Coincidentally, the Glass Association of North America (GANA) is also going through a leadership transition. The departure of GANA Executive Vice President Bill Yanek (effectively the Association’s hired CEO) in September, has given rise to the importance of a smooth leadership transition. It was immediately apparent that it was an opportunity to reaffirm our mission and goals, and to evaluate and plot the ways and means to get there. It is also a time to do what I sometimes refer to as ‘soul searching’; to take advantage of the moment and assess the big picture.
I see this transition as an opportunity to be less fragmented as an industry and an Association. It is an opportunity to reground our relationships amongst our membership, to continue to strengthen our relationships with similar industry associations and bodies, and to revitalize the spirit and enthusiasm that is what drew me and many others (before and after me) into the industry and into GANA. I believe we are at a key juncture – a unique opportunity to assess, re-assess, recalibrate and pursue our common goals and interests. I believe an action-oriented and open-minded approach towards the future will aid us in our mission to better the industry on behalf of our members as well as the building design and construction community. On this matter, I commit to a process where we will continue this dialogue with you and communicate updates on the path forward.
These lofty goals, and the future they rest on, must be built on a solid financial foundation. The recent Great Recession and in turn its contribution to industry consolidation has had a noticeable impact on membership. To support members and the industry during these difficult times, we as the Association leaders explored providing more value for membership while simultaneously keeping our cost structure largely unchanged. For better or for worse, that had an impact to the GANA bottom line. This year, the Board unanimously confirmed a need to reinvest in the Association to re-establish the reserves that had been there prior to the Great Recession. It is our belief and hope that we can continue to count on the support of our membership not just by paying the special assessment, but by members joining GICC, attending the BEC, Annual and Fall Conferences, volunteering to serve on Association committees, and taking on leadership roles in the Association.
The ultimate message to you – our members and the glass and glazing industry:
We are here for you. In this time of staff leadership transition, we position ourselves (both as a board and as staff) to be more focused and more attuned to member needs. The GANA board fully supports staff in its day-to-day efforts towards operational excellence and their commitment to continue to provide quality member services. In the year ahead you can expect exceptional events that are relevant and vital to you as an individual and to the organizations you work for, lead, or own. With your support of the Special Assessment, we continue to provide you with a voice and opportunities to advocate, learn, contribute, educate and grow. What we ask of you now is to continue to believe and to be there for us – as we are here for you, and the Industry.
Community and member support is best demonstrated through continued – and enhanced - involvement and participation at our events and committees. You will notice that our 2017 BEC Conference program is well defined and registration is open. Please sign up now! The dates and location for Annual Conference and Fall Conference (co-located with Glassbuild) have been set and program development is underway. Please visit www.glasswebsite.com for regular updates and watch your inboxes for notices through our e-newsletter, Glass Reflections.
Should you have any questions or comments in regards to this letter or any other Association-related topic, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glass Association of North America
Stanley Yee is a building design specialist for Dow Corning as part of the global Facade Engineering and Architectural Design Team. He has been an active member serving different volunteer roles, including Chairing the Energy Committee. He was elected to the executive of the GANA Board in 2013 as a representative of the Energy Division, and is currently serving as the elected President of the Association.