It is with great optimism that I begin my term as your ASA president. To be candid, this was not what I had in my mind, though. I had mentally prepared myself for a year filled with travel to association events, spreading the news of all that ASA is working on and why membership in ASA is the most critical investment of time and money any distributor, supplier or manufacturers rep could make. While the travel may not be required for some part of 2021, the message remains the same — there has never been a more critical time for a distributor, supplier or manufacturers rep to take advantage of membership in ASA. 

ASA will continue its leadership, support and guidance not only as we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic, but also as our nation rebounds to higher levels of prosperity, growth and engagement. We will work hard to deliver critical updates and insight as to what has been happening, and the best practices needed to navigate this unprecedented disruption we all have had to endure to emerge stronger.

I have spent my entire career at Torrco involved with ASA. It’s in our company’s DNA to give back to your industry and the communities we serve. From Emerging Leaders, WANE (now ASA Northeast), the Education Foundation, the Executive Committee and now as your president, I have seen a lot. But more importantly, through my years of service to ASA, my experience has been enhanced exponentially by the knowledge, advice and support from you — ASA’s members and the leaders that I have benefited from working with.

Over the past 20 years, I have personally witnessed the transformation that ASA has undergone. ASA has done so like all our businesses, as a requirement to remain relevant and to provide value to all of our constituents. We have not done this alone. This is a group effort, driven by our collective desire to see ASA perpetuate its mission of being indispensable to our industry. 

In addition to guiding the ASA membership through the COVID-19 crisis, ASA continues to pursue projects to prepare us for the post-pandemic world. We still believe that our members need to think about their businesses like they never have before, especially with regards to what new heightened levels of strategic thinking, planning, investment, growth and skill sets will be required to stay relevant.

Therefore, ASA, in partnership with the ASA Education Foundation, will soon launch the new VITALITY program. This is a game-changing new tool that will challenge our members to think differently about their businesses and to begin to reposition their companies to compete in the future. VITALITY will complement the two other initiatives we boldly launched in 2020, D.NEXT and PROJECT TALENT.

Additionally, the expansion of educational content for our Industrial Piping Division members, debuting a new ASA Commodities Twitter account that provides real-time social media updates on the commodities most commonly stocked and sold by ASA member companies, expanding the highly successful launch of CONNECT, our new peer-to-peer networking groups,  adding an Emerging Leaders virtual roundtable best practices offering, and meeting once again in person at NETWORK 2021 in Las Vegas in November will deepen even more the value that ASA offers our industry and members.

Leaders don’t rest. They look to the horizon and identify the opportunities and threats members will face and then prepare to win the future. I want to specifically acknowledge Bill Glockner (Hirsch Pipe & Supply) and Steve Cook (Northeastern Supply) for their mentorship over the last two
years. They have prepared me well to take on this responsibility. We have a strong Executive Committee, and ASA is stacked with a leadership pipeline that will keep ASA strong for years to come.

I also want to thank the ASA membership for this opportunity, and I look forward to seeing you all in person or virtually in the coming year.