As I write this article it will be the last article I write for 2012. Hard to believe that the year is over and that the culmination of all we done this year whether personally, professionally, or associationally comes to an end. Not necessarily an “end” but at least to a point of reference or measure.
It seems each month’s articles have been “pre or post” some national event/issue from hurricanes, to the Presidential election, to the Fiscal Cliff, and now to a New Year. What I have come to realize that our industry continually goes through “pre or post” national events/issues. We continue to maneuver our businesses through the maze of such events and most of the times come through eventually stronger….we are survivors, thus the reason we are so critical to our nation’s economy.
Regardless of the challenges thrown our way, the entrepreneurial based businesses across America have withstood the test of time. The real test of our sustainment going forward will be our ability to “transform” the next generation of leaders who will lead our companies into the future.
As in raising children, we cannot teach them or make them aware of everything that will come their way but what we can prepare them for is how they react to the challenges and temptations that come their way.
As my Dad told me when I joined the business that it was not the issue, challenge, or scrapped part that was the most important thing at the moment, but rather it was the next decision on how you handled it that was the most important. That statement has held true for my entire career to date. The challenges of tomorrow will be different, but the process for handling them never changes. We must continue to move and look forward, using our past experiences good and bad as the wind in our sails.
For NTMA, 2012 has continued to be a year of transition both planned and yet some unplanned. What I can proudly say is that as we close this year that the words stability, growth, and momentum will be the words that describe NTMA as we enter into 2013. This year we saw the second physical move of our association’s offices in the past two years, now to be in our own newly built leased property in Cleveland. We have seen a change in our national staff new and old, while being able to boast about the current strength of our national staff and their commitment to NTMA’s success, which is you the member’s success. We will have completed the year having held two value packed Conferences in Orlando (MFG Meeting) and in Nashville (Fall Conference) along with two Purchasing Fairs.
Our list of industry partners and Affinity Partners has grown and is highlighted by another record year in our purchasing power with Grainger. We are anticipating that our rebate check will be the highest to date of our partnership. Other highlights of the year have been our continued commitment to the National Robotics League and our hiring of a dedicated staff person to lead our efforts into the future.
One of our crowning successes this year has been the progress and growth of our on-line training program NTMA-U. It alone has been the leading draw of new members to NTMA for 2012 and is poised to continue into 2013. Hat’s off to all those who have worked to make this happen both on staff and our Education Team. I would personally recognize Ken McCreight who has lead and championed this program to its current level and success.
Our NTMA Insurance program continues to mature with our sponsored program with AIX focusing on industry specific coverage’s including an aerospace rider for those serving the aerospace market at no additional costs. Realizing that there are other insurances partners in many Chapters, we just say give NTMA Insurance an opportunity when you renew.
Again, midst of all the challenges, changes, and successes we have seen net membership growth and an all-time high retention rate of our members. Thanks to all our staff membership team for their commitment to assure that our members know, understand, and utilize the many services NTMA has to offer making the cost of membership unquestionable.
One could not close out the year without recognizing the outstanding job NTMA President Dave Tilstone has done leading our great organization. Dave’s leadership, understanding, and vision of and for our industry has helped position NTMA as one of the national leaders in the manufacturing arena. His network within the industry and his ability to build partnerships has opened many doors for you the member. Dave has worked relentlessly on each of our behalf’s and I encourage each of you to thank Dave for his leadership of NTMA. The future is ours for the taking and your involvement is critical.
One last reflection of note for 2012 has been the passing of several of our industry colleagues, many of which left memorable footprints on the future of manufacturing in America. I can only hope that each of us can leave such a passion and heritage on our industry.
So in closing, I ask each of us to reflect on the year 2012 both personally and professionally; how did we measure up this year? Use your reflection of the year as the roadmap for the future and as stated earlier, the wind in your sales. We are a hard working industry, so take time to catch your breath and refresh yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. Time with family and friends is a miracle worker.
It is honor and privilege to serve as Chairman of NTMA and I look forward to leading us into 2013. So from my family to each of yours I wish you only the best for 2013: Health, Happiness, Peace and Prosperity.” My commitment remains “Transforming for Competitiveness.