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A Note From Connect Leadership

by Kristina Elizondo
Clearing the Cache

Let’s clear the 2020 cache. We don’t want to forget everything we learned this year, but we can sure use the opportunity to refresh for 2021. Like every other company, we started the year with some clear ideas of what we wanted to accomplish in 2020. Well, were we in for a surprise. By mid-March, everything we had planned for was up for review. As the CEO, I was not ready to admit defeat and start the grim exercise of adjusting the budget. It quickly became apparent that 2020 was not going to give in, and survival mode kicked in.

At an early age, my parents taught me when you make your mind treat every negative situation as a lesson to learn, you will have a joyous life. My parents and I were all raised in Texas, so maybe it came from a country-western song. Perhaps they learned it from Willie Nelson, who said, “once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” You can’t always change what happens to you, but you can change how you respond to the situation. I have to admit, some of this sounds like clichés or makes me sound like Pollyanna but by the end of April, I had to work hard to change my response to life events. I was mad at what was happening in the world. I was depressed. I was lonely, and I missed my friends and family. Like many of you, I took up a new hobby. I started a succulent garden. I did the “30 days of Yoga with Adrienne” on YouTube. In July, my dog nearly died. I started to backslide into the negative but chose to believe and renewed my faith. I am happy to say our Chief Canine Officer, Holly Peno survived and is still a contributor at Connect.

As for the user group, we have become more vital this year. In July, we hosted a virtual meet-up for the chapters. We, unfortunately, had to cancel our annual in-person event scheduled for November in San Francisco. The NonStop Technical Boot Camp became a virtual event. We typically have 400 people at this event. When the TBC became virtual, we had over 2,000 attendees from across the globe participate. Success comes with a price, so we had to cap the registration, but people unable to register can now view the content on NonStopTBC.com, and our membership has grown by over 1,000 new members this year.

While we prefer to meet in person, we are grateful we can meet virtually through the support of HPE and our partner community. Our community, which includes customers, partners, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is more relevant than ever. Whether it be across the globe or the HPE portfolio, this year encouraged us to be more engaged with each other. The same technologies criticized for interfering with developing personal relationships have kept us together in 2020. Thank you for helping our community thrive. Happy New Year!

Kristina Elizondo
CEO, Connect Worldwide


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