Its newsletter time again! Where does the time go? It seems like we just sent a
newsletter. Well, there is a lot that went on this month, so let’s get started.
Promotion: This has been in the planning for a number of months now but, as of January 1st of this year, Patt Bowles has been promoted to the position of COO, Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Services. This position is necessary to keep all of the Corporate Services groups aligned and providing their services to each of the offices. This includes Talent Development, HR/Payroll, Cyber Security, Internal IT and Lean/ISO/Legal. These groups will report directly to Patt and her goal will be to help maximize their services. She will work with Talent Development to help realize the goal of a smooth, detailed, and thorough on-boarding process.
She will be instrumental in the balancing of needs between HR/Payroll and Talent Development and will bring in a recruiter to work with Talent Development and HR so Trey can focus on the people and training side of his position. She will oversee Cyber, ISO-Lean-Internal IT as well as Legal, providing them answers to their day to day needs. Patt’s job will be to ensure a smooth relationship between the offices and the Corporate Services team through the COO’s in each office. She will keep the COO’s up to date on coordination between offices so that each office is aware of what help is available and being provided. This change will allow me to concentrate directly with the COO’s, Sales Managers, and Accounting.
COVID19 Update. We have had a number of cases in all of the offices, but it seems to be slowing down this week. I will post an update next week with the totals to date. Currently, we have about 6 people isolating. One positive test confirmed.
Moderna: I am excited to report I have received my first COVID vaccine shot. I received the Moderna vaccine and am thrilled to get it. How you ask? I registered online at Tarrant County website over a month ago and simply answered the questions. No big deal. I didn’t expect to receive it for some time after hearing all of the uproar about the shortages, but Brenda, my wife, and I received a call, text, and an email to be at the convention center between 9am and noon last Thursday to receive the shot, so we cleared the calendars and went.
The county did a masterful job of getting people parked and in line to receive it. It took a little less than one hour from the time we pulled into the lot until we were on our way home. If you want the shot, register as soon as you can. Every county has a registration site like Tarrant County.
By the way, Lone Star has had a number of employees that have received a COVID shot from the hospital they are working in currently. There have also been several that have received their shot, like me, that just signed up. Go get one!
New Vaccines: There are a number of new vaccines coming out over the next few months and if approved, should provide more vaccine so we can get the population vaccinated faster. Johnson and Johnson is submitting one next week to the FDA for emergency use approval. This one is a one dose treatment whereas the others, Moderna and Pfizer, require two doses. The Moderna and Pfizer are both in the 94% efficacy rates and the J & J is around 74%. The best thing is it can be made very quickly, inexpensively, and can be stored in a regular refrigerator. The J & J will last a long time in storge making it the perfect vaccine for rural communities and 3rd world countries. This is a one dose vaccine for now, but it is also being tested with a booster shot a month or more later to see if the booster, like the Moderna and Pfizer, will give it an even greater efficacy. With a booster, its efficacy could be as high as the others.
Because it is so important to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, the CDC may ask the FDA to approve giving only the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer now, and delay the second dose until the majority have received at least one shot. That way, all of the vaccines being shipped can be used rather than being stored for the second dose. The efficacy rate for the Moderna and Pfizer are in the 80% range with only the one dose, so that being the case, I will gladly step aside so everyone can get their first doses. There seems to be some evidence that taking the second shot some months later may be better anyway. So much is still unknown, but they are learning more every day. Please let me know if you have any questions about this, I am happy to share what I know and my sources of information.
That’s all for now, here’s an update of the SPC Annual Meeting held last week.
Strategic Planning Meeting: The 2021 Annual SPC meeting took plan January 27th and 28th. We met off-site so we could have a room big enough to physically space apart and have enough air flow to keep us COVID safe. We wore masks and used hand sanitizer regularly to make it even safer. This was our best meeting so far where we made long term plans and agreed on the initiatives we would work on for Quarter 1 of 2021. I asked Josh Hiett, who oversees the SPC, to detail some of the outcomes for you.
Strategic Planning Committee update: Last week, the SPC (Strategic Planning Committee) met together to take a look at our long-term trajectory and decide what our areas of focus should be for the coming year. One of the ways we do this is to set annual priorities that will require effort from all parts of the company to achieve. We use these priorities to guide our planning and we check in on their progress weekly to make sure we are on track. This year’s priorities include two new initiatives and two continuing from last year:
Professional Services Business Plan and Market Analysis – As we have prepared for the new challenges that come with Responder Enterprise, we have found some additional solutions that we can offer to our customers. This year, Justin Bailey will lead the initiative to develop a plan for how best to bring these services to market and deliver the most value to our customer. The current focus in the areas of IT and consulting, but we will be looking into other potential fields as we research.
Acquisitions Playbook – To reach our long-term company goals, we are going to need to continue to grow our territory, which means bringing more companies into the Lone Star family. To help this go as quickly and smoothly as possible, Jennifer Mahan will lead the charge to put together a playbook and transition team to ensure we gather all the right information and train with the most effective methods. As we prepare for this, we also want to learn from our triumphs and our missteps in previous acquisitions, so we will be looking back a few years to see what we did well and where we can improve.
Rising Star Continuation – This year, Trey Meador will continue to lead our Rising Star employee development program. As in previous years, this program will have many areas and projects, but some of the major planned initiatives include rollout of a role delineation plan to provide clear paths of advancement for employees and identifying Culture Champions in each location to ensure voices in all areas of the company are being heard.
Recurring Revenue/Subscriptions – Marquis Woodard will continue leading the push toward offering products to our customers through subscription and other recurring revenue methods. By having the ability to deliver our products in multiple financial packages, we give our customers the ability to choose the plan that best fits their needs and restrictions. This will provide us with a more predictable stream of revenue while also allowing us to serve as many communities as possible.
In addition to setting these priorities, we also revisited, and made adjustments to, other areas of the One Page Strategic Plan that is posted around the offices. Among other things, we looked at the company SWT analysis, 3-year targets and thrusts, BHAG, cashflow strategies, Quarterly Rocks, and the annual company theme. Look for additional updates in the coming weeks, and if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to talk to your director, to me, or to any of the other members of the SPC.
I am excited with the direction we are heading and I’m looking forward to an outstanding year! Joshua Hiett
-Ray Bailey, President