Dear Industry Colleagues,
As I write my second-to-last letter as ASA president, please let me begin by thanking you, the industry, for the very worthwhile learning experience I have had as ASA president throughout 2012.
As the letter is being written, I have just returned fromNetworkASA 2012. It was a wonderfully successful event. Speakers such as Steve Forbes, George Foreman, Michael Werner, Alan Beaulieu and others, in addition to the always popular networking events and educational sessions, made everyone’s time more than worthwhile.
At the event, I addressed the ASA membership during the Annual Meeting and Member Lunch and I stressed the importance of theASA Advantage. I made the distinction in my address betweensmartandhealthy. Smarter references how we run our businesses. For most everyone, that means how well we understand product, marketing, finance or strategy. Healthy refers to understanding people, human relationships, culture and the practical or real-world application of theory that only comes from experience. I pointed out that“in the hallway”at NetworkASA (and at other ASA events) is where we get “beyond the noise” and build those relationships.
I touched on the various aspects of ASA’s many offerings. On behalf of ASA, I traveled to Washington, D.C., earlier this year. If you haven’t yet gone, please consider it. It is a worthwhile education. Our industry has a number of issues that require legislative action in Washington, and our representatives need to know where we stand. A unified and consistent voice is compelling.
In the bigger picture, the ASA regions have strong relationships with the various industry buying groups, and there is consistent participation in the association by our national members. ASA also is enjoying its strongest Supplier Partnership year since the program’s inception. I’d say we are balancing smart and healthy fairly well. Did I also mention ASA has achieved net membership growth for the first time in more than 20 years? Combine all these factors and the word “resurgence” is a good description of what is currently happening.
ASA started 2012 with 12 very well-defined goals, or metrics, that if accomplished would indicate a smart and healthy organization. I am happy to report we are on task to accomplish 10 of those 12 goals. The ASA Education Foundation continues to expand and flourish with new programs and more offerings than ever before. Our leadership and staff have worked tirelessly to really “move the needle” in 2012. Speaking of leadership, I would specifically like to thank ASA past presidentsBill Kenny, Frank Nisonger, Jeff New, Joe Poehling andJoel Beckerfor their support during this year.
Incoming ASA presidentsJeff Pope, John StrongandRick Fanthamare tasked with following in their leadership footsteps. I have no doubt they will. This group is engaged, professional, passionate, results-oriented and most of all,smartandhealthy.
As individual businesses, as an association and as an industry, we still have many challenges ahead of us. We still face uncertainty in the economy, in our nation’s tax policies and in the regulations coming out of our nation’s capital. Even so, you can be rest assured that we have a stronger association, better equipped to help us as business owners.
See you“in the hallway”at future ASA events.
APR Supply Co.
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