Another year in the books! Another great year for CMBA and our team members. Once again, we were blessed to work on great projects with great clients in all our locations. Thinking about the impact our work has on our communities really makes me realize how blessed CMBA is. For that, we have to say ‘thank you’ to all our great clients for the opportunities given to us. It’s humbling to know that our work is extremely valued and sought after. Our team works hard every day to bring their knowledge, expertise, and commitment to seeing our clients’ dreams come to reality.
2021 was definitely an odd and unique year similar to 2020 unfortunately. 2021 saw increased pressures on schedules, increased material pricing, delayed material deliveries, and labor shortages. Thankfully, the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 did not reappear.
Unfortunately, it looks like this COVID thing is not going away anytime soon. I believe the scientists and our human bodies will ultimately determine a way to overcome this virus (and as I type this, the COVID positive cases are spiking again). We’ll get through this; it will just take some more time. We’ve all become accustomed to getting things fixed too quickly – we need to remember ‘patience is a virtue!'
In 2020, CMBA made concentrated efforts to maintain connections with our team members and clients via VPN connections due to the unknown future. In 2021, we made additional investments in technology, making sure our staff had what they needed to work remotely when the need arose. However, COVID also impacted those efforts due to parts and labor shortages for mobile technology devices. Orders made early in 2021, were delayed months and months, with the last of the devices finally showing up in the 4th quarter! I know many of you dealt with the same issues.
2021 has been the year of collaboration for us, a way to bring our team closer together in such a digital world! We invested in technology software to assist with increasing collaboration, sharing knowledge and creating new ways to communicate firm-wide. The first initiative provided our staff a common platform to share information about projects, design ideas, and office life. This allows staff members to learn about projects that happen across the firm and not just in their own office. The knowledge sharing that happens on this platform strengthens our expertise and design leadership, while creating an even more collaborative environment for our team members.
The second initiative provides complete visibility on a corporate scale of the availability of staff and the clear coordination of project schedules going on at one time in all locations. This visibility truly creates a force multiplier for our firm. The ability to create the best project team, no matter the location, brings our clients the best possible experience and project outcome. Both platforms have given CMBA a more optimized team structure and a truly collaborative design outcome.
CMBA welcomed several new team members this year, including: Shelbie DeLaughter, Quinn Lyons, and Skyler McDermott to our Sioux City office; Michael Carlson to our Omaha office; Andres Villegas to our Grand Island office; and Brett Salzwedel and Angela McCaulley to our Spencer office. We are so thankful for their excitement and commitment to CMBA. They all bring unique skills sets, but most importantly, a deep interest in doing great work.
This year has also been a tough one personally for all of us. Unfortunately, we lost a very valued team member, Laurie Gress. Laurie was an integral part of our firm and had been with us for over 35 years as our Office Administrator in Grand Island, Nebraska. Laurie had great attention to detail and was always willing to take on many internal projects for CMBA. She kept the Grand Island office running smoothly while she was with us. We will miss her deeply. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.
2021 has now gone into history, thankfully. It was a challenging year for sure, but with diligent efforts, constantly striving to be better, and adding new expertise and energy, I know CMBA has moved our company forward. 2022 will be another year of refinement and adding depth. CMBA is committed to working hard as we help our clients succeed and create wonderful spaces that impact the world around us.