Almost 20 years ago, the late Karl E. Neupert of Consolidated Supply Co., in Portland, Ore., challenged the industry to establish a $10 million fund for the purpose of developing quality training — ensuring ASA members’ employees would be the best-trained for generations to come.

To date, the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund has grown to more than $12 million and has been essential to the amount of support ASA offers members in training and education programs. Through the generous support of this fund came the creation and delivery of ASA University, a five-college structure with a role-based approach to development. ASA-U is the industry standard for training. With more than 280 courses and 29 training tracks, ASA-U advisors have assisted hundreds of companies in establishing a culture of learning within their operations by building quality training programs.

The graduates from the first-of-its-kind Master of Distribution Management (part of ASA University) are more effective leaders. This Master’s Certification Program is 100% industry-focused, comprehensive and multi-format education designed by experts and leaders in the industry with a combined 100-plus years of experience.

The 2015 labor study conducted by the ASA Education Foundation revealed many industry challenges in the years to come, including the staggering figure that the industry will lose 100,000 employees to retirement over the next 18 years. Led by Todd Ford, president and CEO of Omaha, Neb.-based Central States Group and chairman of the Campaign Advisory Board, efforts are underway to raise an additional $3 million for the fund to ensure the resources and support necessary to recruit, train and retain our future workforce are in place. There’s still much to do.

Consider contributing to the Neupert Endowment Fund. Many of you were not involved when we originally built the fund so this is your opportunity to join those visionary leaders who are committed to the future of our workforce. Start taking advantage of the benefits that making a contribution will offer. You can find out more information at

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out all the great training and education made possible through the support of the Neupert Endowment Fund.


This article was originally titled “Ensuring our future” in the September 2017 print edition of Supply House Times.