Chairman of the Board’s Message: May/June 2017

Excited and Ready to Go!

I’m honored and excited to become WMIA’s new Chairman of the Board, and the timing couldn’t be better.Dave2

The chairmen/presidents who preceded me, Scott Mueller, John Park, and John Henderson, and the boards they led, have put WMIA in a very strong position.

The economy is good.

We’re going to Hawaii for WIC 2018.

We have the Association’s 40th anniversary coming up next year.

Our staff is solid and they are doing a fantastic job.

Our relationship with WMMA is good.

The IWF show is returning to its glory days.

Our financial position is very solid.

My timing—luck, really—has me excited and ready to lead this Association.

So what do we do for the next two years? Now that we have the Association’s operations under control, we’re going to focus on our strategic plan, and concentrate on our vision and long-term goals. These will guide us in everything we do moving forward.

Two years isn’t that long of a time period, so the two main things I’d like to focus on are membership and education. I want to drive membership, especially among distributors. There are only so many importers that bring machinery in, but there are a lot of distributors out there that aren’t involved yet. I really want to get those distributors engaged and active, get them to serve on committees. If you know any distributors who aren’t members, please let us know, because we’ll be making a big push to encourage nonmember distributors to join after WIC.

WIC is great for networking. The more people we have, the better the networking is, and networking is the #1 benefit we offer to all our members. I’ve attended maybe 10 WICs since becoming active in WMIA. (I’m not going for any kind of record, because I know I’ll never catch Scott Mueller, who’s younger than me.)

Where education and awareness are concerned, we want young people to know about our industry. My son is 17, my daughter is 19, and when you bring them to the IWF show or our shop, and they see robotic machines moving, they actually like it. We have a good story to tell, but the kids don’t know it yet for the most part.

While it’s important to get young kids involved in the industry, it is equally important to educate our own people, to get our sales people more informed and stronger with programs like the WTII Boot Camp. Elevating our own companies to be a little bit more professional, a little bit better, a little bit more effective is what we can do as a big member benefit.

Although we’re putting an emphasis on membership and education, our other ancillary goals aren’t going to go away. We’re going to make sure the work on ANSI continues to develop and promote safety standards. We’re going to make sure that WIC stays successful. We’re going to make sure we keep our eyes on national affairs as things occur in our government that could impact us, and we’re going to make sure the IWF continues to grow and be strong. We’re not going to overlook those things.

Everyone should be excited about what the next two years will hold. I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve as Chairman, and I am ready to go. As always, let us know if there are things you’d like to see the Association do.

 

Dave Sig

 

 

Dave Rakauskas
Chairman of the Board

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