March 19, 2020. This is the date we planned to join hundreds of community leaders, business professionals, elected officials and development partners from across the region for the highly-anticipated “State of the Base.”

The Chamber office was closed the Thursday and Friday before attending the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ annual staff conference in Alpharetta with counterparts from across our state. The tone of this conference was unlike any we’ve previously attended. Dozens of no-shows because of concern about the “coronavirus,” and the conference schedule was altered both days so we could livestream the governor’s press conferences. That Friday, we spent the entire drive home on the phone with event sponsors, base officials, and others involved in the event preparations to determine next steps.

In the days that followed, we postponed the State of the Base along with numerous other events in hopes that a brief pause would be all that was required before we could resume activity as usual. Boy, were we wrong! We kept holding out hope for State of the Base to be our first in-person event post-COVID, but soon realized that a gathering of this size wasn’t something we could just “snap back” to.

That said, as the largest industrial complex in the state of Georgia, it is no secret that the state of Robins Air Force Base has a major impact on our area’s economy and quality of life. Being “home” to Robins Air Force Base is also a point of pride for our community as RAFB missions support our warfighters at home and across the globe. Gathering 400+ people in person to share this important annual update is impractically optimistic; but our base has a good news story to share, and we wanted to fulfill our mission to bring the business community together to hear it.

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with all of our original panelists for their presentations, and we are very excited to bring the content of our first (and hopefully only) Virtual State of the Base directly to you. We will premiere this virtual event on Wednesday, June 24 at 10:00 am. I want to say a special “thanks” to Morris Bank and all of our military and supporting sponsors for helping us make this and all of the other content we’ve created over the past three months possible by continuing to invest in the mission of the Chamber so we can take care of business. Please continue to show your support for Robins AFB and the Chamber by supporting this time-honored tradition, and we hope to see you soon. You can register & learn more below!