ISTAT News | Wednesday, March 25, 2020
A Message from President Gerry Butler
Firstly, I hope that you, your family, friends and colleagues are safe, healthy and well. Since we discussed the emergence of COVID-19 at ISTAT Americas, it has now become a pandemic. The speed at which the disease has spread has given us a great deal of concern over our loved ones' well-being. We are learning to understand the meaning of social distancing, communicating from makeshift home offices, dealing with screaming kids while we are on conference calls and general mayhem to what we thought was our daily routine. It has also shuttered borders, international travel and trade. The global economy has virtually shut down and is currently trying to navigate a path forward.
The one thing that has struck me is the importance of air travel to the global economy. While this is currently being played out before our eyes in real time, conversely it does provide me some hope. The reliance of the global economy on air travel is now more highlighted than ever. While the industry and its constituents may change, we have seen its resilience play out in times before and will see that again. These are hard times for everyone but if we rally around like the community we are, then we have a great chance to make this industry not just a survivor but a thriving one again.
I would encourage everyone to take heed of the health notices that are broadcast on the airwaves and adhere to their instructions. The safety and health of our members is of paramount importance to me and everyone on the ISTAT board. However, everyone needs to play their part. I would like to pay my respects to the thankless volunteers and health workers who have put themselves in the firing line of this disease and let’s not forget how lucky we are to have these professionals on the front line.
In times of hardship and duress it is incumbent on humanity to step up for each other. As such, we realize that ISTAT has a role to play in terms of maintaining the ability of its members to network and to be up to date on our industry. We are planning some virtual opportunities as a means to discuss the market or just simply to connect. More information will be shared on those plans soon.
Not everyone will come through this unscathed and as such I want to highlight the ‘Members Between Jobs’ initiative which aims to provide members who are between jobs access to the ISTAT network. After all, this is the time the members need ISTAT the most. I can’t say when the next time is that I will see you at an ISTAT event.
I hope it is in Istanbul in October, but it is simply too early to tell I hope that all of our members, their families, friends and colleagues stay healthy and well. We are in this together and I will see you all soon.
Gerry Butler, ISTAT President