With each passing day, it has become clearer that face to face meetings of The FENG are not going to be happening any time soon.
At the beginning of time itself, when The FENG consisted of only the Westport Chapter and was only about 50 members, some folks in Philadelphia got wind of the fact that we were sharing job leads over my AOL account daily and asked to listen in. At first, I was not really open to their joining our distribution. After all, how could they possibly come to Westport for our meetings every two weeks? Their solution was that they started their own in person meetings. This made perfect sense and changed my perspective of what we were trying to accomplish.
Around 1999 (yes, I know this is beginning to sound like a fairy tale), Bruce Lynn (Co-Chair of The FENG) suggested we start a Treasury Special Interest Group, Treasury being his area of expertise.
As you all know, we now have 85 Chapters and 35 Special Interest Groups. And, for many years this structure has made perfect sense.
Initially, I never thought that Special Interest Groups would meet face to face. That was not their purpose. And, under the heading of “glad they didn’t ask me,” our Chair for the Asset Management SIG, realizing that most of the SIGs members were in New York City, scheduled a meeting. Several of our SIGs meet in New York City now (or used to), Banking and Not-for-Profit being the two that come to mind tonight. And, they have been wiring in folks from around the country through a call in number. (How 15 minutes ago.)
So now that we’re in a situation where we can’t meet face to face, what should we do? Once again, thank goodness no one asked me. Your very inventive and hard-working area chairs have been scheduling Zoom meetings!
Zoom seems to be the platform of choice. And just as in 1996 (around the time Al Gore invented the Internet), I seized on distributing our job leads by email (a new technology at the time), today in 2020 we have several platforms for virtual meetings.
I want you to know that earlier today, Bruce Lynn upgraded his Zoom account and acquired 10 licenses for us. Marty Latman (Co-Chair of The FENG), always a cutting edge guy, has already been running Zoom meetings for several weeks. He says it works and he likes it, so we are going all in.
To a degree, we are going to be throwing off the yoke of our chapter and SIG structure and its limitations. Thanks to our hard working area chairs, we have a huge number of relationships out in the world who can provide job search related educational opportunities for all of you. Our “temporary” move to Zoom meetings may even be a better draw for many of these folks since we will be providing them with a national platform and larger audiences.
So, welcome to the future. It is unacceptable to be “deer in the headlights.”
Read through the meeting announcements in this newsletter. You are all cordially invited to attend any and all virtual meetings. Squeeze as many as you can into your schedule.