It's been a challenging year for the Education Foundation, since many of the projects planned for 2003 were dependent upon anticipated earnings of the Endowment Fund in 2002. Although the Fund is closely managed by a number of astute industry volunteers, even its conservative investments did not provide for the returns that we would have liked to see. However, through the effective and professional leadership of the Foundation's Executive Vice President, Paul Martin, 2003 did indeed turn out to be a year of accomplishment for the organization.

Essentials Of Profitable PHCP Distribution

Late last year, the Education Foundation introduced the "Essentials of Profitable PHCP Distribution" course. Acceptance of the program continued to accelerate throughout the year with several members committing to putting all new employees through the program.

To help ASA members begin using Essentials, the Foundation conducted pilot workshops featuring Dr. Kathryne Newton of Purdue University, in Indianapolis; Indian Wells, CA; Boston; Chicago and Las Vegas. The workshops attracted more than 200 principals, executives, branch managers, trainers and new employees. Participants received a full day's instruction, the Essentials course book, a course exam and certificate. Additional workshops are planned for Orlando, FL; Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN this fall. A "Leader's Guide" containing the workshop's PowerPoint presentation and other learning aids is now available.

Product Pro Series

The ProductPro PVF workbook course revisions are well underway, with availability planned for January 1, 2004. The PVF CDs have been upgraded to permit exams to be e-mailed to Foundation headquarters for correction. A ProductPro multiple exam protocol has been developed to offer testing of multiple employees at an additional cost saving for the wholesaler.

University Of Industrial Distribution

Following up on a successful University of Industrial Distribution in 2003, the Foundation agreed to co-sponsor an expanded University of Industrial Distribution 2004. UID is next scheduled for March 7 - 10, 2004 in Indianapolis, Indiana. It will offer a selection of five seminars per day for four days.

Expanded Website Content

The ASA Education Foundation website ( began operations in December, 2002. The new site added a storefront and shopping cart so that customers worldwide can purchase products and programs from both ASA and its Foundation 24/7. A Calendar, Pressroom, Regional Training section, information about the Endowment and Training Links sections have been added, making the Foundation website the "go to place" for training and education information. The Foundation is encouraged that the "hits," which started out at 27,000 in December, have risen to more than 50,000 each month in April, May and June, 2003.

Sales Training

The Foundation is bringing Dave Kahle and his "Top Gun Sales Survival School" back to Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Sturbridge, MA this fall. ASA members will be able to register for these seminars at a discounted rate of $169 vs. the regular $229 rate.

Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund

Early in 2003, the ASA Education Foundation Board of Trustees renamed the Foundation's Endowment Fund The Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund after Karl E. Neupert, its most ardent supporter, who passed away in December of 2002. The Trustees recommitted the Foundation to reaching the $10 million goal originally envisioned by Neupert, and developed strategies to raise the final $1 million. The original members of the Campaign Advisory Board who worked so diligently over several years to raise $9 million of the $10 million were honored during the ASA Convention in Las Vegas, and were the focus of an article in last month?s issue of SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES.

Foundation Leaders

The ASA Education Foundation made significant progress in 2003 through the efforts of an incredibly unselfish and committed mix of volunteer leaders, managers, fundraisers, technical reviewers, customers, trainers, staff and vendors. They consistently demonstrate the value partners in the education channel can provide by working together, and exemplify what an industry's citizens can accomplish through the strength of association.