One of ASA’s most important goals is to provide tools that give members the ability to grow and prosper.

Historically, the association has been successful in providing opportunities for upper-level management, owners and upcoming leaders in the industry. ASA also realizes the strength of a company lies within its core. How do the individuals who are integral to day-to-day operations network and gain information to help companies succeed? ASA’s challenge is how to bring networking and educational opportunities to all departments within a member’s business. The answer is through ASA’s networking councils.

ASA’s networking councils were developed with the idea that all areas within a company have challenges and issues that can be addressed by networking with industry peers. The concept is quite simple — put employees in touch with others from around the country in the same job function who experience the same challenges and successes. The result allows employees to create a peer network to use as a resource. Networking councils correspond to the following responsibilities within a company: CFOs, showroom managers, trainers, human-resources professionals, and warehouse and operations professionals.

Recently, ASA’s networking councils were restructured, rebranded and retooled to better fit the needs of the groups. Several successful in-person council events as well as webinars have taken place throughout 2016. ASA staff continues to work hard to collect members’ key contact information in order to get networking council event information directly into the hands of the member contact in their specialty area.

Current ASA networking councils include: Finance Networking Council, Training and Human Resources Council, Showroom Managers Council, and Logistics and Operations Council.

The Finance Networking Council, formerly the CFO Council, has rebranded to allow for a larger audience. This council met earlier this year in Chicago to discuss business valuation and will meet again in October to discuss advanced controller and CFO skills.

The Training and Human Resources Council, formerly the Trainers Council, has rebranded to allow for a larger scope in audience. This active group has met many times via webinar and has discussed items such as team building, leadership, hiring and onboarding, and recruitment and retention of employees. The group met once via webinar and once face-to-face this year. The group has a webinar scheduled for October covering the topic of succession planning.

The Showroom Managers Council historically holds a well-attended in-person event in conjunction with KBIS at the first of the year. This year was no exception. In addition, the group added a webinar in June entitled “Leveraging Your Greatest Asset,” which covered how to hold on to valued personnel within your firm. Positive feedback from both events has ASA looking to continue the tradition into 2017.

The Logistics and Operations Council, formerly the Warehouse and Operations Council, also has rebranded to allow for a larger audience. This group held a face-to-face meeting earlier this year on developing logistics strategies and has a webinar upcoming in October with Jason Bader entitled “Creating a Dead Stock Plan.”

For more information on participating in ASA’s networking councils, please visit and contact Maria Marchesi for more details at or 630/467-0000, ext. 210.