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Summit Brings Renewed Energy Around Committees, Speakers

I have been attending the Association’s Supply Summit & Showcase since the days we called it “spring clinic.” At my first meeting in 2006 in Omaha, I was a territory manager for Thurston Manufacturing. At the meeting in Myrtle Beach in April, I attended as president of Thurston Manufacturing, but more importantly for this article, as president of this Association.

My experience of these meetings has changed over the past 14 years. I meet new people every year and strengthen relationships with folks I’ve met before. The results are new ideas and increasingly candid conversations, hence more productive meetings.

This year as president offered me a new and interesting vantage point. I saw more behind-the-scenes preparation. I talked to more folks attending their first meeting. I heard more feedback from members about what worked and what didn’t.

While plans are preliminary for Supply Summit 2020 in Albuquerque, N.M., the Association is working with feedback to establish a series of appearances with Jamie Flinchbaugh on lean manufacturing and Violet Sullivan on cybersecurity. This would allow for a deeper dive into these issues through successive sessions, perhaps linked together by webinars. Stay tuned.

I want to note another change afoot at meetings. There is renewed energy around committee work, and that provides outstanding opportunities for members. You can influence the content of meetings and publications and shape Association services through work on these committees:

Convention: Supports staff in developing topics and speakers for the Supply Summit & Showcase and Marketing & Distribution Convention.

Dealer Relations: Seeks strategies for strengthening relationships between shortline manufacturers and dealers; monitors legislation affecting that relationship.

International Relations: Provides information to members regarding import/export issues and opportunities.

Education: Seeks to identify the informational needs of members and provide learning opportunities beyond those offered at conventions.

Membership: Builds the membership base through outreach efforts and suggests strategies for recruiting and retaining member companies.

Communications: Pursues opportunities to raise the Association’s visibility and better serve members through online and printed communications.

Standards:Informs and represents members in regard to the guidelines developed and enacted for the manufacture and use of farm equipment.  

Consider this your invitation to join a committee and help steer the direction of this Association. To get involved, send me an email at the address below. I am convinced that stronger committees will lead to more members and improved member services, which ultimately raises the value for everyone. That is why your membership matters. 

Nick Jensen
Association President
njensen@thurstonmfgco.com