Outside the office window, trees laden with fresh green leaves and flowers sprinkling the landscape greet me. Cars barrel by and happy birdsong fills the air. It’s hard to believe how much has changed in only a year. Last April, nature was showing off to an empty commuter audience. The convenience store next to the office was more like a ghost town, eerily silent even though the price of gas was at least 25 percent less. People huddled inside and turned to technology to see them through. We worked, studied, cooked, communicated, and shopped all from one place. Home. No one could predict the enormity of the pandemic and its consequences. Everyone wanted to believe it would all be over by summer. In other words, we were completely naïve.
The pandemic tested the world in multiple ways. The media and other talking heads repeated “in these unprecedented times” over and over in the digital, print, and air space. A silent enemy was stalking us, one that was compounded by uncertainty and fear. Covid made us pause and think: how does one conduct their normal lives, both personally and professionally? Obviously, the first priority was keeping our families, friends, and associates safe. Every day, the managers and I received briefings on the health and welfare of the Alliance teams. Secondly was the survival of the business. By working closely with our retailers and manufacturers, we pivoted as needed to meet individual goals, from procurement to processes, and forecasting to fulfillment. Like every other company, Zoom meetings became the glue that held Alliance together. I honestly believe the adversity brought out the best in us. It made us scrappier, more digitally astute, and revealed the everyday heroes who went above and beyond to get the job done. For that, I thank you.
This season takes on a new meaning—for I am prouder than ever of our team. We overcame many challenges during the past year and without a doubt, will be unfazed by whatever hurdle lies ahead. When Covid showed up, we as a company took it head-on. If anything, the past year has made our Alliance associates, partners and retailers better connected, smarter, and stronger. Whatever the future holds, you’ve proven grit and determination always wins. With that said, it feels great to enjoy the promise of a new spring day.
Thank you to our team members, families, clients, and retailers. We stand strong.