Jeff New

Dear Industry Colleagues,
Solutions bring opportunity. As wholesalers and manufacturers, we’ve all been in a position to offer our customers a solution that brings them the opportunity to grow their businesses. The American Supply Association is dedicated to offering solutions to members that bring us those types of opportunities.

One of the programs I talked about last month was the ASA Professional Peer Networking Councils. Having had the opportunity, through my membership in ASA, to share challenges and solutions with fellow wholesalers has always provided great value to me and my company.

These Councils model this type of networking for our employees. They focus on bringing together people from member companies around the country with similar job functions to discuss issues and opportunities facing them. The Councils give them the opportunity to learn from each other. The Training & HR and Showroom Managers Councils have held sold-out meetings that have received rave reviews from the participants. The Training Council is having its second meeting later this month in Dallas to discuss recruitment and retention. I don’t know about you, but if there’s one subject where I’d like to hear solutions from other wholesalers it’s in the recruitment and retention of employees.

Taking a look at other areas where networking would benefit our employees, ASA will hold an inaugural Council meeting for Warehouse & Operations Managers February 26 - 27 in Dallas. Coming soon are Councils to serve the CFOs and Sales Managers. ASA will plan these meetings for convenient locations throughout the country, making it an easy decision for you to invest in these networking educational sessions for your key employees. And just so you know I’m not simply “holding the company line” here, I have sent my own employees and gotten a nice return on my investment. It works - I can attest to it.

These Councils have already provided participants solutions that bring opportunities for success; it’s what we hoped for when my predecessor, Joel Becker, brought forth the idea last year and what I’m committed to continuing this year. And the only organization that has the capability of bringing together all the players and making an undertaking like this a success is ASA. For more information about what’s going on with the Councils - and all the other exciting plans for 2008 - visit

And speaking of, have you stopped by lately? WHOA! It’s worth taking 10 minutes to spin around and check it out. On January 1, ASA launched a brand new website that brings together all of ASA’s programs and services - networking, education, advocacy and benchmarking - in one user-friendly location. The site is so much more intuitive than the previous one and has information presented in a clear and easy-to-use manner. Stop by and click through it - and afterward, please take the time to let us know what you think.

I am still excited to be the president of this great organization. Thank you for your support. Until next month, keep finding those solutions that bring opportunity - and start with ASA.

Jeff New
Mid-City Supply Co,. Inc.