Ten years ago, the association’s volunteer leaders and professional staff, gathered in St. Petersburg Fla., to map out a long-range vision for both the association and the industry. Each year since, ASA leadership continues to gather to assess the role of ASA in driving change toward building a stronger industry and helping our members succeed. Once again, ASA leadership met, this time in rain-soaked Napa, Calif., to continue to map out where we have been and more importantly, where ASA leadership will continue to take the industry.

As we began our sessions, the leadership reflected back on a decade of strategic governance that has resulted in ASA becoming more widely recognized for advancing our members’ ability to be stronger competitors in their markets and better positioned to succeed in the future.

During our recent meeting, several new initiatives emerged that will enable the association to expand influence in four critical areas.

Building close working relationships with customers and their associations has long been a priority for our leadership. It is through these close working relationships that our members gain a competitive advantage. Building on this theme, ASA volunteers look to provide leadership, information and education on cutting-edge technologies that exist, and to assist members to better utilize technology to deepen understanding of customer trends and needs and to get closer to customers.

ASA leadership has allocated resources to ramp up efforts to reach and educate potential workers on the career opportunities that exist in our industry and to work to attract those career seekers. Motivated by the results of the labor study the association conducted that sounded alarms about the looming shortages in our future labor force, our leadership now looks to expand current efforts to educate and attract potential employees. Greater educational outreach to schools and military, and stronger engagement by members and industry partners over the next few years is a focus of our revised plan.

This past year, the association expanded advocacy efforts by becoming active in codes and standards to provide leadership representing the membership. ASA volunteers look to deepen our leadership in this area by making sure that members are educated on the process and the issues facing the industry, and ensuring that the interests and voice of members are represented as issues are debated.

It has never been more important to be engaged in Washington and the results of the election has placed business and industry issues now in play. For the first time in years, our industry can play offense in getting our issues passed and implemented. A stronger effort will be implemented by the association to enlist members and industry partners in the advocacy process. With thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of people building careers in the PHCP and PVF industry, ASA will seek to leverage this strength in fighting for industry issues over the next several years.

ASA’s strategic planning process and the results from it have enabled the association to come a very long way toward building the brand of ASA throughout the industry. Today, based on survey results, ASA is once again looked to as a leader of the industry, especially in the area of advocacy, education, areas recruitment and business intelligence. It is through our strategic governance process that is sufficiently plan-focused, flexible and depoliticized that ASA has radically expanded its value proposition.

It is what’s driving us today and it is core to the association’s relevance moving forward.

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