Dear Industry Colleagues,

I was told that being the president of ASA would be one of the greatest years of my life. As this year comes to an end, I must admit, it was AWESOME!

During my time on the ASA executive committee, I began formulating what would be my priorities.  I saw areas of ASA’s programs that needed some attention, and I wanted to provide that boost:  create more awareness and involvement in government affairs, set a definitive course for ASA’s future and “pump it up” with a little enthusiasm and fun.  Well, it couldn’t have worked out better.

Our Government Affairs program has forged new pathways and expanded our reach.  We are more active than we’ve been in years. By teaming up with HARDI, ACCA, and PHCC for the Washington Fly-in, we have multiplied our effectiveness. And with NetworkASA 2009 being held in our nation’s capital next year, the growth of the Government Affairs program is a slam-dunk! An increase in member interest in this area has made a huge difference, but there is always room for more. I invite all of you to get involved.

Talk about setting a course for ASA’s future - at our board meeting last February, we recreated our strategic plan. Forty of ASA’s best minds worked for two days to decide what we want to be “when we grow-up” and how we’re going to get there. We are well on our way to achieving those goals.

And as far as enthusiasm goes, need I say more?

ASA has accomplished so much this year that I don’t have enough room here to tell you everything.  Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Achieved growth in membership for the first time in five years.

  • Outsourced IDB and EDI programs and turned them into profit centers.

  • Lowered our administrative expenses.

  • Improved our marketing and press coverage.

  • Increased communication with our members.

  • Signed the OSHA Alliance.

  • Delivered new and improved programs from the Education Foundation.           

  • Opened talks with HARDI to do joint programs.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work of our ASA staff, starting with our Executive Vice President, Mike Adelizzi. He, along with Inge Calderon, Amy Black, Paul Martin, Maura Wheeler, Ruth Mitchell and the rest of the ASA staff do a great job for us every day. They made my job easy. Thank you!

Thanks also to the ASA volunteer leaders who give of themselves and their resources for the betterment of our association.  Through them, countless hours of service are donated to making our industry better.

A special thank you to the members of my Mid-City Supply team for their encouragement and allowing me to be gone for 45+ days.

And of course, thanks to Ilene for her encouragement and help.

I had a great time traveling to the regional conventions and other events. It was awesome meeting so many of our members and being treated so royally by all. My thanks to the members of SWA, MWDA, AIM/R, PSDA and NCWA for their hospitality. And thanks to their staffs for the excellent job they do.  Regional associations are what make ASA unique - it was great to be able to be a part of their events.

ASA is a great association in an industry filled with awesome people. It was my honor to serve as your president this year. I thank you for the experience. It was a wonderful year. I leave ASA in good hands; Joe Poehling will do a great job.

I wish you happy holidays and a prosperous 2009. As my term comes to a close, for the last time I leave you with this: I amstillexcited about being ASA president.