E-Communicator Article

2013 CMSA Convention

With more than 330 movers and suppliers in attendance, the 95th Annual Convention was held at the Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., from April 14 through April 19.


The Convention began with the Tuesday afternoon Executive Committee meeting and the Movers and Shakers Reception/Dinner at night. Tuesday night’s event was an appreciation dinner for all CMSA Board Members, Committee Members, Chapter Presidents and special guests for their support of the Association. Gateways International Inc. sponsored the reception, and TransGuard Insurance Company of America sponsored the dinner.


On Wednesday, the Insurance Committee, Government Affairs Committee, Membership Committee, Military Affairs Committee, 2012-2013 Board of Directors and 2013-2014 Board of Directors conducted various business of the Association. The 2012-2013 Chairman Rick Hosea finished old business during his last Board meeting and thanked his directors for their support during his term. The incoming Chairman PJ Welch conducted his first Board of Directors meeting to discuss new business and to review the new committee lists for the 2013-2014 year.


On Thursday, Convention golfers woke up early to a beautiful Santa Barbara morning for the shotgun start of the CMSA Annual Convention Golf Tournament at the Glen Annie Golf Club in Goleta. The golf tournament, sponsored by Pioneer, allowed Convention delegates to network with other companies while enjoying a warm, clear day on the course. TransGuard Insurance Company of America sponsored the $10,000 hole-in-one opportunity on the ninth hole.


Thursday evening was the well-attended Exhibitors Welcome Reception, sponsored by New Haven Moving Equipment Corp. As a special tribute to the Association’s former manager who had passed away in December 2012, CMSA President Steve Weitekamp spoke a few words about Patricia Andrews and how loyal she remained to CMSA after her retirement, and shared a short slideshow of her. During the reception, CMSA exhibitors interacted with various moving company executives and demonstrated new products and services available in the market. Delegates visited the large number of exhibitor booths while enjoying a broad selection of appetizers and drinks throughout the night.


Friday morning began with the Santa Barbara Breakfast, sponsored by Trans Advantage. Following breakfast, CMSA Secretary/Treasurer Patrick Longo of Andy’s Transfer & Storage started off the Friday General Business Session with an Invocation and a rememberance of recently passed CMSA members. Master of Ceremonies Ben Geissel of Galbraith Van & Storage Co. Inc. then welcomed CMSA delegates to the Convention and conducted the annual roll call of delegates.


Colette Carlson of Speak Your Truth Inc., the 2013 Convention keynote speaker, was first to speak during the General Business Session. Carlson spoke about the need to “grow out of your comfort zone” to adapt to a changing business climate. “We need to stop going through the motions and go through the emotions,” Carlson told delegates. She spoke about the emotional connection that draws consumers to businesses through stories. Stories, in her opinion, allowed the company’s business principles to resonate with consumers. Consumers, in turn, share these stories with other consumers. Throughout her slideshow presentation, she showed other companies’ different emotionally triggered marketing pieces that retained current customers but also attracted new customers.


Carlson also emphasized the need for executives to align the business practices they preach to their employees with their own actions. “You’ve got to walk your talk,” Carlson said. Employees who are kept engaged in the work culture allow them to make a difference professionally and keep the company moving forward.  Also, Carlson stressed the need for employers to thank or give recognition to team members to promote a positive work environment and work performance.


The 2012-2013 CMSA Chairman Rick Hosea of Crown Worldwide Moving & Storage discussed how much he has learned from his travels with CMSA President Steve Weitekamp to all the CMSA chapters. Hosea also presented a photo slideshow of his memories as CMSA Chairman throughout the year.


Linda Bauer Darr of the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) presented her outlook on interstate moving trends. She also spoke about the challenges faced by drivers in the industry, which include tax burdens and rising fuel prices. Darr also spoke about AMSA’s effort in addressing the driver shortage with their new Registered American Moving Program. Darr’s advice for moving companies for the next year is to react to change by fixing the problem and not the blame, stay focused on an excellent move and play fair to strengthen and build your business.


Next, Sean Edgar of CleanFleets.net reviewed the existing California Air Resources Board (CARB) Truck & Trailer regulation. Edgar outlined the compliance schedules for both lighter trucks and heavier trucks. He also reviewed previous frequently asked questions asked by other moving companies.


Master of Ceremonies and Outgoing Chairman Rick Hosea began the Friday Blue Pacific Luncheon, sponsored by Paul Hanson Partners Specialty Insurance, with introductions of the head table. Weitekamp then conducted the ceremonial swearing in of the newly elected Board Members and the re-elected Board Members: Sally Bolger of Grace Moving Company LLC, Vince Cardinale of Cardinale Moving & Storage Inc., Maribeth Wolf of Golden Gate Moving & Storage Co., Tim McCarthy of McCarthy Transfer & Storage Inc., Mark Andersen of Andersen Van & Storage, Alan Freese of Miller Moving & Storage, Robert Fraser of Redwood Moving & Storage and Sharon Hildreth of Chipman Relocations. Patrick Longo of Andy’s Transfer & Storage was announced as the elected 2013-2014 CMSA Secretary/Treasurer.


Chuck Cole, president of Advocation Inc., discussed the financial strain and political turmoil the CPUC is currently under and presented a detailed picture of the political climate in Sacramento. After lunch, Hosea invited delegates to the Military Breakout Session, which included a special Department of Defense (DOD) presentation by Terry Head, president of the International Association of Movers (IAM).


Head began the Military Breakout Session with a slideshow presentation about DOD changes, which include new TSP qualifications, scoping, potential of an Open Season, DOD budget issues and DP3 Phase III. The Military Breakout Session moderator, Tim McCarthy of McCarthy Transfer & Storage Inc., introduced the military experts: Matt Connell of Total Military Management, Bobby Albert of Albert Moving, Steve Vockell of Suddath Van Lines, Tim Helenthal of National Van Lines and John Lance of NMS Moving Systems Inc. Attendees were given an opportunity to visit with each military expert during concurring 15-minute round table discussions regarding the military experts’ chosen topics. Refreshments at the Military Breakout Session were sponsored by Total Military Management, Albert Moving, Suddath Van Lines, National Van Lines Inc. and Wheaton | Bekins.


On Friday night, delegates enjoyed a private barbecue dinner at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center. Scheduled entertainment at the event kept delegates engaged, such as the CMSA Ventura/Santa Barbara Chapter Apple Grab Competition, well-known strolling magician Mark Collier and caricature artist Michael Beickel. The Center dinner was sponsored by Kentucky Trailer, Arpin Van Lines Inc., Atlas Van Lines Inc., Cardinal Van & Storage Co., National Van Lines Inc., North American Van Lines, Stevens Worldwide Van Lines Inc., UniGroup Inc. and Wheaton | Bekins. Transportation was sponsored by DEWITT Cos./Royal Hawaiian Movers.


The American Riviera Breakfast, sponsored by ECS Refining, began the Saturday morning. Master of Ceremonies Vince Cardinale of Cardinale Moving & Storage Inc. ran the Saturday General Business Session events. First speaker of the morning, Terry Head informed delegates about the international shipping market. He said the United Migration Study showed that Americans are more likely to pack and relocate due to employment opportunities. The most popular countries that U.S. employees move to are the U.K., Germany and China. Head wanted to make clear that the global economy as a whole will grow, which would create more business in the international arena.


The Van Line Panel discussion followed with Steve DeBolt of San Diego Van & Storage Co. as the moderator. Panelists included: Jeff Newcomer of Arpin Van Lines Inc., Steven Hermann of Atlas Van Lines Inc., Tim Helenthal of National Van Lines Inc., Dan Robertson of North American Van Lines, John Lograsso of UniGroup Inc. and Morrie Stevens Jr. of Stevens Worldwide Van Lines Inc.


The panelists indicated that their companies have focused on becoming eco-friendly and ever more tech savvy, including using cloud-based programs and the Internet to communicate with agents and drivers. The Internet has also been a source of negative publicity for agents and van lines on consumer review websites. Some van lines have started initiatives to respond to negative posts published on consumer review websites to help resolve the issue and to avoid bad publicity for agents. As far as the industry’s future, many panelists have said that owner operators will still remain as an essential part of the moving business, but the services provided may be different than what it is now to remain competitive.


CMSA Counsel Mark Hegarty of Hegarty Law Offices gave a few anecdotal lessons for attendees to learn from as part of his “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Updates and Lessons of 2012” presentation. Throughout his speech, Hegarty clarified what actions the client did incorrectly to help movers avoid these mistakes in the future.


The next presenter, Bobby Albert of Albert Moving discussed his idea of “Values-Driven Leadership” as core values every company should follow for all business ventures. It is through the business’ core values that will focus more on the customers’ needs and will, in turn, create loyal customers for the future. Besides resonating with customers, the employees who believe in the core values of the company will perform better and will move the company/brand forward.


The Paradise Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Champion Risk & Insurance Services L.P. and Vanliner Insurance Company, followed the Saturday General Business Session. Master of Ceremonies and CMSA Secretary/Treasurer Patrick Longo introduced Sara Spataro, Region Director of Special Olympics Santa Barbara, and Special Olympics athlete Nannette Clark to say a few words about the Special Olympics program and to accept the CMSA's $5,000 donation to the Special Olympics Southern California. Weitekamp announced the college scholarship winners, and those who attended the luncheon walked on stage to thank the membership and spoke about their scholastic endeavors.


The Chapter Presidents were also recognized and awarded certificates for their support and contribution to the CMSA during the luncheon. San Diego Chapter President Thomas McCarthy of McCarthy Transfer & Storage Inc. was presented with the Chapter of the Year award. McCarthy had thanked all who supported the chapter throughout the year and had presented the San Diego Chapter’s large donation check of $25,000 for the CMSA Scholarship Fund.


President Weitekamp recognized and presented plaques to retiring Board Members Dennis Doody of Blue Chip Moving & Storage Inc. and Amy Messinger of Cummings Moving Company for their active service and leadership in the CMSA.


Signaling the conclusion of the 2013 Convention was the Chairman's Reception and Dinner/Ball, sponsored by CDS Moving Equipment Inc. CMSA Associate Board Member Jeff Nadeau of DEWITT Cos./Royal Hawaiian Movers drew and announced Ben Geissel of Galbraith Van & Storage Co. Inc. as the grand prize winner of the DEWITT Cos./Royal Hawaiian Movers-sponsored Maui Trip! Happy to have won the prize, Ben Geissel and his wife, Leslie Geissel, stood with Nadeau to have their picture taken with the Maui Trip prize poster. Master of Ceremonies and CMSA Vice Chairman Jay Casey of Casey Moving Systems announced PJ Welch as the Incoming CMSA Chairman. Welch was escorted into the ballroom by his nieces, nephews, stepson and his daughter, Isabella.


CMSA President Steve Weitekamp presented Outgoing Chairman Rick Hosea his honorary lifetime membership and Chairman's gift.  Hosea thanked Steve, CMSA staff and Claret for giving their support during his Chairman year.


Pat Welch, president of Cardinal Van & Storage Co., spoke about how intelligent PJ was as a young man. Proud of his son’s academic record as well as his community service record, Pat Welch proudly offered the microphone to his son for his acceptance speech.


PJ Welch thanked his parents for their support and for everything that they had taught him. He said that he will always consider himself first and foremost a mover and promised CMSA delegates that he would follow his predecessor’s lead in continuing to be passionate about the moving and storage industry. The delegates ended the Convention by dancing to Area 51 band’s music.


Thank you to all the attendees who joined us Santa Barbara to make this another memorable Convention! Please mark your calendars to join us for the 96th Annual Convention April 29-May 4, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Monterey in Monterey, Calif.

June 2013 - CMSA Communicator

California Moving & Storage Association 1998-2013
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