The Channel Angle: On Family Bonding, The Power Of Diversity And Healing In A Challenging Year

‘I hope we can all find our own silly dance party that makes us realize technology and diversity are powerful tools that tie us all together for a common good,’ PKA Technologies’ Felise Katz writes.


By Felise Katz

[Editor’s note: The Channel Angle is a monthly CRN column written by an executive that will focus on the triumphs and challenges that solution providers face. If you are interested in contributing, please contact managing editor David Harris.]

Our family ski trip is always an amazing experience.

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The smell of the fresh, crisp Vermont air. The layers of snow and beautiful scenery. But the most special part? Being able to bond with my multi-generational family over a sport that we all love.

And I do say “love” genuinely. Everyone in my family seemed to inherit the skiing gene from our grandparents who used to fly down the steep mountains of Europe with nothing more than a couple of thin boards under their feet. Of course, advances in technology have given the next generation of skiers in our family much equipment to enjoy the bunny slopes with.

It goes without saying, that our trip (like many other families) was a little different this year. COVID-19 may have taken away some of the social aspects of the skiing fun, but the sheer magic of the outdoors and having family everywhere I looked made the trip so worthwhile, even if it was short.

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One of the absolute best memories I have from our time together was spending time with the little kids, watching TV with them and being exposed to a novel way of teaching language. It’s a little something called Word Party. Now, for those of you not in the know, it follows a pretty simple concept – every word they teach becomes a new “word party” where kids and the characters in the show end up dancing around together despite speaking completely different languages and being of a different race or color.

Sure, I learned more Mandarin words than I ever thought I would know in my life, but that wasn’t my biggest takeaway. You know what was? The power of diversity. I mentioned how great technology for skiing has become, but how great is it that technology is also enabling our younger generation to not only learn, but also bridge the language and diversity gap that is so ever-present in our world. That’s powerful – and I am so proud that the children in my family are seeing that language, color, and race are variances that should be celebrated!

There is no doubt that this year has been challenging for all of us. Everyone I know has been impacted in some form or fashion, and both the highs and lows have been extreme. It is truly my wish that the pain we are all experiencing will recede over time, only to turn into a distant memory that’s lost but never forgotten.

With college hoops and spring sunshine just around the corner, I hope that everyone has an opportunity to heal, repair, and renew. And just as importantly, I hope we can all find our own silly dance party that makes us realize technology and diversity are powerful tools that tie us all together for a common good.

Felise Katz is founder, owner and director of Montvale, N.J.-based PKA Technologies Inc.