The following was penned by Chris Halverson, STA Chairman and Senior Vice President, Institutional Sales at CAPIS
I think we can all agree that 2020 hasn’t played out how we thought. It’s mid-August — ‘Back to School’ season for those of us with younger children — but instead of shopping for new clothes, backpacks and other supplies, we’re making sure that we have enough bandwidth to accommodate our kids’ virtual learning platforms. In many ways, this year has been a complete blindside as we continue to deal with COVID-19. Regardless of who you are, what you do or where you live, you’ve felt the impact. Chances are, it hasn’t been good.
There is a bright side, however, that is starting to appear. Businesses and society have adapted, albeit at a pace that many would consider breakneck speed. We are all doing things and behaving differently than we were just a few short months ago, and hopefully, we are noticing some positive results. Some are small, like the simple pleasure of playing Monopoly with my girls during lunch break. Even though I lost, it was a wonderful moment. Some are more meaningful, like discovering the need for a better work/life balance and reinvesting in relationships. I never realized how busy we were as a family until all that activity was taken away. While drastic, the break from business travel, dance lessons and spring youth sports has allowed us to learn about ourselves, our families and our neighbors simply by being around more.
The financial services community is resilient for a number of reasons, none more so than the ability of individuals to adapt. As a result of the pandemic, we have re-imagined ourselves and changed our approach to doing business. Our relationships with friends, family and colleagues are no different. How we interact with those closest to us has been disrupted by the effects of self-imposed and government-mandated quarantines but they haven’t shut down our ability to stay connected. While we may feel isolated, we are not alone. 2020 is reminding us to appreciate the relationships we have with each other.
We should use this opportunity to thank those who have helped us, reconnect where we’ve lost touch, and when possible, make amends with relationships that have gone off course for reasons that may seem trivial through today’s lens. If we do, finding that bright side will be that much easier.
STA has always believed in the individual and that relationships matter. It’s what brought us here in the first place and makes STA different from other industry associations. STA serves individuals. That service can be seen in our actions and our initiatives: women in finance, students and those financial services professionals who are in between jobs.
These are unique and challenging times. We should use this opportunity to thank those who have helped us, reconnect where we’ve lost touch, and when possible, make amends with relationships that have gone off course for reasons that may seem trivial through today’s lens. If we do, finding that bright side will be that much easier.
My sister, Jessie, is one of those people who can find humor in situations where most others cannot. She recently posted a Facebook message that simply read “When does Season Two of 2020 start? I did not like Season One.” Besides getting a good laugh at her post, in a lot of ways, I agree. Season One had a rough start and the plot has been difficult to follow. That doesn’t mean I’m not eager and anxious for Season Two. I’m hopeful that as individuals, an industry and a nation, we will be stronger because of it.