This particular “Letter from ASAPresident” is being written at a time when I am at a busy point handling my annual ASA presidential duties.
All I can say is how time is flying! As I pen this letter, we are nearly halfway through 2016, which is hard to believe. Throughout the first half of the year I have embarked on several busy weeks of travel, which involved representing ASA at a series of industry events throughout the country.
As my predecessors as ASA president can tell you, this involves providing association updates at various regional meetings, including gatherings of the Wholesalers Association of the Northeast, the North Central Wholesalers Association, the Southern Wholesalers Association, the Western Suppliers Association and others.
By the time this letter is printed, NETWORK2016 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York will be a mere two months away. While these are not only some of the busiest times in the life of every ASA president, they also are some of the most rewarding. I want to take the time to personally thank all of you for your support at the many industry functions and events I have attended and will be attending throughout 2016. This has been and will be valuable time well-spent and most certainly is a positive reflection on where we are headed as an association.
Perhaps one of my most rewarding trips of the year so far was to Memphis to take part in the ASA Young Executives Spring Forum. This group of up-and-coming industry leaders has met each spring for many years, sharing thoughts and ideas with their peers, working to achieve common goals, learning from subject-matter experts and each other, and managing to have some fun in the process. At this year’s event, we had 145 attendees representing 38 distributors, 29 manufacturers/vendors and staff from two industry buying groups. This event grows every year and has become the premier networking event for up-and-coming young men and women throughout our industry.
At the many events I have attended throughout 2016, it definitely has been reinforced to me quite clearly that one thing is for certain; those of us in the PHCP/PVF industry can proudly say we continue to be part of a relationship-based industry. In a society that thrives on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and the need for instantaneous communication in all aspects of our lives, it is reassuring to see that we still value the face-to-face relationship.
I began attending ASA meetings many years ago and continue to have regular conversations with many of the people I met at those meetings. I thought a lot about that while in attendance at the Young Executives Spring Forum. Many of the attendees were meeting each other for the first time. Hopefully, they will look back several years down the road and say the same thing that I can about the folks I have met throughout my career in this industry.
As we surf the Internet, send email and communicate on our desktop PCs, send tweets on our smartphones and purchase the “latest, greatest” tablet computers, we must always remember what has made our industry great.
The face-to-face relationship.
We must all remember to care for and maintain those relationships, because without them our industry just wouldn’t be the same.
This article was originally titled “All about relationships” in the July 2016 print edition of Supply House Times.