As we establish good practices to stay connected during these challenging times, we are expanding a program that we started a year ago with some of our board members on the West Coast.
First, some background on how we developed our "town hall call" program. At the suggestion of Joe Phair, Coast Guard Foundation trustee and resident of San Francisco, we hold regularly scheduled conference calls with all board members from California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Given the vast distance between us, a simple phone call serves as a great opportunity to bring this part of our family together—no video, no screens, no slideshow -- just the telephone.
The calls follow a simple format: an update on Coast Guard operations from local leadership and a report from the Foundation senior leadership team. Never longer than an hour, we connect every quarter to communicate these updates, ask questions, and share how everyone is doing.
The first call of 2020 took place on April 17, and we invited some regional supporters to join our meeting to create a touch of connection that we are all seeking during this time of isolation.
Vice Admiral Linda Fagan, Commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, and Command Master Chief Heath Jones, CMC of the Pacific Area, were our guests, and they shared how the coronavirus is impacting Coast Guard members and their families. Susan Ludwig, President, and Brad Sisley, Senior Vice President, shared their perspective on Coast Guard Foundation operations and programs, both in meeting demands of the Coast Guard during this challenging time and for our traditional mission support like scholarships, grants, and wellness programs.
The feedback has been very positive, and we look forward to continuing the program and offering more calls across the country that cover an array of topics and themes. Who knew that what started as a simple call to connect a region regularly would be so needed during this moment of separation? We are definitely #BetterTogether.