If 2020 has taught us anything is that we must embrace change.
Philosophy was born out of the Mycenaean culture’s downfall to a combination of war, famine, and disease. It was a crucial factor in the dawn of Western philosophy. Significant advancement usually needs a catalyst to transition. It is necessary to evaluate old ways to change and to produce new ones.
The pandemic has affected all of us in varying degrees —the loss of lives and economic impact has been grave—the psychological and emotional toll it has taken on us has been, without a doubt, intense. Amongst the misfortunes, I hope this year was a catalyst for change and progress in at least some aspects of your life.
Covid forced us to stop, reflect, and re-evaluate. As a result, change has been the only constant in most of our lives this past year. There came the point when I decided that I must make the most of a dire situation and embrace the change and uncertainty. I initiated changes in all aspects of my life. It wasn’t a linear progression, though; I took several steps back before I started to see some positive growth. When I look at our company’s trajectory, we were headed towards disastrous numbers in the Spring due to the mandatory shutdowns. As a result, we were forced to shift our focus. We decided to focus on distribution channels that we could have engaged in years ago but didn’t due to lack of time, complacency, and comfort. Covid-19 was the catalyst to embrace the fear and uncertainty and dive into unchartered waters. We poured all of our extra time, love, and energy into new endeavours.
Although we ended 2020 still short of our targets, I am happy to say that we are ending 2020 with some significant accomplishments; after 20 years in business, we rebranded and restructured our company into three divisions. We developed and launched our e-commerce platforms and increased our product offering to North American consumers. I am incredibly grateful for my team’s dedication to ensuring our company’s survival. Our staff, partners in Montreal and Vancouver consistently went above and beyond, and without their commitment and attitudes, we could not have accomplished what we did this year.
In my personal life, 2020 had some positive impacts as well. The slow down gave me more quality time with my loved ones. Being 100% present for my kids as they navigated their way through the pandemic, constant media messaging, school shutdowns, and homeschooling. Being there to help them process their feelings and find ways to escape the fear and uncertainty surrounding us compelled me to better connect with them and my partner.
As the year came to a close, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation granted us the opportunity to provide 450 Christmas gift boxes for all the residents of the Hellenic Home for the Aged. The gift of hope and the gift of Christmas into the hands of the residents was priceless. My father spent the last two years of his life there. I can’t imagine my father not having the joy of seeing his family the way these residents can’t today. To be able to be a part of bringing some joy into these senior’s lives was priceless. It is a reminder of what’s essential in life. It is a trying time for our elders, far more than it is for us. More than ever, we must take care of our elders.
As we enter the new year, I urge you to stay positive and move with confidence. Change is necessary, and we will overcome this virus together. We have technology and medicine on our side. The rollout of the vaccines will help us return to a more normal state, hopefully by summer. And hopefully, we can experience another version of the roaring ’20’s, a century after the original. The Spanish flu was the catalyst to a beautiful era of economic prosperity and carefree living.
A big thank you to our customers, friends, and followers for your trust and supporting local businesses and to our suppliers for staying the course with us. We couldn’t have survived without you.
We hope we were able to bring some joy into your lives during these trying times. We look forward to serving you in 2021.
I wish you all health, prosperity, and continued success for 2021.
President, KOLONAKI Group