Important message from Jon Vander Ark

Air Travel & Group Meetings

March 13, 2020

Effective 3/16/20, group meetings are limited to 10 attendees or fewer, aligning with revised CDC guidance.

Republic Team,

I hope you all had a chance to watch Don’s video. As he mentioned, the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is evolving rapidly. We are continuously evaluating how to ensure we’re doing the right thing for our employees, customers, and communities. As an essential service for this nation, we need to make sure our people are taken care of so that we can collectively take care of those we serve. Your safety is our number one priority, and it’s at the forefront of every decision we make.

In an abundance of caution for your health and well-being, we have made the following decisions:

  • Effective immediately, work-related air travel is suspended until April 12. This means employees should cancel or postpone all currently scheduled or planned work-related airplane reservations taking place in the next 30 days. Exceptions to this short-term policy will be approved by the Executive Vice President overseeing your function.
  • Employees should not host or attend internal or external work-related meetings or events with more than 25 attendees until April 12. This includes safety banquets, town halls, training programs, etc.
  • We will be cancelling, rescheduling or going virtual with several company meetings and events and will provide further details about those changes.
  • All Headquarters trainings are suspended until April 12. Area and BU-level trainings will require the approval of Area Presidents until further notice.

We recognize this may pose a challenge to maintain “business as usual” practices, but these are unusual times and require us to adapt and work differently. During the 30-day period, we will continue evaluating the situation and providing additional updates. In the meantime, we encourage you to use the collaboration tools and technology available to you. For example, if you need to set up a video conference, conference call line or WebEx account so your team can collaborate virtually, please submit a Service Now (SNOW) ticket and IT will help you.

We will also be following up with further communication on actions and short-term policies we are putting in place for specific functions and roles. If you have special circumstances or concerns, please reach out to your supervisor or manager.

As Don mentioned, our emergency preparedness and business continuity team has been working behind the scenes for many weeks since the COVID-19 first became a concern, and I can assure you we are prepared to face this challenge. I know everything that is happening in the world can feel unsettling.  I also know our team will pull together, rise to the challenge, and serve our customers and communities when they need us most.

Be safe,

Jon