The American Supply Association's board of directors approved the final proposal on the White Paper by a vote of 27-3 at its summer meeting July 22-25. Four task forces are to be established to implement the reorganization plans within the parameters of the final proposal.

The American Supply Association's board of directors approved the final proposal on the White Paper by a vote of 27-3 at its summer meeting July 22-25.

The final proposal presented to the board by the Organization Design Subcommittee of the ASA Strategic Task Force includes membership requirements, a proposed structure for the association and dues allocation, as well as implementation plans.

Four task forces are to be established to implement the reorganization plans within the parameters of the final proposal. They are:

1. Regional Territories/ Chapters Task Force. This group will draw the boundaries for five, six or seven regions. Existing regional territories and natural trading boundaries will be examined. Also, the task force will provide a clear definition and criteria for the development of chapters within the regions. Task force members will include the elected presidents of the existing 13 regionals.

2. Program and Service Task Force. This group will determine what programs and services should be offered to the ASA membership, as well as define a structure and process for designing and managing such programs and services. Task force members will include eight volunteers (six wholesalers and two associate members), two regional executives and two ASA staff members.

3. Structure and Governance Task Force. This group will design the organizational structure of ASA, including an organization chart, job descriptions and qualifications for national and regional staff and compensation guidelines. The task force will also define membership categories, write revised bylaws and identify standing and/or project committees. Task force members will include legal counsel, a human resources professional, four members of the executive committee, three member volunteers assigned by the Regional Territory Task Force and as advisers, the executive vice president and two regional executives.

4. Finances/Dues Task Force. This group will develop a national dues structure to support the organization. It will consider recommendations from other task forces to determine member needs and the resources necessary to meet such needs, as well as the association's infrastructure. The existing accounting procedures and dues structure will be examined. The task force members will include three CFOs of wholesalers and manufacturers, an independent accounting firm, a member of ASA's accounting staff, one regional executive appointed by the Regional Territory Task Force and one ASA staff member. The association's treasurer will serve as chair.

"We are very pleased with the results," said ASA Executive Vice President Inge Calderon. "Regarding implementation, input from the board members was requested on the composition of the task forces. The executive committee is taking this input into consideration and is expected to make task force assignments by the end of August."

Calderon added that the Regional Territories/Chapters Task Force is expected to have its first meeting at the annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 15-18.

Proposal details

The proposal approved by the ASA board includes an inverted organizational chart to illustrate the association's customer-focused mind-set. The proposed structure of the new organization is as follows:

Membership. ASA membership will consist of wholesalers with a product focus of industrial PVF, HVACR, hydronic heating, plumbing and pumps. Associate/affiliate membership can include manufacturers, manufacturers reps, master distributors, catalog wholesalers, electronic commerce channels, buying groups, technology/service providers and universities that share the same product focus with wholesaler members.

ASA regions. The proposed five regions will be responsible for implementing and delivering ASA National programs and services throughout the region, recruiting membership, proposing and managing regional budgets/finances, advocating local membership needs and providing unique programs for local membership via chapters.

Chapters, approved by the national organization and self-funded, should be formed to provide more localized networking opportunities for a region's members, such as local meetings, shows, credit reporting and insurance programs. Chapter activities should not imitate national programs.

Each region will have an executive director responsible for managing the region and a board of directors composed of volunteers and a representative of the national organization. The regional board and ASA National must agree on selection of regional executive directors.

A single set of bylaws will govern all regions and the national organization. ASA National. Leadership responsibility will lie with ASA's board of directors and executive committee. Board members are elected by their regions or associations and will serve two-year terms.

Assuming there will be five regions in the reorganization, the board will be composed of 31 members: 20 wholesale distributor representatives, four manufacturers, two manufacturers reps, one young executive, two national wholesale distributors with more than $250 million in annual sales and more than 50 locations, and two industrial wholesalers. The executive vice president of ASA will be a nonvoting board member.

The wholesale component will imitate Congress: There will be two board members from each region and a total of 10 other board members based on wholesaler population of the regions.

The executive committee is part of the 31 board members. It will consist of one member from each region, one national member and the executive vice president. The "chair system" will continue to be followed.

Funding and dues. All revenues and expenses are tracked through the national organization, but the regional executive director has profit-and-loss responsibility.

Sources of funds for ASA National are the same as current sources; funds for the regionals will come from allocation of national dues, region/chapter value-added services and regional trade shows.

ASA National will use member dues for industry leadership of national programs, program development, industry representation, national communications and region newsletters, membership directory and discounted national education programs. Regions can use their dues allocation for obtaining the necessary resources to effectively manage the region and implementing the national programs.