grateful to have navigated it with all of you. We are OneDigital Strong!