I can’t believe that is has been nearly 10 years since Joe Poehling of First Supply flew out to visit me at our offices in New Hampshire to pitch me on the value of getting active in ASA.
Joe was ASA president at the time, and I always looked up to him as an industry leader and great business person. Little did I know that meeting would eventually lead me to taking over as the 53rd president of ASA. Guess I should have known that Joe is way too good of a salesman!
But he really did have some selling to do. I was focused on running a family business that I had been trying to grow over the past decade. I was also heavily engaged in my buying group and thought that was enough work for the industry. My view was that I really didn’t need the association, I certainly didn’t see the value at that time and frankly, I felt I was too busy. But after I joined and decided to jump in, I quickly realized what I missing. Namely, all the great things that ASA was doing to help both my business and the industry overall.
As we look forward to what appears to be another new year full of uncertainty, supporting our members’ ability to succeed in the face of continued disruption remains paramount for ASA. Partnering with our members to position their companies is a focal point for our recently launched Project VITALITY — a growth readiness self-assessment that helps members identify their company’s ability to manage the inevitable changes that remain unrelenting.
As we look forward to what appears to be another new year full of uncertainty, supporting our members’ ability to succeed in the face of continued disruption remains paramount for ASA.
Helping our members’ position their future capability is not the only way that ASA supports its membership. Providing a deeper understanding about what is happening in the economy and the markets that we compete in enables members to make sound, data-driven decisions. We look to deepen that support as members will need to rely more and more on sound business intelligence in the future.
Deepening members’ ability to attract, train and retain the top talent they need to thrive has been an expanding offering of ASA. Project TALENT, which includes the marketing tools and resources that provide members the ability to help strengthen their brand awareness is a key resource. Coupled with the strength of ASA University — our industry standard for training our talent — ASA is positioned as the go-to industry resource for developing our No. 1 resource…talent.
And protecting our members’ ability to compete and earn a profit is yet another area in which ASA has invested significant resources. As distributors, we rightly focus our attention on running our businesses. Meanwhile, ASA monitors the codes, regulation and legislative initiatives being debated at the national and state levels. These issues can have a significant impact on the way we do business, and ASA works hard to protect our ability to run our business profitably and free of intrusion. From being a voice of reason in Washington to battling unreasonable legislation at the state level, our advocacy operation continues to grow in value. Never has this been more important and never has the value of ASA been more important to our businesses.
It is easy to overlook the great things ASA is doing to support our industry and its future. To my friends that have yet to engage, let me urge you just as others urged me. Please learn more about what we are doing to make a difference for your industry and then jump in. Become a member of ASA and become a part of our future.