As a long-time member of in ASA’s Emerging Leaders Division, I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences I had in the early years of my career. 

The first year I attended the then “Young Executives” meeting, I participated in a roundtable session lead by industry veteran Brad Zarbock. We discussed the book, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. I recall the experience so vividly because that was my first exposure to how powerful peer networking is.  

Since then, I make it a point to attend as many of these sessions as possible because many of the thought leaders in our industry are eager to share best practices and opinions about issues and opportunities in our businesses. For me, it all started with ASA’s Emerging Leaders Division.

The mission of Emerging Leaders is to foster and develop critical leadership skills through educational opportunities and networking events specific to the needs of our industry’s next generation of leaders. Emerging Leaders scans the horizon to see what’s in store for our members and delivers content, programs and resources that support our next generation of leaders. 

Emerging Leaders also looks to challenge individuals and member companies to meet future challenges, and to position their companies to seize new opportunities by examining the status quo and avoid stagnation and complacency. They look to the American Supply Association for new ideas, and to connect with leaders outside their buying groups for new and innovative ideas from around the country.

This rapidly growing division of ASA provides exciting forums that foster key relationships with connected peers. Today’s middle managers are tomorrow’s leaders. They are charged to lead unprecedented disruption. There has never been a more important time to engage with the Emerging Leaders Division.   

I have personally continued to lean on and learn from the relationships that I have developed through my participation in Emerging Leaders. The ability to work with a fellow EL member and share an issue that I am dealing with has been invaluable to me and my company.

One of the most beneficial programs that ASA has to offer is the annual EMERGE conference. It is an annual forum for Emerging Leaders from wholesalers, manufacturers, independent manufacturers reps and others in the PHCP-PVF industry. 

EMERGE continually proves to be one of our industry’s best opportunities to learn and practice new concepts and skills, cultivate relationships with channel partners from across the country, and enjoy camaraderie, which helps attendees learn from each other. EMERGE2021 takes place Aug. 22-24 in Nashville, and will be ASA’s first in-person post-pandemic event. 

We look forward to getting together after a long year of virtual meetings!  

If you haven’t received registration materials, visit and check out the exciting program. The keynote will be delivered by author and speaker Jeff Havens, whose thought-provoking “Us versus Them!” session will help us understand, recognize and resolve generational issues facing today’s workforce.  

There also will be a live industry outlook with a powerful panel of industry leaders from our supply chain who will share their insight on what they see impacting our future.  

This year’s program is a dynamic session worth attending. 

Also back by popular demand will be our roundtable discussions where EMERGE members engage in informative best-practice dialogue that creates excellent opportunities for all attendees to learn from each other in focused sessions such as sales, marketing, purchasing, operations, technology and vendor relations.

EMERGE2021 host A. O. Smith will also conduct a one-of-a-kind, can’t-miss virtual facility tour from Yee-Haw Brewing in Nashville (home to Nashville’s largest indoor TV screen). 

There has never been a more important tine to build your organization’s network within our industry. There has never been a more important time strengthen your ability to find solutions to problems.  

We hope to see you in Nashville in August!