It’s newsletter time again. Wow, the month goes by so quickly with all that is going on. There is a lot of activity: activity in new sales, activity in the planning committee, activity in the ISO group, activity on projects, you name it; we are busy with activity. The sales have been brisk. To date, the sales teams in all offices have booked more than $27.5 million of new business. Our projection for April was $21.5 million and for May, $27 million. We have already eclipsed the May goal and we are working toward making the June goal before the end of May. This is a great economy, and it is a good time to be in business. As I mentioned in my email Friday, the forecast is for the economy to do very well over the next couple of years and this is just the beginning. Also as mentioned, Dr. Kuehl’s Economic & Integration Market Outlook-1.M4V video is available on the R drive, in Teams, and added to our LMS as well.
Vaccine. Well, we are finally getting many people vaccinated and seeing signs of recovering from the pandemic. With 247 million shots administered in the US to date, we have given 74 shots per 100 people or about 32% of the US population has received two doses and another 24% have received at least one shot. Teenagers may be eligible soon too. This is reprinted from the US Chamber of Commerce 5/4/21 issue:
Discover & Deliver: Teenagers May Soon Get Vaccinated
Just four and a half months after the first COVID-19 vaccine was authorized in the U.S., over 56% of the U.S. population over the age of 18 has received at least one dose.
While the speed and scale of the vaccine rollout in the U.S. has been among the best in the world, experts caution we may soon reach a tipping point where we have vaccinated everyone who was eager to receive the vaccine.
As the administration ups its “ground game” to get the vaccine to hard-to-reach communities and states rollout creative solutions to reach hesitant populations, a new group may soon be able to receive the vaccine: teenagers.
What’s new: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is set to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in 12 to 15-year old adolescents early next week. The expected authorization follows Pfizer’s announcement that the Phase 3 trial in adolescents “demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses.”
What’s more, yesterday Novavax announced it will expand its Phase 3 study to include 3,000 12 to 17-year old adolescents. The “dark horse” two-dose Novavax vaccine has already proven to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 protection in adults.
Both developments are aptly timed as COVID-19 cases have skewed younger as larger percentages of older populations are increasingly fully vaccinated.
Why it matters: Americans across the country are eager to return to normal. But perhaps that is the truest of our nation’s pandemic-fatigued parents who have balanced remote work, virtual schooling, and childcare, all while living through the worst public health threat in recent memory.
Hopefully, the recent vaccination news will soon give parents the dose of relief they very much need.
–Kelly Anderson, Senior Director, Health and Drug Policy, Global Innovation Policy
This is really good news. People are ready to get back to normal and, though we aren’t quite ready to take our masks off, we are getting close. Another couple months and things will be very close to back to normal and this news to cover teenagers makes it even more likely. The US was a little slow to respond to the pandemic, but we have made up for lost time in the development of vaccines and getting shots in arms. We are all ready for this to be over.
PSA Conference. I attended the PSA conference this week and happy to see PSA is still very cautious. They had 250 people show up though they had planned for 500. I didn’t plan to attend in person this year, but was invited to attend Bill Bozeman’s retirement ceremony, so this was a last-minute trip for me. PSA did a good job of making people feel comfortable by keeping chairs and tables apart and giving everyone name tag straps in green, yellow and red. Green if you are comfortable shaking hands, yellow if you would prefer not to shake hands and red to indicate that you should keep you distance. Most people had a green strap and most wore masks as well. Everyone appeared excited to see people, but there were a number with yellow, still playing it safe, and a few with red keeping their distance but still talking to each other. PSA even gave us a facemask and hand sanitizer as we registered so I felt safe in the environment. 500 people would have been less comfortable, I think. We had 5 employees attend the event remotely as well.
Top 100 Places to Work. Lone Star has been entered into the competition of Top 100 Places to Work in America. This has been a favorite project of Patt Bowles, and she has led the effort each time we have competed. For those of you that were here at the time, we won the Top Places to work in DFW in 2016. We competed again in 2018, but the group only recognized the top 50 and we were 64th on the list. With our Emplify scores consistently above 86%, we should have a good shot again. This time is different though. This is not just Dallas - Ft Worth; this is the entire United States. This would be a big honor to receive this recognition and it would be fun to put that on our trucks, website, and email footers in our 30th year in business. We are over 70% response rate, but we need closer to 90% to even be considered. We have until this Sunday, May 9th when the survey closes, but Patt has asked me to encourage you to do it now so you don’t forget. If you have not received your email from Energage, let Patt know at email@example.com and she will get you one.
That’s all for now. We have a good year going as I mentioned above. Thanks for all you do for Lone Star. We can’t do this without each and every one of you! Ray
-Ray Bailey, President