Volume 46, Issue 3 - April 2007

AMD Headlines
In the news: Now You See Them, Now You Donít
Associations Seek to Find Valuable Information

Associations arenít that different from any non profit. Like their for profit counterparts, these organizations face questions about the future.

For many associations today, the magic question is whether theyíll be around in another five or ten years. Will members continue to support their organizations and what will associations provide to maintain the loyalty of their members? 

The Association of Millwork Distributorsí (AMD) leadership is revisiting our five-year strategic plan, which was developed in 2004. After that, we will determine the future direction for the organization.

One of the first steps in preparing the groundwork was the Delphi questionnaire, which surveyed more than 60 industry and non-industry professionals. The questionnaire took a crystal ball approach and sought participantsí opinions about global issues, the association and the millwork industry. Responses to the Delphi, showed a common thread about what members want associations to provide now and moving into the future.

Our Crystal Ball
Let us suppose for a moment that associations no longer existed. What would you, your company and your employees be missing? Letís take a look into our crystal ball.

It appears that even with todayís technology and various methods of communication, most businesses still need to access industry information, trends, best practices, functional and product training. Associations provide and accomplish things that most businesses could not and would not do on their own. They are able to utilize their connections and resources to provide their members with the best expert speakers, trainers, and educational programs. 

Where would you learn about compliance, new standards and codes that are being endorsed and how they will affect your business? 

Strength in Numbers
Youíve heard there is strength in numbers. Associations have the leverage to affiliate with other organizations and act as an advocate on behalf of the membersí positions in the marketplace. Their alliance with other organizations allows them to monitor and report first hand to members on government issues, such as Congressional activity and regulatory agencies. 

How many conferences, tradeshows or meetings do you and your employees partake in to network and build your customer base? Associations provide a smorgasbord of networking opportunities at conventions, meetings and conferences. Associations supply the tools to foster business relationships with multiple customers and a forum to promote products and services all at one location. Itís a benefit only your association can provide. 

Iíve discussed some of the benefits and value that come from an association membership. But thereís more, much more! The more you put into your association, the more youíll get out. Remember that one determined person can make a significant difference and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.

Visit the AMD website at www.amdweb.com or call 727/372-3665 to learn more about the values and the benefits of membership. 

by Rosalie Leone, executive director and C.E.O. of the Association of Millwork Distributorsí Ms.†Leoneís opinions are solely her own and not necessarily those of this magazine.


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