Dear Industry Colleagues,

As I write my monthly letter, I have recently finished several busy weeks of travel which involved representing ASA at a series of industry events throughout the country. The annual “spring trip” for the ASA president involves providing association updates at various regional meetings, including gatherings of the Midwest Distributors Association, the Wholesalers Association of the Northeast, the North Central Wholesalers Association, the Southern Wholesalers Association, the Western Suppliers Association and others. While the spring is most certainly a busy time in the life of every ASA president, I’d like to say that it has been a very rewarding and meaningful experience for me. I would personally like to thank all of you for your kind words and support as I have had a chance to speak with a lot of you in person about recent happenings and the exciting things going on within ASA and in our industry.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding trips this spring was to New Orleans to take part in the ASA Young Executives’ Spring Forum ‘12. This group of up-and-coming industry leaders has met each spring for several years, sharing thoughts and ideas with their peers, working to achieve common goals, learning from subject matter experts and each other, and also managing to have some fun in the process. This year’s event attracted its largest attendance in 10 years - with 75 attendees representing two buying groups, 31 wholesalers, 19 manufacturers/vendors and four independent manufacturer firms. These are significant increases over recent years in terms of the number of attendees AND companies, which have consistently trended upward.

Through the many events that I have attended over the past few months, it has been reinforced to me quite clearly that one thing is for certain; we can continue to be proud to say that we are part of a relationship-based industry. In a world filled with digital communication, social media and the need for immediate information in all aspects of our lives, it is refreshing to see that our industry still values relationships. I began attending ASA meetings more than 20 years ago, and have regular conversations with many of the people that I met with at my very first industry meeting. I thought a lot about that while in attendance at the Young Executives’ Spring Forum in May. Many of those people were being introduced for the first time. Hopefully, they can look back 20 years down the road and say the same thing that I can about those that I have met through this industry over time.

In today’s unbelievably fast-paced world, we should regularly remind ourselves to take a few important things into consideration.  We all know that business decisions come and go, and should always be made with the most up-to-date sets of facts and figures that we can obtain. Additionally, our buisness relationships are a constant that we should nurture and care for regularly, regardless of how busy we are. Without them our industry just wouldn’t be the same.

Scott Weaver
APR Supply Co.