Greetings! What a year 2020 has been! A friend of mine recently posted a meme on Facebook that said something like “I’ve decided I am going to stay up until midnight on New Years' Eve this year. I just want to make sure 2020 leaves.” I know I feel that sentiment and many of you do as well.
While some stores have been open since late Spring, many are preparing to open for the first time. The OACS board has hosted several Zoom calls since the initial shut down, and while I have to say that before March I had not heard of Zoom, it has turned out to be a key way for us to connect no matter what stage of reopening we find ourselves in. Though our stores vary in size, the challenges related to COVID-19 have impacted us all in much the same way.
The board met several times over the past month to discuss plans for the Fall. Most universities are under some type of travel and/or budget restrictions so an in-person conference is not plausible. However, I have been in a bi-weekly state/regional meeting with NACS leadership throughout the summer and I am pleased to announce that we are currently working on plans for a virtual conference and trade show. I am excited about the ability you will have to interact with vendors in the platform NACS has licensed and watch for more details in the coming weeks.
OACS announced at a recent Zoom meeting that we are extending membership for 1 extra year for all current members and encouraging new members to join at no charge. We realize that budgets are tight and we want to make sure that you have a vital connection to other stores as we all work through the challenges in the coming months. We are asking that you confirm or update the contact information for your store personnel. This request for an update will be sent to via email.
It’s also time to start thinking about board nominations for the upcoming year. The following board positions need to be filled: Vice President-Elect (2-year Commitment), Treasurer (2-year term), Store Trustee (2-year term), and Vendor Trustee (2-year term). To find out more about these positions please check out this link. The board typically meets once per month via Zoom. I have served on the board as a Trustee, Vice Present-Elect, and now as President. The advantages of being on the board include serving alongside wonderful vendors and store members to provide educational content and support to our members, being on the leading edge of industry changes, added credibility with your administration, and much more. We are a fun group who love what we do and it is awesome to be able to serve on a board that wants to help stores stay independent. If you are interested in filling one of these positions or you would like to nominate someone else, please do so here.
I know there is still a lot of uncertainty in how everything will end up this year. There are so many unknowns but I want to end with what I do know. I know we have very talented, hardworking, and creative people in this industry. I know that we love what we do and will go the extra mile to help our campus and our colleagues succeed. Finally, I know that this situation will eventually be in the past. We will learn things, we will be stretched, but we will prevail. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the coming months!