Dear Industry Colleagues,

As I write this letter, our industry has already entered into the busy buying group season. Next will be the summer months and soon after NetworkASA 2014, ASA’s annual convention, will be upon us.

The theme for NetworkASA 2014 is Ability: Adapt, Grow, Succeed, which is consistent with ASA’s branding and also with the direction our membership has taken. With two consecutive years of net membership growth, and a great start to 2014, ASA shows no signs of slowing down. This year’s event will be held where we were in 2011, at the fantastic Bellagio in Las Vegas. The event, to be held Sept. 9-11, will once again be a first-class gathering that incorporates a hard-hitting and concise agenda, while at the same time minimizing attendees’ valuable time away from their businesses. 

In 2013, we had a record 106 wholesaler-distributor companies in attendance in Washington, D.C. This year, we plan on bypassing that 106 mark with a larger, even more engaged group of attendees. If you have attended the event recently, you know the tremendous value because you have experienced it for yourself. 

If you or any representatives from your firm have not been to NetworkASA recently, I strongly encourage you to do so as this is THE industry networking opportunity of the year. The benefits you will receive by being in attendance far outweigh any reasons that you may have not to be there.

Kicking off NetworkASA 2014 is the Bradford White & ASA Opening Reception. As far as educational programming, there will be a wide variety of topics and opportunities brought to you by the ASA Education Foundation, with topics ranging from Driving Distributor Sales Beyond Best Practices for Outselling Your Competition to Business Valuation: “Is Your Business Worth What You Think It’s Worth?”  

Marketing guru Alex Goldfayn also will be on hand to give everyone some new and innovative marketing ideas to take back to their respective companies. ITR Economics’ Alan Beaulieu will provide his annual industry forecast, which debuted at NetworkASA 2012 as part of ASA’s overall industry forecasting program and has been a tremendous hit. Also a hit are the wholesaler and vendor conference appointment one-on-one sessions and the IPD and Plumbing Division open-house receptions. New this year, industry guru Don McNeeley will have a discussion with attendees on policies, politics, economics and the latest industry information.

While the Weldbend IPD Breakfast speaker has yet to be revealed, several event speakers already have been confirmed. Fox NFL Sunday’s Jimmy Johnson will speak at the A. O. Smith Future Trends Luncheon and former Seal Team Six leader Robert O’Neill is this year’s speaker at the Plumbing Industry Educational Forum and Breakfast, brought to you by Kohler. 

Mark your calendars now for Sept. 9-11 for NetworkASA 2014. You also will find more detailed program information in ASA News this month on page 32. By the time you read this letter, full program information will have been finalized and a brochure will have been completed and mailed. Please visit the NetworkASA 2014 page at and contact Ruth Mitchell at or 630/467-0000, ext. 210 for more details and for registration information.