These days everyone is questioning the value they get out of every dollar they spend. As well they should. Who really wants to spend money on something that doesn't provide value in return? That holds true whether you're buying a new pair of shoes, or considering whether or not to renew your membership in your association.

I attended a recent meeting where a consulting company presented a very complicated flow chart that was entitled “Shareholder Value.” I initially thought it was just another demonstration of consultant-speak. Wrong! On closer examination, it provided a solid case for a wholesale distributor to prove to his business partners that the functions he was providing did indeed deliver value. I thought, “Why not turn that into an ASA promotion?” since that's pretty much how I view a lot of things.

And since I am not shy about borrowing other peoples' good ideas, I felt this format might give us a good way of presenting to our members what exactly it is that ASA provides. Hence the “ASA Member Shareholder Value” chart (see right).

ASA sends you lots of mail, faxes and emails throughout the year, and we also communicate with you from time to time about truly newsworthy stuff. However, if your desks are anything like mine, there is too much to read and too much “propaganda” to sift through before you can find the real “meat.”

So perhaps this birds-eye view of the activities, programs, services and benefits that ASA provides will help.

While you may not be an active participant in our activities all through the year, remember that ASA is nevertheless working on your behalf to strengthen our channel of distribution, and to ensure your future role in it.

Please call me directly if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you: 312-464-0090. Or e-mail me at

By the way, watch for the “wholesaler value” chart being developed through the NAW Distribution Research Education Foundation, which ASA supports.

Stay tuned for more.

- Inge Calderon, ASA Executive Vice President