If you’re like me, this year probably had you spending nights re-watching classic movies instead of typical evening social activities. I recently saw one of my favorites: Tom Hanks’ Apollo 13, based on the space expedition of the same name. While the crew didn’t achieve their stated goal, when people look back on Apollo 13, no one views the mission as a failure. They see it as a massive success: people working together to achieve the unthinkable and overcome the greatest odds. The story of Apollo 13 has been on my mind as I reflect on 2020 this holiday season. It has been a year of unthinkable challenges and trials in which we have had to redefine success and our team has banded together to accomplish amazing things, much like that famed mission.
At the end of 2019, Powell and I set three distinct goals. And despite the unexpected hurdles as a result of the global pandemic, we are on track to exceed those goals. None of that would be possible without the hard work of our team members, the trust of our clients, and the loyalty of our community. We take very seriously the work you trust us to do, and we do our best every day to help you improve the way you do business. When I look back on the year, I believe 2020 may just be, to borrow from Apollo 13 flight director Gene Kranz, SRS’s “finest hour”.
“Houston, we have a problem.”
I don’t think I was alone in mid-March when I thought, “Houston, we have a problem.” Just like unlucky 13 in the Apollo mission, for many of us, March 13 was the last day of “normalcy” before a national lockdown.
SRS is a member of an international industry association I-SIGMA, of which I am immediate past president. One of the benefits of membership in this global association is that we had a preview of what to expect from our colleagues in Europe.
We used this intelligence to encourage any team members who could work remote to do so immediately. We also instituted rigorous cleaning and sanitation guidelines for all facilities and equipment, and even resorted to making our own hand sanitizer when stores around us ran out.
Despite the uncertainty and trying times, we continued to live by our motto of “always improving,” sharing our plans and knowledge with our community and industry. Powell led a Thomasville Rotary discussion, and I partnered with Leadership Tallahassee for a virtual “Tallahassee Leads” event in addition to many virtual conferences with industry peers through I-SIGMA.
“Our finest hour”
Early in the pandemic we looked for ways to better support our healthcare clients, many of whom faced the paradox of being on the frontlines of COVID-19 while also facing extreme financial hardships due to the cancellation of elective procedures for many months. In March and April, our team sourced hundreds of thousands of masks for scores of SRS clients working on the front lines of the pandemic.
Even with the difficulties we faced during the first half of the year, SRS has added over 300 clients and expanded into new territory through the acquisition of another family-owned record business in the area.
We are enthused about the talent we have added to support our growing client base, including the addition of Valdosta-native Travis Moss as a Solutions Manager.We also had many team members step up and take on additional responsibilities. Amber Bryant was promoted to Client Services Coordinator and also received the first “Secure Records Spirit” award for her amazing efforts above and beyond. Ronnie Eunice was promoted to Facilities Coordinator, overseeing the entire facility as well as handling driving and other operations duties. And Zac Casteel earned the “Secure Records Spirit” award in October for being the “everyman,” and an essential member for all functions of the company.
Overall, 2020 taught us to be grateful for the simple things and to focus on what really matters in life. We were guided by our values and leaned heavily on our faith to lead us through the darkest times. And as we enter the holiday season, I am thankful for the company we have built, the clients we serve, and the team we go to work with each day. We have exciting plans for 2021 and beyond. As we grow, we are committed to the principles that guided us through this challenging year. We will always work to exceed your expectations and solve your problems with efficiency and innovation. Thank you for trusting us with your records and for these wonderful relationships we’ve developed over the years. We are so grateful.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,
Christopher P. Jones
Partner and Chief Problem Solver