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Message from the President – December 2020


Dear readers,

As 2020 is nearing its end, I think that many of us can’t wait to put this year behind us. We have all been exposed, both professionally and personally, to a very trying period. Jobs have been lost, families have been unable to meet for months on end, and we had and still have to deal with an economic crisis of unprecedented severity. At the same time, I think that this exceptional situation has also offered us a great opportunity to rethink our lives – and the way we do things.

On a personal level, when dealing with the disruption the pandemic brought to my life, I can now see that I went through the five stages of grief. I have hugely missed traveling, both privately and professionally. I still miss it. Yet, once I reached the stage of acceptance, I have seen this as an opportunity to do all those things that I had always postponed. A year after his passing, I finally faced the painful but unavoidable task of going through my late father’s possessions. This has triggered a major home decluttering and reorganizing project, followed by a few renovation projects. I spent my summer vacation and every free hour this fall covered in dust and paint, but at the end, what I will remember of 2020 instead of the trips not taken, and the time not spent with family and friends far away, will be all the home improvement projects that my husband and I completed.

This same positivity was a recurring theme during a very inspiring discussion on the post Covid-19 European lubricant industry at the UEIL virtual networking event that took place on October 29, where many people agreed that this crisis has forced us to do things in new ways – the unthinkable acceleration of digitalization and adoption of remote working in our very traditional industry being only the most evident example.

I hope you will all bring these newly achieved skills and this creativity with you into 2021, which will hopefully be a less challenging year.

Best wishes for a peaceful holiday season.

Valentina Serra-Holm

UEIL President

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