In the early days of starting Roompact back in 2013, I always told myself:
One day at a time. Just make a little bit of progress every single day, and after a while, those little increments of progress will compound into something great. Just keep moving forward.
Throughout 2020, I had to remind myself of that quite often. It was a difficult year for all of us. But we’ve nearly made it through. I was thankful to see many “self-care” messages and social media postings throughout the year. They were little reminders that during a global pandemic, whatever you’re able to get done today is enough.
Now, let’s take a look back to Roompact’s 2020…
It seems like the vast majority of organizations shifted to a “remote work” model in March or April of 2020. At Roompact, we caught a lucky break. Pandemic aside, we had planned on going fully remote in February, so we were prepared for the worldwide shift in working practices. You may have noticed that our mailing address changed to a Delaware address — that’s because we now use a “virtual mailbox” that scans and forwards our mail to the relevant team member here.
I’ve said many times that even though I haven’t worked as a practitioner in Student Affairs, I consider myself to be a Student Affairs professional. The majority of my career has been rooted in Student Affairs, and I’m deeply passionate about our work in the field. For Roompact to achieve greatness, it’s important for our entire company to share this passion. So, we’ve “leaned in” on our passion for Student Affairs by shaping our team accordingly. The latest addition to our team, Patrick Cunningham, previously worked in Student Affairs and is an experienced software engineer. It’s not common to find that combination of experience!
Speaking of software, our big technical project for the year was what we’ve called our “term transition” project. We gave our back-end data systems a complete overhaul to allow for date-based assignments and locations in Roompact. This was a difficult, intricate project, but now that it’s done, our software processes will be much smoother. Think of it like a city finally deciding to give their infrastructure a complete overhaul — it might be time consuming and expensive in the short term, but in the long term, it strengthens the backbone of that city.
And finally, we were fortunate to add even more clients to the Roompact family this year. If I could tell myself how many people would be using Roompact’s software 8 years ago, I probably would have fainted. The “software geek” in me still gets giddy whenever I think of people — hundreds of thousands of them — finding value in and using our software. That’s why I started Roompact. What a joy it is. We’re so grateful for all of our clients. Thank you.
With the ongoing positive vaccine news, we’re hopeful to get back on the road and see you all at conferences and on-campus visits sooner rather than later. Interacting with you all in person is so energizing and adds vital context and support to our day-to-day operations at Roompact. We’re a relationships-focused company, and this pandemic really reminded us how much we appreciate seeing you all in person. We can’t wait to get back into the swing of things
Our most notable effort for 2021 is our plan to become a Certified B Corporation. In Student Affairs, we often talk about “global citizenship”. At Roompact, we believe that global citizenship responsibilities are as important for corporations as they are for humans. Corporations must be exceptional stewards of our global community and the environment. We’ve always operated with these things in mind, and we can’t wait to raise the bar even further and codify them into our operations. If you’re unfamiliar with B Corps, you can learn more about them here.
Once more, I send my deepest gratitude to all of our clients. We couldn’t do what we do without your support and your confidence in what we’re doing. You all are so, so important to us. Our field in particular has struggled with COVID-related issues, so please let us know if there’s anything at all that we can do to help. We’re all struggling a bit right now, but we’re in this together as a community. We will do whatever we can to help. On a final note, here’s an excerpt from an open letter we published for Residence Life Professionals in early 2020. These sentiments still ring true today:
We see you.
We see you working overtime to figure things out as best you can.
We see you rolling up your sleeves and trying to piece together some sort of “virtual community.”
We see you adapting and adjusting to this once-in-a-century predicament. And we’re impressed.
Your work is important to your residents. It’s important to your community. And, day by day, you’re making things better in the world. This is why we founded a Student Affairs company. It’s why we’re proud to work with Residence Life Professionals every day. Your work matters. And we have the pleasure of trying our best to support you.