As I write this column, those of us in Louisiana and Texas are bracing for Hurricane Laura. By the time you read this, let's hope we've all come out of it unscathed. Of course, we had a hurricane coming; it's 2020. I suppose Laura wanted to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Katrina (almost to the date). We are used to hurricane season down here and often have time to prepare. We buy lots of food, dry goods, paper goods, bottled water, and plenty of alcohol. It's the same grocery list as the COVID-19 quarantine. We've now transitioned from quarantine drinking to hurricane drinking.
But, as we transition out of the summer months and into the fall with COVID still lingering, things look a little different than they have in the past. We should all be asking ourselves, "Had we known this pandemic was coming, what could we have done differently?" Or better yet, "What can we do in the future to better prepare us for such uncertainty?"
The opportunity lies within us to think ahead (way ahead) into what we desire for our next phase. If you noticed, I used the word "desire." I do believe that we have the ability to create our future by being prepared for different circumstances. You might call it a Plan A and a Plan B. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes beyond November. A wise person once said, "Hope for the best, but plan for the worst." This has been a great year, but who knows what the future holds after November. The health of our industry depends on the health of the individual businesses that keep products moving. As a previous staff member of the NASGW used to say, "Onward and Upward." That phrase is a perfect fit for 2020. So, take those extra precautions now while times are good so we can all continue "onward and upward" after this election, no matter the outcome.
For many of our businesses, we are experiencing record years. I've spoken to many wholesalers who are selling everything they can get their hands on. It is eerie walking through our warehouse and seeing empty shelves. At the same time, other organizations in our industry are struggling for various reasons, particularly the ability to raise funds. Many of these organizations are on the frontlines fighting for our industry-leading up to the elections. Remember to support these industry partners as they fight for all of us. When times are good, help those who help you. We will undoubtedly need their help come November.
It's time to shift our focus forward, due to the decision to cancel this year's NASGW Expo. Although we will miss seeing everyone in October, we must forge ahead and prepare for the next challenge. That challenge, for some of us, might be finding more paper towels and libation mixers. Take care, stay healthy, and hopefully, we will see you in the not too distant future.
Until next time,
Laurie Lipsey Aronson
President and CEO Lipsey's