Dear Industry Colleagues,

I’m writing this letter as I reflect upon NetworkASA 2013 in Washington, D.C., in October. I can tell those who didn’t make it there that they missed a memorable time. The attendees of the annual convention heard terrific speakers and 2014 economic forecasts and were part of the action despite a government shutdown and lockdown. NetworkASA 2013 confirms the momentum this association has built will do nothing but continue to multiply.

A longtime ASA member who has been a “fixture” at the yearly get-together wrote me the following letter. “This year’s NetworkASA was, without question, the best ASA convention I have ever been to. Not only was I fortunate enough to see a few key people that I don’t see at the buying group meetings, but I felt I was a part of the industry instead of just being a supplier. The speakers you picked were beyond superb. I look forward to supporting you and ASA for a long time.” 

While I certainly appreciate the kind words, I wouldn’t pretend to take much credit for a tremendously successful NetworkASA meeting.

These conventions are only a hit when people invest their time, energy, money and passion into them.  Thankfully, there’s a staff at ASA and an awesome group of volunteer members who are dedicated to making this association an important part of our businesses. As a result of their hard work, membership is growing.

ASA University courses have become a vital portion of employee training for many members. The politicians in Washington are recognizing that ASA is a player they must respect. The Young Executives has seen its ranks increase as people have seen the value of participating in ASA at an early age. With a new-and-improved website now online and better job-recruiting capabilities in the future, ASA has an incredible offering. The association’s lofty goal of being “indispensable to achieving prosperity in our industry” is attainable as long as we continue to add members who help make this happen. It’s also attainable because ASA has an amazing staff willing to do whatever it takes to help us all be better.

Given that this letter comes out in the December issue of Supply House Times, I’m thankful to many people who make up the membership of ASA and the staff. I thank the previous presidents who had to make the tough decisions so ASA is now in fine financial shape. In addition, I thank John Strong and Rick Fantham (who will be ASA presidents in 2014 and 2015 respectively) for being great supporters. I look forward to their service and I am quite confident that they will continue our tradition of growth.

A special thanks goes to ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi for being the main catalyst of this association. He has built a terrific team that only cares about helping ASA achieve its objectives. Although, they’re Chicago Blackhawks fans, which made life difficult for a Boston Bruins rooter this past year. I won’t hold that against them.

Thank-you for allowing me to be your ASA president this past year. It has been an experience I’ll never forget.  Take care.