My journey as your American Supply Association president is coming to a close in a few short months and I am reminded of the miles traveled, the many people I've met, and the invaluable experiences that have enriched not only my year but my life.

There is nothing today if not uncertainty and nothing ahead if not uncertainty, but I find it is US, the people, who thrive in our industry today, and our connections that are unwavering.

Over the past year, I've attended industry conferences, tradeshows and association meetings, and I've seen firsthand how networking can be a game-changer. It's not just about exchanging business cards or connecting on LinkedIn; it's about forging genuine relationships that can shape the future of your career and our industry as a whole.

Networking is more than a buzzword; it's a cornerstone of professional growth and development. When we build our networks, we’re elevating not only our own opportunities but those of everyone around us.

We can share knowledge and knowledge is power. When we share best practices, insights and lessons learned, we are empowering our industry to be stronger. When we collaborate and partner, we realize the strength of working together toward common goals.

When we seek mentors and when we mentor others we build our collective future and the supporting foundation for innovation. When we connect with peers and colleagues and find a collective voice, we build advocacy for our industry and our businesses that carries meaningful volume.

Personally, our own networks will prove critical at times we need them most in ways we may least expect. Our sense of belonging and personal fulfillment is deepened when we have authentic connections.

I have had the extraordinary privilege to expand my network this year in ways I couldn’t have dreamed. I am continually inspired by the passion and dedication that drives our industry forward. Our success is rooted in the strength of our relationships and our shared knowledge and experiences.

As you consider your network, I invite you to reach out to me, to our team at First Supply and to ASA. We’d be honored to connect.

My message at NETWORK last year in Chicago rings true almost a year later — get involved! Bring someone with you.

If you haven’t yet registered, join us at NETWORK2023 in Orlando Nov. 8-10. It will be the best thing you do for your network all year. And even more important, bring someone with you and build their future in our industry.

Reflecting on NETWORK last year, as I entered the Plumbing Division cocktail party after a whirlwind day and began to realize what the next year would hold in store for me, I quickly found some familiar faces and dove into conversation.

A few minutes later, Joe Poehling, my father, pulled me aside with some clear feedback only a good mentor and former ASA president could deliver moments after starting this new role.

“You’re doing it wrong,” he said.

He encouraged me to move through the room meeting as many people as possible. He saw a room full of people as a network on the cusp of developing. The hundreds of people gathered could be engaged with me, with ASA, with our industry.

When you gear up for your next event, when you’re scrolling LinkedIn not sure whether to send that request to connect, when you’re standing in the doorway at NETWORK in Orlando next month, embrace the power of the people in front of you.

The opportunity is endless when we come together. More than ever, this is our moment!