It is a great pleasure serving as your national president, especially when I am able to report that ASA continues to gain strength as a national trade association.

We continue to grow in membership, financial strength and relevance as an association. Our long-range strategic plan continues to keep us looking to the horizon, allowing us to see the next challenge ahead and prepare our resources to better serve our members in the future. As I think about the many accomplishments we have achieved over the last few years, I’m reminded of three key questions that have guided ASA leadership in making decisions.

  • How will you be more profitable as you deliver world-class distribution and operational excellence?

  • How will you attract, train and, most importantly, retain employees in a shrinking labor force pool and make them the best trained and the most professional in the industry?

  • How is your company going to stand out as a distributor, a manufacturer or a rep where it is preferred and your customers can see the unique value you provide that makes your company worth dealing with?

These are some of the big-picture questions that the leadership of our association focuses on as we create the programs and services to expand your ability, your profitability, your viability and your chances to succeed in today’s business climate.

Every year, ASA’s leadership looks to expand our value by adding another layer of benefit to being a member of the association. Just last month, ASA began offering every member access to human-resource services at no charge. This exciting new benefit from ASA offers members unlimited telephone, email and research assistance to answer all the HR-related questions you or your team has.

While our business-intelligence and advocacy programs rank extremely high in member satisfaction, our highest-ranked value, ASA University, continues to expand its offering with more than 225 courses and 27 training tracks for key skill sets. From counter sales to warehouse operations, we have complete training for every one of your job positions.

Lastly, NETWORK2017 has become the place to be and most of you have not yet experienced it. There is nothing more ASA can say about the unbelievable value our national convention has to offer. Those of you who have not come in the past, all I can say is, “It’s time.”

Those of us who volunteer our time to serve ASA do so to help build a stronger, more valuable association. We work hard to make sure we offer the best national convention we can for you to learn something new, connect with someone new and bring back ideas that can help your bottom line.

 In fact, this year the theme of the conference is “Building Your Bottom Line.” It would mean a great deal for all of us in leadership if you or a key team member from your company will come this year. Nashville is an extremely exciting city and NETWORK2017 is an exciting program. I’m asking you to support ASA and help your bottom line by attending this year.

ASA is bucking the association trends of declining membership, declining enrollment and declining value. For the fifth year in a row, our membership numbers continue to climb. Our networking meetings such as NETWORK, Young Execs and Women in Industry are gaining attendance, excitement and buzz.

There’s no question ASA is gaining momentum each year. So let’s work together to keep the momentum going.