1969 was a very iconic year in our nation’s history. The Miracle Mets won the World Series, Neil Armstrong was the first human to set foot on the moon, Richard Nixon took the oath of office, the war raged in Vietnam, Woodstock became more than a farm, the Beatles introduced Abby Road to the world, the first Pontiac Trans Am was introduced, gas was 35 cents a gallon, the first supersonic transport took flight, oh, and the American Supply Association was born.

A lot has happened over the last 50 years since ASA began, both in our nation and in our industry.

We both have faced challenges, adversity and success, and have become stronger for it. This Sept. 25-27 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., we will look back over the past 50 years and reflect on the impact ASA has had on our industry. 

This year’s NETWORK will have a special meaning to ASA as we will be celebrating our 50th year as an association. We have made plans to recognize this monumental occasion with several special events during NETWORK, including an evening of celebration and networking for distributors, manufacturers and manufacturers reps at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum.

With Washington being the host city for NETWORK, we have planned a unique opportunity to not just celebrate our anniversary, but to also advocate for our industry’s future by meeting with your elected officials.

With the dysfunction going on in Washington, there has never been a more important time to come to our nation’s capital and let your representatives know how their inability to address the issues that will impact your business is affecting your ability to build your business. The appointments we make for you to personally meet your elected officials is yet another compelling reason to attend NETWORK — you and fellow members will be able to deliver your message in person.

In addition, we work hard every year to offer an exciting and informative conference program that has become a focal point at each NETWORK event. Once again, we have an exciting program lead by thought-provoking presenters that promise to challenge and inspire. In addition, there are engaging and interactive networking sessions intended to make this year a must attend.

We all have many demands on our time. It’s hard to be away from the office because we are running lean, you may have customer trips or manufacturer plant tours or even that long overdue vacation. I am going to ask that this year with the special nature of this convention, that you and some of your key team members join us in celebrating the 50 years of ASA building our future. This year, I believe it’s time that we rally around our association and show support by making sure your firm is in attendance. I hope you agree and will be in Washington.

You will find more information about all the exciting sessions and speakers in the NETWORK registration brochure that has been mailed. Or you can check out the full program by visiting the ASA website at asa.net/network19. Once you have reviewed this year’s memorable NETWORK program, I sincerely hope that you will register.

And see you in Washington!