The Chairman's Corner
By John Lance
It was great seeing everyone at our convention this year. The theme for our 99th Annual CMSA Convention was Operation O.A.S.I.S. The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa was a true oasis.
I would like to thank all of you who were able to attend. For those that were not able to attend, you were missed. We hope to see you next year in Sacramento to celebrate our 100th year as the CMSA. This, I promise you, will be one you will not want to miss. Once again, our CMSA staff Renee, Gale, Debbie, Brianna and of course our CMSA President Steve Weitekamp went over and above to make this week a wonderful time for everyone. There is so much planning that goes into these conventions that you really don't even realize it, and they always pull it off. I want to thank our Senior CMSA Chairman Bob Fraser for an outstanding year under his leadership. I enjoyed reading all his columns. You can tell he spoke right from the heart. How about our Cinco De Mayo dinner event! What a blast that was seeing everybody showing up in costumes. We even had a soccer team attend! I also want to thank our speakers who traveled from all over the country to bring us valuable information on current industry changes.
Our industry, like many others, is going through a transitional period. It seems like every time I turn around there is some new electronic program that is available to us to improve our business. We need to keep up with these changes, and in order to do this, we need to get our younger generation involved. I asked my board to answer this question: What are you doing in your operation to recruit the younger generation? Also, what are you doing to keep them once they join your team? I was amazed at the answers I got back. We went around the room and everybody shared what they are doing. Bottom line is we are all struggling to recruit new younger people into our industry. Everybody in the room had an answer on what to do to keep a good employee. Treat them well because they are like family to us, and they should be treated that way. Greet them with a smile when they show up for work in the morning. Tell them good job from time to time. We get caught up in the struggle of daily operations and sometimes we forget to do this. I know I am guilty of it myself.
Our younger generation grew up with laptops and iPads and iPhones. They are already using the technology that is being presented to us daily. We need to figure out a way to bring them into our operations. We need to embrace change. Keep your eyes and ears open and be willing to listen to new ideas. I will continue to focus on this problem this year and my eyes and ears will be open. Last year, we started a young professional group that meets at the convention once a year. We had decent participation last year and it more than doubled this year. We are trying to get our young professionals more involved, comfortable with interacting/meeting one another and sharing their ideas. We hope to see this group grow more and more in the next couple of years.
Two years ago, our board created a Chairman's Choice Charity Program. With the board's approval, the incoming chairman selects a charity of his choice to which the CMSA contributes $5,000. The charity I choose is the Muscular Dystrophy Association. About 15 years ago, my younger brother was diagnosed with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. Never in our family history has anybody showed any signs of this. My brother was one of the best van operators our industry has ever seen and it seemed like overnight this disease took him down. Don't take your health for granted as you never know what tomorrow will bring. I want to thank former CMSA Senior Chairman Patrick Longo bringing this suggestion to the board two years ago. Going through the chairs these last couple of years, I could not wait to announce my charity. It means a lot to me.
I look forward to traveling with Steve and visiting all of our chapters this year. I am excited to visit your operations and see how they're run and absorb different ideas. I am honored to be your 2017-2018 Chairman of the Board.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. Now, go take on the day and I will see you next month.
June 2017 - CMSA Communicator