In the nine years I’ve been a member of ASA, I have seen the value of this association grow and its importance to our industry expand. When I joined nine years ago, I never imagined one day I would be selected to lead this group.

Well, here I am! Looking back it was exactly 10 years ago when 60 volunteers first gathered in Clearwater Beach, Fla., to map out our first ASA long-range strategic plan. At that meeting, the volunteers who spent nearly two days defining our first strategic vision probably said quietly to themselves, “There’s no way we can accomplish all of what we just laid out.” 

But, driven by our long-range plan and hard work of our volunteers and staff, we marvel at the extraordinary things that have been accomplished over the last decade. 

So what’s next? Where do we go from here? I believe that in order to look ahead to the future, it’s always helpful to look back and pause for just a second to marvel at how far we have come. In the past 10 years ASA has implemented a robust advocacy effort in codes & standards, legislation, regulatory and political affairs. We have become the voice for our industry in Washington. The educational offerings that distributors have available in ASA University are equal to none. ASA-U continues to be the industry standard by which we train. The business-intelligence reports and data are better than what most for-profit companies offer.  And we are engaging our next generation and women in our industry into active leadership positions that will lead us into the future.  We truly have come a long way.

Having accomplished so much, what could we possibly have left? 

Well, we believe there are many transformational events that will challenge all our capabilities to remain relevant over the next decade.  Many of these challenges will come at us with an exponential rate of change, demanding everything we have just to keep pace. 

Many currently doing business in this industry will be in business 10 years from now and some will not. We want to make sure our members are thriving a decade from now. Next month, nearly 100 volunteer leaders and staff of ASA will once again meet to look far into the future to assess those challenges and to determine how ASA can best serve our members. 

“Building One Future” is our theme as we work to identify what the members of 2027 will look like and what challenges they will face, such as staying  on the cutting-edge of the trends and technology advances that will connect you to our industry customers, increasing the number of talented workers taking advantage of attractive career opportunities in our industry and expanding our leadership voice and influence with government, industry and customer groups, while working with installer groups to ensure our products are installed. 

Most importantly, we will look to see how ASA can best leverage our resources to help our members thrive while others in our industry fade away.  It’s bold, it’s visionary and it is what will drive our association to engage all our industry partners to help us as we continue the momentum of remarkable success and relevance.