Ever since we emerged from the COVID-19 wave of cases in Texas, we have been asked many, many times: “When can we get back together”. Our response has always been given in two parts: 1) we’re not sure and 2) we will return to in-person meetings following the recommended guidelines provided by public health experts.
So, I’m very excited to share that we are starting with a Mid-Morning Mixer on Friday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m. at the Round Rock Sports Center outdoor pavilion. It is free to attend for chamber investors – thanks to sponsors, Richards Rodriguez & Skeith law firm and Texas Disposal Systems.
One might ask, “Jason, does this mean that we are returning to a ‘normal’ event schedule?” In short, no. We will be following safety recommendations like mask wearing, changing how we serve food and drink, and will be starting with a few, smaller gatherings. We will walk before we run and we will continue to observe mask and social distance recommendations.
Still, we hope chamber investors will be excited to know that we are cautiously adding in a few opportunities to gather in person as safely as possible in the coming weeks. Some of our leadership development programs have already begun to return to in-person formats and we are making plans now for an in-person gathering for Momentum investors. Earlier this month, our board met for an in-person planning retreat – marking the first time we met in person since February.
If conditions change, if coronavirus spread increases, we will again return to greater reliance on virtual methods of gathering. In fact, conditions are still likely to evolve. When they do, we will respond. The chamber is a community institution. Part of our mission is the betterment of the entire community of Round Rock and the region through economic growth. As such – we are doing our utmost to pursue those ends and serve our investors, while simultaneously exercising caution in the environment we create for attendees. We still need to be cautious, and we will exercise caution.
Several months ago I wrote in one of these columns that I do not believe we need to choose between economic prosperity and safety. Rather, we need to carefully pursue both in balance. This is our way forward until a vaccine is approved and widely available. Our country need not view the coronavirus response as a limited choice between only two options. The recommendations of both economists and the public health experts is that rather than diametrically opposed options, public health and the economy are inextricably linked.
So please join us November 20. Or, look for one of our upcoming events to attend. Like so many of you, I’ve spent more time staring at faces on my computer screen than I ever thought possible. I’m ready to see you – even from behind a mask.