President's Message - Thank One, Thank All

Kirk Hendrix

In crafting these President’s Messages, I try to identify topics that AAA members might find value in.  This particular message was written and submitted for publication April 30, a time when America and Indiana were still very much in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic.  My hope is that by the time this magazine reaches you, that the clouds will have parted, that you and yours are safe, and that our worlds are returning more to normal.  As for now, I pen from my heart.

What touches me at this moment is gratitude. Gratitude to you, each of you, and all of you for your thoughtfulness and the flexibility you provided as we transitioned some of the ways we served you amidst shelter-in orders.  Knowing the Hoosier spirit as I do, none of this came as a surprise.  Yet it’s always heartwarming and reminds me of the very reason we call Indiana our home.

I’m giving myself the liberty of this forum to share, and in a very public way, my personal gratitude to the team at AAA Hoosier Motor Club.  This team is as much yours as it is mine.  Their dedication is steadfast and never more clear than in times of trial.  With COVID-19 as the backdrop, our folks rallied to the cause, leaning in where necessary to support our members, and one another.  The pandemic affected our business operations in varying ways.  While many of these contributions came from teammates behind the scenes, others were more visible to our members.  Our entire Emergency Roadside Service team — driver technicians, dispatchers, call-takers, support personnel — never flinched.  They delivered thoughtful and exceptional front-line service on a 24/7 basis.  Other colleagues, including positions newly-coined as non-essential, were all but that, delivering on our promise…merely doing so from their kitchen tables and other remote locations.

What we discovered through it all, was this:  Despite AAA branch offices respectfully closed, our passionate travel agents delivered service after the sale while navigating members’ ample and complex itinerary changes. It was part art, part science.  Mechanically, we managed their cancellations and re-bookings.  Spiritually, we shared in their disappointments. Meanwhile, our insurance team was reaching out to customers, ensuring we were providing the protections they needed during stressful times, finding extended coverages for them where necessary, and often securing financial savings.  AAA Insurance even provided 20% premium refunds to AAA-insured auto customers for two months during this time of strife.

COVID-19:  An unforgettable moment in life.  A mix of gut-wrenching challenge and heart-warming gestures. 

Be safe.