This is it folks, the last Membership report of 2020. Despite the odds, the ASPE Los Angeles Chapter Membership held steady over the last year despite the pandemic. I tried every trick in the book to bolster our numbers. The first order of business was to take a page out of the Aaron Coppersmith book and round up all the at-large members. We picked up a few. After that, I obtained the list of International members and picked up a few there. All in all, we were as successful as we could be.
2020 was quite a year indeed. We lost some very close friends this year. We lost Ed Saltzberg, John Mitsumori, and Ira Schumer. These were devasting blows and we will sorely miss our friends and colleagues very much. We have had long time members stricken with COVID and celebrate the victory over this disease that looms on the horizon.
If I have reached out to you this year regarding your membership expiring, I hope this was not taken as a personal afront. My job is to assure that we are communicating with our members to keep them engaged and to assure that we are doing all we can to assist those who desire to maintain their memberships in these trying times. We have many ways we can help. I want to help, that is why I volunteered in the first place. I have nothing but sincere desire to see my Chapter succeed and will do whatever is in my power to see this happen.
There is another topic I wanted to discuss, this is in my role as a manufacturer and supporter of ASPE, not your VPM. I have been asked to speak numerous times since the onset of COVID and the subsequent quarantine. While it is absolutely my pleasure to do so, I have noticed a decrease in active participation and courtesy. Let me explain. How many Zoom, Skype, and Teams meetings have you participated in this year? Imagine giving presentations or trying to participate when every single camera is off, every microphone muted, and absolutely no feedback other than your own face. As Reps, Manufacturers, and supporters of ASPE, we realize how critical the Engineers/Designers are to our livelihood, but we need your help. Speaking for myself, I would much rather speak to you than at you. The most successful individuals are those that have learned how to “read” a room, a face, and a voice. We cannot tell what interests you and what does not if you don’t speak up. We want to provide valuable topics and use methods that are engaging and interesting, but the onus is on you to give us feedback and suggestions on how to do so.
2020 and COVID has not all been bad news for me. The lack of travel has enabled me to spend a lot of time with my Girlfriend and ultimately relocate with my family to Phoenix. My business has increased due to investment of efforts into market segments that continued to grow during the events of 2020, and my children are happier in their new schools. Good things have come out of an otherwise miserable set of circumstances. I hope that when each of you reflect on the events of the past year, you can glean positives out of what we have all endured. Perhaps you have spent more quality time with your family or developed a new hobby. Maybe you have taken to the outdoors and discovered a passion for fitness, whatever it may be, I hope you have been able to extrapolate some good out of all the bad. Shoot your TV, turn off the news, spend time doing something outside of your comfort zone. You can always join an ASPE Committee or Working Group!
I wish you all a very happy and healthy Holiday Season. I look forward to a New Year and the hope of prosperity and healing it may bring us all.
Send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.