Dear Industry Colleagues,

In this month’s issue of Supply House Times, you’ll notice quite a bit of attention being given to the next generation of leaders in our industry. This goes to show just how important a topic this is and will continue to be.

A priority for any successful business, as well as for our industry as a whole, is to identify and connect the people who represent the next generation of leadership. Over the last several years, ASA’s Young Executives Division, or “YE’s,” has done an excellent job in accomplishing exactly that. The YE Division continues to focus on the development of necessary skills and the cultivation of key industry relationships that are critical for success. More specifically, the annual YE Spring Forum program has gone through strong developments over the last several years that have “redefined” the event. I can proudly say YE’s is one of the fastest-growing segments of ASA membership.

When I started out in the industry, I regularly attended the YE Spring Forum events. Many years later, I honestly can say that I still have regular conversations with a lot of the people I met at those very first industry gatherings I attended. At the upcoming YE Spring Forum in Milwaukee next month, many of the people at that event will be 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 I have met through this industry over time.

As part of next month’s YE Spring Forum program, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Tim Jahnke, president, director and CEO at Elkay Mfg., as well as from Tim Ferry, president of InSinkErator. This is a tremendous opportunity for attendees to learn firsthand from the leaders of two of our industry’s premier manufacturers. Attendees also will have the opportunity to tour InSinkErator’s manufacturing facility in Racine, Wis. Also during the program, Robb Best, certified kitchen designer with Elkay, will tie together the latest in neuroscience research with successful industry sales as part of a two-day training exercise. In addition, several networking functions are scheduled for the event to maximize the learning and camaraderie the event is known for. 

Over the years, tremendous friendships have developed among new and returning attendees of the YE Spring Forum. While the program offers a great balance of learning, networking and fun in a two-day package, attendees historically arrive early and/or stay beyond the program timeframe to enjoy the camaraderie they have built with others within the industry.

I strongly encourage each industry firm to consider sending one or more of their up-and-coming leaders to the May YE Spring Forum in Milwaukee. There still is plenty of time to register. Please visit the ASA homepage and click on the YE Spring Forum item in the content rotator at the top of the page to link to a full brochure containing all the details. For even more on up-and-coming leaders in the industry, read Supply House Times Editor Mike Miazga’s editorial in this month’s issue.

We’ll see you in Milwaukee!