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From the Desk of Executive Director Richard Putnicki

Welcome to June! This time of year is usually filled with baseball games, graduation ceremonies and summer vacations. Today, we are all making the most of our current situations – just being thankful for time with family and friends. I continue to admire the way our industry and everyone in their professional and personal lives have adapted. For me, continuing to deliver the RMEL experience under any circumstance has been the TOP priority. Networking and socialization are just as important as the training provided at RMEL events. In an effort to bring members together, we held a "pilot” virtual roundtable for our Generation Section this week. Committee members invited a few of their colleagues, and it was great to hear the open dialogue and candid conversation once again that our members have grown to expect. It felt like RMEL, and it felt like we tapped into a vital part of RMEL’s culture. We are planning to build from that pilot model as we roll out virtual events for all RMEL Education Sections. I cannot wait to provide more details to you all soon, and I am extremely grateful the RMEL Education Section Committees and the RMEL Board of Directors for their continued guidance and thoughtful dedication to keeping RMEL members connected.

I am excited to begin offering more technical and networking programs soon! As you probably know, our first virtual programs in April and May were focused on addressing some of the immediate needs that we heard as the COVID-19 Pandemic began. Webinar instructors provided strategies for employee communication, culture and professional development during times of crisis. Our next complimentary webinar is coming up in a few days…Wednesday, June 10th: Meeting the Needs of Your People, While Meeting the Needs of Your Business: A Path to Productivity Post COVID-19. Harold Hardaway, PhD,  Former Director of Communications, H-E-B, & Co-Founder & CEO, Cardigan, and Shannon Hernandez, Chief Creative Officer, Cardigan, instructed our very first webinar, and they are returning for this one. The re-entry to the workplace, tracking changes and Improvements, productivity, employee engagement and leadership topics have all received much comment and discussion. With many of our members beginning this phase, we felt this webinar would be a timely topic for us all. We hope you’ll join us and invite your colleagues!

The RMEL Foundation Board of Directors is also working very hard to be there for students and RMEL members right now. That includes awarding $84,000 in scholarships to 41 students across the country this year! There is so much talent and ingenuity in the younger generation coming into this industry. In the spirit of continuing to help fund that future, the RMEL Foundation Board is also working hard to figure out how we can raise funds for more scholarships in a time when everyone is feeling the economic impacts and pressures on limited funding from COVID-19. In the best interest of members during these uncertain times, both fiscally and health wise, we have made the difficult decision to CANCEL the 2020 RMEL Foundation Golf Tournament scheduled for June 24th.  With many member companies maintaining restricted travel within their respective organizations, the RMEL staff is also looking into options to move our Fall Convention into a virtual format.  Along with that, we will expand the RMEL Auction segment of the Convention by opening the bidding to ALL RMEL MEMBERS AND PARTICIPANTS in a new 100% virtual format. I look forward to keeping you posted on those details soon!  

Please continue to let me know of topics, needs and programs you’d like to see from RMEL. Nothing is off the table. Virtual webinars, roundtables, networking hours, workshops and conferences are all being considered until we get back to our face-to-face events. I often think about what that’s going to look like when we do all get together again, and one thing is for sure: it’s going to be BETTER than it was before because we will continue to develop these virtual options that will complement RMEL’s live events. I sincerely want to thank everyone who continues to assist us and offer your expertise. Thank you! Please stay safe and healthy, everyone!  


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