A Letter from SAI President Charlie Lee ('22)
Dear Student Agencies Family,
What an exciting year 2021 is going to be for our organization! With the opening of the Student Agencies Building in August and significant initiatives planned for our business, this will be a transformative year for the company. While we continue to operate in the pandemic, this offers opportunities to provide new services to the Cornell community. I am incredibly excited to lead Student Agencies through this unique time and am looking forward to keeping everyone updated on our progress during the year. Going forward, I will provide monthly updates on business operations and on the progress of the Student Agencies Building in this letter.
With Cornell opening later than usual, for many of our businesses, January was spent planning spring semester operations. For me, this was a fantastic opportunity to prepare and implement strategic and technological initiatives for Hired Hands and Big Red Shipping & Storage. In spite of the later start, the BRSS and Cornellian teams had significant operational successes. The Big Red Shipping & Storage managers returned to Ithaca in mid-January to facilitate a winter peak for returning students. On limited notice, we worked with Cornell to store or ship belongings currently in dorms as well as providing pre-arrival for students returning to campus. I am pleased to report that not only did we receive a significant demand for our services, but we also played an important role in Cornell’s Spring on-campus reopening. This was a fantastic opportunity for new managers Alayna and Drew to experience the operational side of the business before our full summer peak in May. In addition, the Cornellian team continued to drive yearbook and ad sales during January. So far, we have seen significant traction for the 2021 yearbook which we plan to capitalize on as the managers return to campus. The entire Student Agencies team looks forward to hitting the ground running in February!
Over winter break, significant progress has been made on the Student Agencies Building. The construction has continued on-schedule with the roof expected to be installed in the coming week. Below you can see photos of the 5th and 6th floors as they are installed. On the leasing side, I am pleased to announce that our residential units are currently 98% leased with only a single unit remaining. This phenomenal effort would not have been possible without the efforts of the entire real estate team including Hamid Waraich, Brooke Shachoy and Bernardo Hammes. Student Agencies is in continued discussions with commercial tenants for the first floor and basement space and hopes to share more details soon. I am also excited to finalize the signage for the new building which will significantly increase Student Agencies visibility across campus. Working on this project with Kyle, the student managers, the redevelopment committee, and our business partners has been a fantastic and rewarding opportunity.
Looking forward, I am very excited to have the managers return to campus. This year we have assembled an experienced and dedicated team who I confident will succeed regardless of the challenges that will arise. Thank you for your continued support of Student Agencies and I look forward to providing another update soon.