Meetings for ASA Networking Councils for Warehouse & Operations and Training/HR were held in February.

Training Council Chairperson Annamaria Nagy of Hajoca Corp. (left) works with attendees during roundtable session of Training Council meeting.

The last week in February was education-focused in Dallas, TX, as ASA held two professional peer networking council meetings for their members.

The week kicked-off with the inaugural Warehouse & Operations Council meeting, a two-day event geared toward individuals responsible for the warehouse or operations at PHCP/PVF distribution companies. The council was formed to act as a peer-driven focus group, allowing individuals to come together and share information, ideas, successes and challenges within their jobs. Over 19 different companies were gathered for the event, which started with the group gleaning information from seminar speaker Robert B. Footlik of Footlik and Associates, a warehousing and materials-handling consultant to six trade associations. Mr. Fooktlik’s presentation then led to group roundtable discussions on the challenges and strategies attendees use in certain focused areas of concern. A highlight was an interactive session using a unique “pop quiz” format, allowing attendees to ask the expert pointed questions. The Warehouse and Operations Council is now creating a Steering Committee to lead the direction of the council and plan a second meeting for Summer 2008.

Training Council panelist Dwight Newton of Zoeller Pump Co.

Following was the second meeting of the ASA Training Council, with attendees from over 21 companies gathering for their first peer-driven event. The council’s Steering Committee planned an agenda that focused on recruiting and retention, featuring a panel of industry experts, including: Jay Conner, Jay Conner of Conner and Associates; Dwight Newton, Zoeller Pump Co.; and Mike Mayberry, HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Agent.

The panelists brought their expertise to the group on marketing our industry to attract talent, effective recruiting tools and how to source talent without breaking the bank. The discussion from the day continued through the evening’s peer networking dinner. Roundtable discussions the next day were driven by topics requested in advance by the attendees, which allowed for unprecedented information exchange. When asked in the post-meeting survey about the event, an attendee said, “I found the sharing of ideas at each individual table to be the most enlightening part of the experience. There were some incredibly knowledgeable people from the human resource segment of our industry willing to share information and best practices.”

Each council meets throughout the year and is open to employees from all ASA member companies. Additional information can be found on the ASA website ( or by contacting Ruth Mitchell, ASA’s Council Meeting Liaison at