Steve Cook: Celebrating 50 years
In September at NETWORK, ASA’s annual conference held this year in Washington, D.C., we celebrated 50 years of our association leading our industry. We looked back over our history and celebrated our many successes. Some of the association’s key accomplishments have included:
Building our voice and leadership in the codes and standards arena;
Establishing full-time staff in Washington;
Expanding our advocacy success by engaging several of our buying group partners to hold their meetings on Capitol Hill;
Expanding the visibility and recognition of the ASA Political Action Committee;
Building ASA University to include: 5 colleges, 29 role-based training tracks and nearly 200 courses;
Developing industry leaders through a Master of Distribution Management program;
Providing members with an advanced look at the economic forces impacting the industry;
Connecting to 60,000 industry customers through monthly e-newsletters via Plumbing Business Outlook and PVF Outlook; and
Establishing exciting networking opportunities such as our leading Emerging Leaders and Women in Industry divisions.
All of this is driven by an expanding membership base. We have a lot to celebrate.
A year ago during my acceptance speech at NETWORK in Scottsdale, Arizona, I told our members that “With so much accomplished over the past several years, it would be easy to take our foot off the throttle and just coast for a while, but that just doesn’t work for us. Instead, we challenge ourselves to help members remain relevant and successful long into the future.”
While we have so much to be excited about, we continue to drive forward toward fulfilling our association’s goal of being indispensable to achieving prosperity in our industry. For the past several years, staff and volunteers have been thinking deeply about the future of the industry, the future of our members and the future of the association.
You have started hearing a lot lately about the challenges we face. How will we replace the 100,000 people that will leave our industry? How can we keep you relevant with the constant onslaught of technological changes? How can we best engage you and fellow members to become innovators and early adopters to ensure that you continue to be relevant and successful for the next decade and beyond?
At the member lunch during this year’s NETWORK, I introduced the establishment of a Future Fund and asked members to support this effort. The Future Fund will provide financial resources to solve each of these issues in the years to come. As we have looked back at all that we have accomplished, I have become more excited about what we might achieve in the future.
This year’s convention wasn’t just about reflecting upon the past and thinking about the future. We took the opportunity of being in our nation’s capital to advocate for our industry. More than 100 members went to Capitol Hill to meet with more than 150 elected officials to advocate for several important issues. In addition, I was pleased to be joined by several ASA leaders at a meeting at the White House as we signed a “Pledge to America’s Workers” to join other vital industries in committing to hire new employees over the next few years. I am proud of our association and our members.
The celebration at this year’s NETWORK solidified our belief in our past and continues our momentum for our future. Every ASA member should add to his/her calendar NETWORK2020, in Chicago, Oct. 7-9. Experience the exciting things happening at your association’s annual meeting.
Thanks for reading!