By Mr. Jeffrey Paniati P.E posted 17 days ago

So much has changed in the world, the United States, and within ITE in the last month, it is hard to know where to begin. COVID-19 is having a devastating human and economic toll. Things are evolving and changing so rapidly, much of what I write now in April will likely be rendered meaningless when you read this in May. So I will try to focus my thoughts around ITE and how we are reacting to events at-hand and continue to bring value to our members.

ITE staff moved into fully remote operations on Wednesday, March 18. This process was aided by our existing telework policy and the experience that most of our staff had in working remotely, at least occasionally. However, as I’m sure many of you have experienced, working remotely full-time and maintaining social distance with family at home is a much different environment. For others who are alone, it can be quite isolating. We have all had to try to adjust to our new normal. We recognize the different situations
our employees find themselves in and are working to provide a supportive environment that works for each individual.

From a business standpoint, we are bringing a business-as-usual mentality to a situation that is anything but usual. That means not just working remotely, but adapting our business practices to this new environment and implementing new practices to compensate for the lack of physical contact. Technology has been key. Like many of you, we are relying heavily on tools like Go-To-Meeting, Zoom, and Slack, etc. The videoconference features on these tools have helped create a personal connection that is not possible via email, text, or even voice.

We are working hard to continue to support our International, District, Section and Chapter leadership. An early focus was on helping people navigate through meeting cancellations and postponements. We are now shifting our attention to helping local leadership use these virtual tools to assist members in connecting at a distance. With the support from the Coordinating Council leadership and volunteers, we continue to advance a wide range of technical products and professional development opportunities.

We are also working with our International Leadership to bring information and resources to help you understand and react to what is happening. The e-Community is one such resource for insightful discussions and posts. I am trying to add helpful information and articles, not only on the immediate impacts of COVID-19, but on what some of the lasting effects might be.

We have created our new ITE Virtual Drop-In sessions to help fill the void of professional networking, allowing members to engage on interesting topics. I encourage you to volunteer to convene a discussion, sign up for a session, or check out a recording. We will also be doing longer form engagement, such as our Big Data/Data Analytics
Brainstorming Series, designed to fill the void that was created when similar sessions planned for the District Annual Meetings had to be cancelled.

This is new territory for all of us. As we work hard to adapt to our new “abnormal,” if there is something we can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or one
of the ITE staff. We wish you and your family good health. As always, you can find me at or on Twitter: @JPaniatiITE.