The honeymoon phase of the 6th term of my Presidency isn’t even over, and already I’ve broken my first promise.
Earlier this month we took a survey of IWOC members and IWOC subscribers (non-members) to see how many would prefer to resume IWOC’s monthly programs in person, or to continue them on Zoom, starting in October. Personally, I'm chomping at the bit to resume in person. I, like so many others, are eager to get back to the back-slapping, the light and heavy conversations, the laughing and exchanging of advice and ideas that our pre-program networking hour and post-program dinners have always allowed us. And quite frankly, I’ve a couple of new outfits that I would like to wear to places other than trips to Mariano’s and walking my dog, Chip.
Putting my own motives aside, we (the Board of Directors and myself) have decided to heed the Voice of the People. Here is how it all panned out:
Of the 1,089 surveyed (66 IWOC members and 1,023 IWOC subscribers), we received 53 responses. Breaking it down...
23 voted for in-person. (16 members, 7 non-members); 30 voted for Zoom (14 members, 16 non-members)
Reasons given for not attending in person:
a. 17 COVID (7 members, 10 non-members)
b. 4 COVID + location (3 members, 1 non)
c. 1 COVID + schedule conflict (1 non)
d. 1 COVID + city crime (1 member)
e. 3 location -- too far (2 members, 1 non)
f. 1 schedule conflict (1 member)
g. 1 never attended any meetings (1 non)
h. 2 no reason given (2 non)
While it is tempting to prioritize IWOC members in our decision making, who as you can see, favored in-person by a narrow margin, we couldn’t ignore how the majority had voted overall. Plus, feeling the weight of responsibility in these matters, the Board also had to take its own concerns into consideration. Even though several of us would have preferred to meet in person, we thought at this juncture, given that the Delta variant is still hanging around, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Therefore, despite my declaration in last month’s President’s Post that the October program will be held in person, the Board has decided it will take place on Zoom. We will reconvene and determine how to proceed for November.
We know this is disappointing to many of you who are eager to return to normalcy and be able to talk without having to unmute yourselves, but here is the good news: For those who yearn to get together, we will be starting the IWOC Supper Club, where once each month – or every other month, we can meet and socialize at various restaurants around the city and ‘burbs. Don’t get too excited yet. We are still in the planning stages. But we hope that the idea is enough to get the hearts of all you social butterflies a-fluttering. And then, of course, there will be our annual Holiday Party in December – which, if it’s anything like our recent IWOCFest, should be one heckuva well-attended lively event.
Until then, stay safe, stay healthy. The best is yet to come. I promise.
-- Laura Stigler
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