Refilling Our Social Capital

Anne Reinke 

BY NOW, YOU all have heard that we are hosting the TIA 2021 Capital Ideas Annual Meeting virtually. While we fervently wished we could be together in-person for this widely attended and hugely popular event, unfortunately, the numbers were not in our favor. While we cannot be together in person, Cindy Amos and her Meetings team is putting together a virtual meeting that we believe you will find valuable, showcasing some voices new to TIA, along with speakers with decades of leadership and management experience.

We understand that there is a lot of “multi-tasking” that occurs during virtual events, which is largely absent during in-person meetings. As a result, we are proposing to just take up a few hours of your time May 11-13 with a series of learning labs, education, networking, and industry thought leaders. We are also planning to highlight our members across the nation, enabling them to tell our membership directly how they have fared through 2020 and why they are committed to TIA. We hope that you will be able turn your attention away from your day job for a few hours, so that you can engage fully in TIA. But if not, you will still receive one-year of on-demand access to recordings of all session with your registration.

As we look at the rest of the year, we’re excited about a return to in-person events but also cognizant that some may not be comfortable or are unable to return to in-person events. Which is why we are planning to make all future TIA meetings hybrid events—featuring both in-person and virtual registration options. The first of these hybrid events will be September 28-29 with the TIA 2021 3PL Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., and the 3PLXTEND Hybrid Xperience taking place October 21-22 in San Antonio, TX.

While the vaccination distribution has been slow, it has been continuous, and as more and more people are vaccinated, we believe that our members will start to feel more confident in attending in-person events, and in thawing their travel freezes. TIA commits to you that when we return to hosting in-person events, they will be conducted first and foremost with the health and safety of our employees and our members in mind. But we also commit to you that we will be together again—we all need to network together, share ideas and best prac-tices together, without the limitations of the computer screen. To paraphrase Billy Baker, who wrote We Need to Hang Out, we need to refill our well of social capital, which COVID has depleted.

A key item for the TIA 2021 Capital Ideas Conference is the election of new Board members, and the re-election of existing Board members to serve another term. We are excited that there is considerable interest from our members in participating and engaging in TIA; your expertise, enthusiasm, and new ideas make the Association a better organization.

As you have seen, the nominations process, as proscribed by the TIA By-Laws, provides that TIA’s full membership must vote on a slate of nominees who will succeed on the Board. We strive for diversity on our Board, in all respects of that word, because we believe our Board can provide the most robust oversight when it represents a wide range of voices.

As you think through your membership with TIA, and are interested in more involvement, though perhaps not yet ready to commit to Board participation, we urge you to participate in one of our many Committees. Those Committees, from the Market Report Committee and Intermodal Logistics Conference, to the Young Executives Committee and Member Services Committee, provide a great snapshot into the industry and into the functioning of TIA. We plan to have a session at the TIA 2021 Capital Ideas Conference to highlight our members’ committee work and the benefits they have seen through their participation.

As always, we appreciate your membership and thank you for all that you do for TIA and the industry.