Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, is the former president of the RVIA.
As the global pandemic and its impact on the American people continues to grip the nation, business leaders are utilizing every tool they have assembled in their careers to protect their families, preserve their companies and retain their people. At the same time, management teams are working overtime to find fresh opportunities and fertile ground hidden in these unpredictable and foggy waters.
This column by Frank Hugelmeyer originally appeared in Trade Only Today.
The dangers and open questions we all face are self-evident. How do we and our loved ones remain healthy and safe? How do we manage cash flow and pay bills until the national emergency is lifted and regional economies open back up? How do we protect our employees and customers? Specific to our industry, how will changes in consumer behavior disrupt or benefit recreational fishing and boating and our historical business models? How should we lead and structure our organizations to be relevant and sustainable in a post-pandemic future?
While 2020 current events are unprecedented in modern society, pandemics are not unprecedented in human history or the great outdoors. The last disruptive force occurred in 1918 and killed 675,000 people in the United States. Then, like now, the human toll and economic costs from the Spanish flu were profound, and our national psyche was wounded, but normal life did return and go on.