Kevin Snyder


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Between the Lines March 2021 Newsletter

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“Virtually Speaking…” 

Another casualty of the pandemic has been the 2021 Leadership and Legislative Seminar. We simply couldn’t come up with a place to have an L&L, even if we delayed it into May. So we had to pretty much scrub the idea. But then someone came up with the idea of conducting a Virtual L&L using Microsoft Teams. We had a state officer’s meeting and discussed it and the Virtual L&L was born.

Some of you were able to participate in it, which took place on January 30th and 31st. We held nine one hour workshops (five on Saturday and four on Sunday) live using Microsoft Teams videoconferencing software.

While some of it may have been a little rough around the edges, overall it worked a lot better than I was hoping. Having never done anything like this before, to say we weren’t sure of what we were doing would be an understatement. But the presenters did an outstanding job of putting together workshops that were very well received. The session organizers (the person behind the scenes assisting the presenter with the technical side of the video feed) did very well, and everyone in the audience seemed to be adapting well to this new digital world.

If you want to see any of the presentations, we have them all available on Youtube now. They are not perfect, some of us forgot to hit the record button until we were five minutes in. But we’ve got them up there! You’ll have to shoot me an email asking for the L&L links and I will send you a document containing them. Also, thanks go out to Mark Barr of the Westmoreland chapter for actually setting them all up on Youtube.

We all learned a lot putting it on, and we’re still learning how to use some of the new digital technology out there. Virtual meetings have become routine, and the idea of virtual workshops is now another tool in our toolbox. By the time you read this we’ll have had a virtual workshop for the state officers going over some of the possibilities in the new system, and there will be a virtual board meeting before the actual board meeting to discuss the budget.

Watch this space, because even though we can’t wait for the pandemic to be in our rear view mirror, the tools we adopted and learned to use to help us deal with it are going to be a permanent part of our future.