Friends and colleagues, I heard an interesting statistic earlier this month from our fearless leader, Scott Stuart, CEO TMA Global. During the first six months of the pandemic the community of TMA Chapters held over 300 events. This compares with 190 events during the same six month period in 2019. What does this say about the leadership of this organization? It says that the Big Tent’s mantra to “pivot with purpose” were not just words. This mantra, these words, were indeed acted upon -- and were they ever! Our Global leaders, and the leadership in our Chapters have stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park. During a time when we could not travel or meet in person, the leaders of this organization got creative and figured out how to bring our members together more than ever to learn and to network. 300 events – speaks volumes about the drive, commitment, and creativity of this organization. Bringing this home to Philadelphia/Wilmington, I want to tip my cap to our leaders, specifically Ron Gellert, VP of programming, Rachel Mauceri and Melissa Martinez, co-chairs of our NOW division, and Matt Arden, chair of our Nextgen division for pivoting with purpose and orchestrating a number of fabulous events and programs over the first nine months of 2020. 
While I am heralding our programming efforts, I want to take a moment to remind everyone about a few upcoming programs. Since it is election season, and our politicians have done so poorly at their debates, we thought it would be fun to show what a Great Debate looks like. We are hosting a Zoom program on November 5 that includes three 20-minute debates, with our main event pitting our two favorite Kevins - former Judge Carey versus former Judge Gross! It promises to be both educational and entertaining; and I expect a few low blows may be delivered, particularly during our second bout! Next up, we have a terrific wine tasting event scheduled for November 12 with the Stag’s Leap Winery folks. This promises to be a spirited event with truly fantastic wine. The wines are so good that the Chapter is subsidizing this event to keep the cost low for our members. If you haven’t registered, please do so soon as it is sure to sellout! Lastly, since we will not be able to hold our very popular holiday event this year, please keep a watchful eye for the creative, alternative, virtual party that our leaders are busy organizing for mid-December, which will benefit one of our favorite charitable organizations! It is sure to provide a memorable cap on what has been perhaps the most challenging year of our lives.
I would be remiss, if I did not mention the Impact 2020 event of earlier this month, and give a huge shout-out to the Global leadership -- which incidentally is chock full of our Chapter’s leaders and former leaders. Year in and year out our “Annual” is one of the most valuable conferences in our industry, with educational and networking events that are second to none. This year, of course, it was virtual. There were no hugs and handshakes for colleagues, no dinners, no cocktail receptions; but wait, there were no lines, no flight delays, no travel expenses, and no bed bugs! I digress. The conference was, in a word – fantastic! The educational content was, once again, first class, and the numerous networking opportunities were creative and worthwhile. I tipped my hat earlier to our Chapter’s leadership; and I hate to be repetitive, but I must tip my hat, once again, to the leadership of Global for putting together a conference that truly exceeded my expectations. I hope that many of you were able to participate.       
In closing, I invite all of you to reach out to me and/or the other leaders of the Chapter and express your interest in getting involved in one of our numerous Committees and the leadership of our Chapter. This is the time of year that we begin the process of reconstituting our Committees and leadership for next year, so now is the time to step forward, get involved, and expand your business network. Be well / stay safe everyone!