On March 16, 2020, upon the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, Chamber staff notified just over 40 scheduled community participants that the Strategic Doing training would be cancelled to the full group. The following day, staff held a condensed training with total capacity of 10 as recommended by the CDC. With social distancing and a number of sanitizing procedures in place, the new normal for IMPACT work took effect.
The Chamber staff utilized the modified training of Strategic Doing to learn and imagine an alternative process that could include virtual resident engagement, given the challenges recently introduced that would prevent in-person meetings of 10 or larger. Chamber staff attempted for weeks to gather community input and facilitate dialogue virtually, but many community members expressed their reluctance to participate citing communication difficulties, low preference for the digital environment, and challenges sharing details that were necessary for understanding.
After hearing resident feedback on the virtual process, the Chamber staff, as facilitators of the IMPACT strategic plan, halted community dialogue and sought direction from the board of directors. Crystal presented the information to the board of directors in an open conversation about the status of the IMPACT 2020 Review at the May board meeting. The board of directors unanimously agreed that a delay was inevitable.