What's new? As is the case with each ASA president, during the spring and summer months I am provided the opportunity to get out and see many of you at various regional events and industry functions. One question I am regularly asked is "What's new at ASA?" The answer is plenty. In 2012, ASA leadership and staff recruited 45 new members, resulting in net membership growth for the first time in recent history. So far in 2013, we have recruited 25 new members; providing me with confidence we will achieve our net membership growth milestone once again in 2013. At NetworkASA 2012, ASA launched its industry forecasting program, which has received excellent feedback from our membership. Moving forward, at each NetworkASA event Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics will be on hand to present the industry forecast for the upcoming year. Each month, ASA publishes ASA Advisor, which Alan puts together to keep members current on recent changes impacting his predictions. ASA University is in full "rollout" mode with its five colleges, each complete with curriculum and behavioral performance measures. These include: the College of Leadership (targeted toward branch managers), College of Sales, College of Warehouse Operations, College of Purchasing and the College of General Business. In addition, we have rolled out ASAU Advisory Service where staff meets with members and their key employees to implement a company-wide personalized training program. This program is really taking off. Specifically, I am really excited about how ASA University is helping ASA expand its reach by publishing the first Intro to HVACR© Product Pro® course, which allows us to get into new areas of servicing our members in the HVAC market. One of my personal goals as ASA president is to work to build our industry's labor bench. ASA staff is working to develop a career board as part of a newly designed website that we will launch this summer to connect job seekers with members seeking help. ASA's advocacy efforts continue to be strengthened by our "man in Washington" Dan Hilton. He has spent the first half of 2013 with freshmen members of Congress and their staffs to familiarize them on our industry and our issues. This has been instrumental in us winning the fight on key issues such as LIFO repeal. We look forward to having members attend NetworkASA 2013 in Washington this October where there will be an opportunity to personally meet with members of Congress. Building our association's brand and promoting the capabilities of our members to the end user is a new ASA marketing initiative. Through PVF Outlook and now PB Outlook magazines, ASA is serving as a marketing partner for our members. These magazines are delivered to 20,000 customers in the PVF market and 20,000 in the plumbing market. Last but certainly not least, NetworkASA 2013 in Washington on Oct. 2-4 is a can't miss event. Brochures were mailed to the ASA membership in May and event details can be found on ASA's homepage at www.asa.net. I hope to see you all soon at one of the many upcoming industry events. You'll now be prepared to ask "What's new at ASA?"
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