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2020: A year of learning and growing, unlike any other

APRIL 10, 2023

Dear Moms,

Who would’ve thought that 2020 would bring so many changes to our everyday lives! At the beginning of every year we have new hopes and dreams of what can be—new interests we want to pursue, new ideas and activities. It truly is a time for harnessing that maternal energy to make a positive impact in our family and community.

Many of us checked some of those boxes this year, but maybe in the most unconventional of ways as we navigated living our lives amidst a global pandemic. Some of you thrived as stay-at-home educators to your children, others learned new ways of communicating or doing business, started new family traditions, or participated within your communities in ways you hadn’t before. Some of you realized that asking for help was okay, while others practiced patience or were simply there for someone in need. As one mother said, 2020 felt like the perfect storm!

At American Mothers, we experienced that perfect storm as well. The unexpected departure of our Executive Director in February, followed by news of a global pandemic in March and a cancelled convention in April, forced us to make adjustments to our regularly scheduled programming. However, our National Board of Directors believed that if the selection process for the National Mother of the Year® (which has occurred annually since 1935) could take place during two world wars and a great depression, then it could certainly happen amidst a global pandemic. Good things came as a result. The opportunity to virtually connect with the state Mothers of the Year in our living rooms and home offices made for honest, intimate, and casual conversations—something we plan to continue on an annual basis. The pandemic also reinforced why the Mother of the Year® recognition is so important and why we, as an organization, continue to build on this 85-year-old tradition that elevates and promotes the work of mothers across the country.

In the spring, American Mothers hired a strategic consultant who helped us look at organizational strengths and weaknesses, how we could use the pandemic to our advantage, and what changes we needed to make as we looked at the big picture and the current environment. That was a positive endeavor which led to the hiring of a public relations agency to assist with promoting the Mother of the Year® brand. As members and honorees, you may have noticed some of the new energy in our social media accounts and an intentional move to truly lift up the mothers in our organization.

As we get closer to the end of the year, the decision has been made to hold a virtual convention in 2021. Rest assured, it will be a special and memorable experience and we hope this approach will allow more accessibility for ALL our members and honorees across the country to participate.

As John Maxwell once said, ‘without hope for the future there is no power in the present.’ The mothers in our organization have certainly been an example of hope and power during this perfect storm!

Being a member of American Mothers has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have met a diverse group of phenomenal women from across the country. I have gleaned invaluable knowledge from their wisdom and insight, but more importantly, I have seen the positive impact these mothers are making at home and in their community. This next year it is my hope that American Mothers, with your help, will continue to expand upon this powerful network while continuing to elevate each other as we harness that maternal energy for positive change.

Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season!

Connell Branan
National President, American Mothers
2006 National Young Mother of the Year
president@americanmothers.org

Headshot of Connell Branan National President, American Mothers