What We’re Made Of is a Q&A series that looks at how companies in the aviation industry are tackling challenges brought on by the COVID–19 pandemic. We’ve had to adapt to changes in where, when and how we work, but we are resilient. If you would like to share your experience, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Director, APEX
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Day 29 of working from home
Date of writing: April 15, 2020
Where are you writing from?
Where I usually work… at my kitchen table (I’ve been working at home for 11 years!), with my dog, Lexi, sleeping by my side.
“We are hopeful we will be at APEX EXPO in five months – really the first significant in-person event for our industry after the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
How are you trying to maintain “business as usual” or communicating with your team?
Serendipitously, APEX had just updated our accounts to include Zoom so we can easily interact via video conference. Including a happy hour or two! We continue to utilize other methods of communication – mobile phones, instant messaging and e-mails.
What’s your new office attire or go-to comforts at home during this time?
Business up top – sometimes PJs on the bottom for Zoom calls.
Have you or anyone you know been directly affected by COVID-19?
Thankfully, no. I have a number of friends and family members in healthcare, so hopefully that answer continues to remain the same.
What news outlets are you following?
Does Instagram count? In all seriousness, I focus on legitimate news sources, like the New York Times and industry publications including our very own APEX Daily Experience newsletter!
How are you passing time?
Aside from my APEX duties, my kids are keeping me busy. Recently, we have been playing old school Nintendo: Super Mario Bros 3, which I may be the best player in the world at. True story.
Describe where your business was at the end of 2019. What were your goals/projections for 2020?
APEX was doing well at the end of 2019, especially after such a successful EXPO in the fall of 2019. APEX has excellent financial reserves. As announced recently by APEX president Juha Järvinen, the board is actively monitoring APEX finances and has taken some cost-control measures to ensure our continued success in 2020 and beyond. We are lucky to have a board focused on the big picture and sustainability of our association.
How prepared was your company to instate remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic? Any tips on how to remain productive under these new circumstances?
APEX was well-suited to the work environment change. We have staff all over the country, and world, so we are used to working together while being physically apart.
Can you give an example of generosity or kindness displayed by your company or one of your colleagues during this crisis?
This crisis has made us focus on what is really important. That said, our team is even more understanding and kinder to one another. I am really grateful for my colleagues.
What has your company done to join the efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus?
APEX has taken the CDC and WHO recommendations seriously, and has paused all office working and travel until deemed appropriate.
Where do you see your company or the industry in six months from now? One year?
We are hopeful we will be at APEX EXPO in five months – really the first significant in-person event for our industry after the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. It will be wonderful to see everyone back together, learn from each other’s experiences and compare notes and strategies on how our industry will recover going forward. The new normal will be unusual at first – likely no hugs or handshakes, yet it will be so nice to see members’ friendly faces in person, as opposed to on Zoom.