After dealing with industry consolidation for more than 10 years as well as one of the worst economies in more than half a century, the American Supply Association reached net membership growth in 2012. This is a milestone that has not been seen in decades. “People are talking about the new relevance of ASA and that certainly has made it easier to convince owners to join us,” ASA Executive Vice PresidentMichael Adelizzisaid. “They see us doing some really remarkable things, including the rapid expansion of our educational programming and our efforts in fighting for them in Washington. Joining ASA is viewed as an excellent investment.”

While our economy has been at its lowest point in decades, the association has steadily reduced its overhead instead of retrenching to ride out the storm. ASA has invested in new, more relevant programs that directly benefit members. The association also has developed and implemented a long-range focus to guide future investments. This has allowed the association to emerge stronger and more focused, and the industry is certainly taking notice. Membership retention is much higher than usual, and overall recruitment is well beyond the goal set for the organization by its leadership.

“This past year, we have made the effort to personally get out and meet with both members and prospects in their offices to talk one-on-one about new developments at ASA,” Adelizzi said. “All the printed material, articles and advertisements in the world do not substitute for the fact that this is a face-to-face, relationship-based industry. Our hard work has been rewarded with impressive membership numbers. Through our visits, we have been able to gain a real perspective of the day-to-day issues that our members are going through. Although membership growth has exceeded our wildest expectations this past year, we still have a long way to go. 2013 promises to be an even more involved travel year for us.”