“I understand that I, and Hajoca, will get out of ASA what we put into it,” says Rick Fantham, one of the three new members on the American Supply Association executive committee for 2011, along with Mark Hanley, also with Hajoca Corp., and John Strong, president of Economy Plumbing Supply Co. in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Fantham is president of Hajoca Corporation and its Canadian subsidiary, Emco Corporation. He brings to the executive committee extensive association leadership experience, having served on the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) Board of Directors for ten years, culminating in being chairman of the board in 2001-2002. “It’s apparent that the challenging market of the last few years has left ASA struggling to move beyond the great networking opportunities it’s always provided and add value to its members in other areas. The best way to make that happen is by members getting involved in the leadership and decision-making process.”  

John Strong has first-hand knowledge of that truth: “I worked with my father, Herb Strong, while he served through the chairs of the ASA executive committee and I know what a rewarding experience it was for him.” Strong has been involved in ASA for over 25 years and considers it an honor to be in a position to make his own contributions to strengthening the industry’s association. “The relationships I have built with my industry peers are absolutely the number one benefit I’ve received from being a member of ASA. Through these friendships I feel that I have an outstanding pool of talent and experience to tap into whenever I need help in overcoming business challenges,” he adds. Strong chose now to become more deeply involved due to the changes he’s seen in ASA over the past few years. “Mike Adelizzi’s energy and leadership have brought a renewed focus and life to ASA,” he shares. “The leadership of ASA has identified issues that required difficult decisions and I feel they are leading us in the proper direction to bring all elements of the industry together.”  

All three gentlemen spoke of the focus on ASA’s top priorities, one of which is education. Mark Hanley has come onto the executive committee through his role as president of the ASA Education Foundation Board of Trustees. He is determined to get the word out about the programs already available and those currently in development. “The Foundation has some really first-rate materials we’ve incorporated into our management training program [at Hajoca]. The Foundation is now taking it even further by developing a management certification program through ASA University, which is of great value to every company in our industry. The ASA staff is talented and active, working to add real value for all members.”  

Each of these new leaders has a definite vision for the role ASA should hold in the industry three years from now. I’d like to be in a position where after choosing our top four priorities ASA executes them extremely well. Then our members can clearly see ASA as a value-added part of their industry experience,” states a determined Fantham.  One of those top four priorities is education, about which Hanley states, “One of ASA’s goals is ‘ASA members’ employees will become the best trained, best educated and most professional in the industry.  

"Through the ASA Education Foundation, the goal is to provide the necessary educational materials and delivery systems so that each ASA member can see measurable improvements in productivity and profitability.” Strong echoes the value of ASA’s educational programs by adding, “ASA has a tremendous asset in the Education Foundation and we must continue to get the membership to utilize these tools. In fact, ASA must get more of the industry involved in all our events. We need wholesalers, manufacturers and reps to all see the importance of a strong industry association.  These are the industry partners that should be attending ASA events and we need to work together to accomplish our shared goals.” With what these three men plan on putting into their work on ASA’s executive committee, it’s a sure bet that ASA, and the overall industry, will get a great deal in return. 

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