The 2016 Annual Meeting was held at the La Quinta Resort & Club in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. The weather was fabulous and spring arrived early! The smell of freshly bloomed flowers among vistas of mountain ranges appearing close enough to touch provided the perfect back drop for a valuable meeting.
The meeting kicked off with the Welcome Reception where keynote speaker, Joe Theismann, mixed and mingled with attendees, taking pictures and showing off those spectacular Super Bowl rings. Joe even skyped with President Murphy’s son during the reception!
The following morning members gathered with water bottles in tow for the 3rd Annual WASDA Scholarship 5k. Walkers and runners alike joined in for some friendly competition, as the course ran through the scenic resident area of the resort. Finishing in first place men was Keith Anderson of Anderson Metals; in first place for women Becky Harms (Scott Harms’ wife, Tyler Union). Congratulations to them both! Join the fun and don’t let next year’s race pass you by!
Committee Forums were well attended and members were eager to learn more about what WASDA is working on to advance the industry and their businesses. During the Industry Relations Forum, Will Brown of NUCA provided an update on legislative initiatives while the Marketing Committee Forum released a beta version of WASDA’s soon to be released social media game. Members were also invited to use various hashtags throughout the course of the meeting, a new way for members to engage during WASDA functions!
Keynote speaker and Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Thiesmann, took to the stage for his, Challenge of Change. During his presentation, which was at times comical and at others more personal, Joe shared with us his four steps to help manage change: 1. Seat Goals and Don’t Be Average, 2. Attitude – it precedes everything in life and it’s ok to congratulate yourself sometimes, 3. Create a Mentorship – “Teach the man behind you to take your job” and 4. Show appreciation for employees – “People don’t care about what you know until they know you care.” Joe left the crowd standing on their feet.
Alex Goldfayn, CEO of the Evangelist Marketing Institute spoke Tuesday morning on Marketing for Revenue Growth: How to Increase Your Sales With Simple, No-Cost Marketing Techniques. Alex’s interactive presentation was a great reminder of the small things we all know but rarely institute that could be increasing our business’ bottom line. One of the key points that he hit on was “Your customers deserves to benefit from your value. Value is not your product but what you can provide.” Or, in other words, know how good you (and your company) are and behave accordingly. Alex’s book, The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day (rated sales book of the year for 2015 among the Forbes 15 Best Business Books for 2015) was provided to all those in attendance thanks to a generous sponsorship by WASDA’s Future Leader’s Council.
Alex also hosted a special, exclusive session for WASDA Future Leaders entitled, Killing Commodities: How to Elevate Your Product or Service to Special or Singular Status. This small-group workshop allowed for ample discussion about easy, low to no cost strategies for improving their organizations bottom line. Asking for a referral, learning more about what your customers think of your service, and how to best communicate with current and prospective customers were a just few topics explored during this focused, interactive session geared toward future company leadership.
What would a WASDA meeting be without conducting some association business? During the General Business Session, distributor members elected two directors. WASDA welcomes new director, Tom Fieweger, Ferguson Enterprises and reelected director, Nate Peirce of H.R. Prescott. The WASDA Board also appointed Theresa Jaime, Michigan Pipe & Valve – Saginaw to fill a one-year director vacancy. Congratulations to all the new board members! WASDA also thanked outgoing board members Bo Camposano, Ferguson Enterprises and Mark Baum, The Ford Meter Box for their service to WASDA.
We can’t forget to mention the annual WASDA Golf Tournament! WASDA attendees played on the infamous PGA West TPC Stadium course, rated the fourth toughest course in America by Golf Digest. Golfers played a scramble tournament and enjoyed networking in a relaxed atmosphere. Congratulations to this year’s winners. Coming in first place Jeff Morrison, CI Thornburg, Bud Leider, Star Pipe Products, Randy Abrams (Jennifer Abrams’ husband, Cutter Diamond) and Bell Kerfin, US Pipe & Foundry, Inc. Congratulations also go towards our Longest Drive winner on hole 16 Mark Baum, The Ford Meter Box Co. and our closest to the Pin Winners Chris King, SIGMA Corp. (#4 -11’6), Bernie Pipan, Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (#6 – 12’6”), Scott Groves, North American Pipe Corp. (#13-4’2”) and Jeff Morrison, CI Thornburg Co. (#17 -4’10).
After a day of presentations and a round of golf, attendees came together for the final night dinner party. The dance floor was smoking as NRG covered numerous classics. Guest mingled over delicious bites and refreshing cocktails. It was truly a spectacular night under the desert sky full of stars.
Rounding out this year’s Annual Meeting was the Industry Forum. Will Brown, Director of Government Affairs for NUCA provided a presidential candidate update, noting hot legislative topics affecting the presidential race and what voters can expect. It was truly an enlightening presentation that left attendees something to consider when it’s time to hit the polls this fall.
This was a great meeting not only for WASDA members but for their spouses and companions alike. Spouses and guests enjoyed reserved poolside cabanas, a special party hosted by Carol Murphy, First Lady of WASDA, and much more! Get your companions ready to join us for the 2017 Annual Meeting, February 12 -15 at the Naples Grand in Naples, FL (let WASDA plan Valentine’s Day for you!). It is sure to be a valuable investment filled with great networking and educational opportunities with just a little bit of fun…ok, a lot of fun!