Academy Becomes Latest Casualty of Pandemic

Dave Kilby

For me and probably for many of you, March through June has been the longest year of my life and, unfortunately, I’m not optimistic that the next six months will be much better.

Let’s go back to that word OPTIMISTIC.

I was, for many months THE optimist in the room and was holding out hopes that things would get better and we would be able to have Academy in Sacramento “as close to normal as possible.”

Ready to Go

We were prepared to follow ALL protocols with masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing and holding our classes in much larger rooms in the Hyatt ballroom for everyone’s safety.

When people asked, “Are you going to have Academy this year?” my response was always, “Yes, unless the government (Governor) or the Hyatt closes us down.”

Late on the afternoon of Friday, June 26, we received word from the Governor’s office that we would NOT be able to have Academy.

Upon hearing this news, my emotions raced from disbelief to disappointment (with a little anger thrown in), but then quickly changed to concern for everyone’s safety and rationalizing that the Governor’s decision was probably the right course of action.

To all of our Academy attendees and their chambers, I sincerely apologize for this huge inconvenience and setback for your professional development. Of course, we’ll be making refunds of all registration fees.

Just like the Summer Olympics, Academy will be back in full force in August 2021.

Looking Ahead

Our immediate attention and, frankly, our worries are now focused on the February 2021 conference, which is also slated to be here in Sacramento. I’ll be honest, I’m not so sure what to think about what the future holds or what this pandemic will throw at us next.

February will be here before we know it. We will try to stay optimistic and are hoping for a “normal” face-to-face event. We all know, however, that hope is not a plan, so armed with a “the show must go on” mindset, we must and will investigate all of our options, including the possibility of going virtual.

I hope our paths cross soon. Until then, try to stay optimistic, stay safe and stay strong.

Dave Kilby is president and CEO of W.A.C.E. and executive vice president of corporate affairs at the California Chamber.