Association Plans to Revitalize Committees

Executives who have volunteered to serve on an Association committee will get an email this week from President Matt Westendorf gauging their interest in continuing to serve.

If you do not currently serve on a committee, consider joining one. It is an opportunity to get more from your membership and contribute to the Association.

When we gathered in Kansas City for Supply Summit, it became apparent that the many months without a convention affected the productivity of committees. Admittedly, before the pandemic, a few of the groups felt as if they could be making more progress in shaping the Association’s direction.
The Board of Directors and committee chairs intend to make this a top-line issue in coming months and revitalize the work of committees.

“They are vital to the Association’s success,” said Membership Director Matt Rice. “I consider them one of the legs of a three-legged stool. We have the elected leadership to guide us, the staff to execute the plans, and the committees to serve in that liaison role between industry and Association and help us shape programming.”

Rice said the committees are a unique opportunity for member executives to get to know one another and move to a next level of engagement in the Association and industry.

Association presidents appoint committee members, and Westendorf wants to populate the groups with people who have the time and energy for it.
“I don’t want to create a sense of obligation,” he said. “We want folks who see value in the committees’ work and want to serve.”

And, committees have indeed proven valuable. Members of the Communications Committee, for example, recently inspired the redesign of the Association’s web site. The Education Committee is helping shape a webinar series. The Membership Committee is working with Rice to identify strategies to bring new members to conventions, provide services that strengthen retention, and raise awareness about the Association throughout the industry.

Take a look at the current committees, and reach out to Westendorf if you have an interest in serving. Get in touch at

Communications. Chairman Marc Adams and committee members provide
suggestions on the Association’s communications channels.

Convention. Chairman Tim Burenga and committee members work with Association staff to identify content for conventions.

Dealer Relations. Ben Hellbusch chairs this committee, which seeks to improve opportunities for members to connect with dealers and monitors legislation that affects members.

Education. Randy Reinke leads this committee, which develops innovative strategies for delivering educational content to members.

International Trade. Ric Kirby chairs this group, which, as the same suggests, discusses trade issues and what members need to know.

Membership. Craig Harthoorn chairs the committee, which, among other things, focuses on recruiting and retaining member companies.

Safety Standards Committee. John Fisher chairs the committee, which discusses topics relevant to the Association’s product councils and speaks with a unified voice on industry safety standards.

Most groups meet at conventions, but some may schedule virtual meetings between conventions. Learn more about committees under the “resources” tab at, and expect to hear more after the Board of Directors meeting in June. As always, your feedback is welcome. Contact Rice at, or (314) 720-4234.