From:Mike Johnson, Budget Director
CC:Sandra Evans, Chair
Re:Funding for Professional Development Activities
As you all know, the recent economic downturn has hit our industry particularly hard. We and many other respected software companies are struggling to control costs in an effort to stay competitive in an increasingly cutthroat market. Here at Affinity we can take pride in our ability to avoid many of the negative aspects of the current economy. Our competition has clearly been impacted and has been forced to resort to layoffs. We have avoided these cuts in personnel, we have not increased the cost of our benefits, and we have been able to retain performance bonuses. This is no small achievement in the current business climate. We want to continue to be able to attract and retain top talent at Affinity, so it has become necessary for us to explore other cost-cutting measures. Because of this, effective immediately we have decided to suspend funding for all professional development activities. This suspension will remain in place indefinitely as we continue to analyze our budgetary constraints. We realize that these professional development activities are very popular. And they have certainly been worthwhile in enhancing skills and expanding our professional network. In place of traveling for such activities, Affinity will now place a greater emphasis on in-house skills enhancement courses for senior management. And the new social networking sites such as Affinity’s Twitter feed, our Facebook page, and our LinkedIn group should allow us to continue to engage in important professional networking. Using the Internet for this networking will allow us to remain on the cutting edge of our industry at a fraction of the cost of attending professional conferences. We understand that these have been tough times for all of us lately. But as senior managers you also know that our people are what make us...