ASA members participating in NetworkASA 2013 in Washington, D.C., Oct. 2-4 experienced a wide range of emotions during their stay in our nation’s capital. From direct participation in the government shutdown to a Capitol Hill lockdown to the culmination of the week’s events in a “knockdown” event between political power couple James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin; to say the least it was a memorable time to attend ASA’s annual convention. From start to finish, past attendees and those brand-new to the event alike were entertained, educated and had the ABILITY to network with their fellow industry peers in a variety of different ways.

Strong educational events led the way with the attendee-favorite 2014 Industry Economic Forecast featuring Alan Beaulieu, which once again attracted a packed house. Additional powerful speakers and networking sessions between the more than 100 distributor firms and 80 manufacturing companies in attendance rounded out an impactful industry event delivering on a theme of One Industry, One Voice, One Future

“Comments from attendees could be repeatedly heard that NetworkASA 2013 was like the old ASA in its magnitude of energy, robust attendance and dynamic networking events,” ASA Executive Vice President Michael Adelizzi said. “Great job”, “Another great event” and “Keep doing what you are doing” were among attendee responses provided as part of the post-event survey. Adelizzi added, “We are extremely pleased that NetworkASA 2013 started out very strong and continued to build through the final event.”

One event highlight in particular was an afternoon of delivering the message of comprehensive tax reform, energy production and marketplace fairness that ASA attendees communicated effectively throughout roughly 150 meetings with their members of Congress. While chaos ensued when the Capitol and its congressional offices were locked down due to the shooting at the Hart Senate Office Building (an incident witnessed by many ASA members while they were traveling from office to office), most ASA attendees found the experience of being on Capitol Hill during the historic government shutdown to have significantly heightened the overall experience of lobbying for the PHCP and PVF industry.

“Having almost an hour with Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D- LA) staff as well as time with the senator herself to discuss issues critical to not only our industry, but to Coburn Supply and Louisiana specifically was as rewarding as it was productive, Coburn’s Pam Mouton said.

“Hearing our senator’s views on why he couldn’t support the Marketplace Fairness Act was a moment of honesty and clarity while really showing the demands of the job he has,” First Supply CFO Todd Restel said.

Few will forget this ASA annual convention and the events associated with it. Read Mike Miazga’s feature for more coverage of NetworkASA 2013. Also, mark your calendars and watch for updates regarding NetworkASA 2014, to be held Sept. 9-11 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.