Well, the first quarter of the year is already over and time is flying by. In my first column, I spoke about membership in our association and the second was about accreditation, both topics which I am very passionate about.
Since the beginning of 2012, we have re-instated or signed 61 new members, and received 2 new applications for accreditation. This is a great start, but we can all do more. Everyone must remember that this is our association established by members for members, and to advance the natural stone industry. Our industry is perceived by the association that represents us, so only we can make it great.
Our staff does a tremendous job of developing services and products for our membership, but to service a group that is so diverse in business type and geographical locations, it takes all the members to spread the word and provide support.
For many of my early years in business, I was like many new business owners; focused on growing our company. I have been a member of the MIA since 1988, but for many of the early years I was a check writer and did not understand the benefits of this great association, and how it can help all of us enhance our business and the industry we all work in and are so proud of.
Most recently I have spent a lot of time on the new MIA website, and although I personally had nothing to do with it, I am very impressed with the layout, ease of use and the amount of information and service that are available to all members. I would recommend to everyone that you visit this site and see what you have been missing.
You can find information on all the current events around the industry, along with, joining blogs and tweets on topics that are interesting to you. I have even asked friends to visit the site and give me their opinions, and the response is excellent. One opportunity that many members may overlook are the educational programs we have around the country. These programs are very informative and helpful to many business owners and key employees. Topics range from sales and marketing to cost control and management that relate to all of us. I encourage everyone to visit our website and attend the next event in your area.
I would personally like to thank the current membership base for their continued support, and let you know that you should feel good that your membership dues are extremely well managed and spent on the things that matter to our members. Our staff regularly send out survey requests, and the only way we can improve is with good honest feedback. We recently sent one of the surveys and if you have not yet responded, please take a few minutes and do so. It is time well spent; in the end it will benefit the people that we are most interested in: our members.
As a closing note, I will be at Coverings in Orlando this month and hope to see many of you there. This is another great industry event.
As I mentioned in one of my previous columns, I believe trade shows can be very beneficial and a very cost effective way to network with vendors, research new industry products, and simply get away from the day to day grind that consumes most of us.
I hope you will really give thought to getting new members and getting more involved in our association.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and look forward to continued industry growth.