CETA Edge: Membership Benefits

CETA Edge: Membership Benefits

By Diane Calabrese / Published March 2024

CETA Board Members at 2023 PowerClean in Glendale, AZ


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts… We know the aphorism. Is it true?

Absolutely. Consider the girders that support a skyscraper or the metal framework that underlies the fuselage of a jetliner. A skyscraper achieves strength and resilience by the many girders carrying weight and sharing loads, and a jetliner achieves resilience in an analogous way.

It’s not just about addition and distribution of weight that makes the whole, though; it’s also about optimizing choices. For example, where does aluminum work better than titanium or even tungsten in an aircraft? Different metals and different alloys have varied and vital roles to play.

The Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA) is built and kept strong by members who come together to structure a whole on behalf of the industry. An industry, incidentally, that also makes exacting use of metals (and alloys).

The benefits of a CETA membership are robust and continue to grow. From higher visibility and greater ability to respond to feedback on regulations to ongoing opportunities for training and certification, the list of benefits is a long one; and we return to it after some thoughts from those who serve on the membership committee.

“The biggest benefit for Mi-T-M joining CETA is being able to network with peers in a number of different settings,” says Karl Loeffelholz, distributor division manager at that corporation, which is based in Peosta, IA. “The annual trade show is the main place that brings everyone together, where they can view new and existing products and pick up new ideas and strategies by attending the many different seminars offered.”

In one way or another, it very often happens that someone who has “been there and done that” can offer insight into how to handle a vexing issue. What better place to connect with those who fit into that category than among a group of industry peers?

“Manufacturers, suppliers, and specifically dealers all face similar challenges in running and operating their businesses on a day-to-day basis,” says Loeffelholz. “With so many knowledgeable and talented people in the industry, you will be able to pick up and share some great, new, and profitable ideas by getting involved.”

What is an example of how participation brings tangible rewards? “Being a member and getting involved with the association has produced multiple new business opportunities for us and has created long-lasting relationships that will carry into the future,” says Loeffelholz.

Sharing information across an industry provides the surest way for the industry to advance. (Think aerospace.)

“The CETA board of directors is constantly working behind the scenes to keep the association on track with multiple issues arising annually,” says Loeffelholz. He cites the technical updates that enable members to keep pace with the fast-changing and sometimes difficult regulations that confront the industry.

Rick Benham, the president of Kepner Equipment/Chaffee-Ward Equipment in Canandaigua, NY, also emphasizes the significance of being able to collaborate with colleagues. “Having the ability to share good and bad business experiences within our industry with like-minded professionals” is important, he explains.

“CETA is the only organization the cleaning equipment industry has to help distributors succeed in our marketplace,” says Benham. “Through the association’s continuing education grants and scholarships, training seminars, and the benchmarking program, who else has the dealers’ best interests at heart?”

Benham emphasizes that industry members should be part of the organization that is best able to help them meet their goals. “CETA has the tools and the know-how—you just have to use them,” he explains.

When members of the industry join CETA, they quickly discover “tons of talented people throughout who are great people and extremely giving of their time,” says Tim Mendoza, president and CEO of H2O Power Equipment in Commerce City, CO. And they immediately realize the opportunity to be part of “the connection and network of people in the industry.”


We know that there are those who were once part of the association and have allowed their membership to lapse. Mendoza encourages such individuals to rejoin and to share their vision for how the organization can “deliver” what they somehow found wanting.

Success for every member is part of CETA’s vision. “I would have to say that the networking with suppliers and manufacturers and creating opportunities for the distributor as a result, along with the sharing and comparing of the best practices with other distributors to discover what helps their business be more successful, are the things that I valued the most,” says Al Bonifas, the former owner of Allspray in Swanton, OH.

With decades of experience in the industry, Bonifas still participates in CETA. Part of the involvement is his current service on the membership committee.

Recalling heartfelt discussions with colleagues—and competitors—Bonifas explains the robust give and take sessions were often bolstered by results from benchmarking, a CETA benefit. “Many of those discussions with fellow members were enhanced and expanded upon with comparing and analyzing benchmarking reports and metrics.”

Deep experience in the industry gives Bonifas a solid foundation for his buoyant outlook about the association. “CETA has grown from a group of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors providing a vision for our industry to become a strong, viable, professional organization that leads, governs, and protects our industry,” he explains.

Because of its strength, the association “creates tremendous benefits for its members,” says Bonifas. “If you haven’t really taken the time to learn more about CETA lately, you and your company are missing out on how CETA can help your business.”

Regarding the ways the association can render the help that Bonifas highlights for us, let’s review a few other benefits of membership. One big benefit comes via the power of the organization to be heard.

Heard especially by rule makers: When regulators at the federal, state, and local levels seek comment on pending rules, an association speaking for its membership will have greater force behind its statement than several individual voices.

To take one example, consider the way the unified CETA voice has been a significant factor in persuading the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to be more accommodating in its implementation of SORE [small off-road engine] regulations. The accommodation means manufacturers got a bit more valuable time to make the switch from combustion engine to electric motor.

Membership benefits go well beyond business and technical assistance. The annual meeting (Power Clean™) includes seminars, certification courses, a tradeshow, and colocation with PWNA (end users). The recreational and social timeouts at the annual meeting allow for plenty of interaction—the sort that encourages new links and ideas.

Through a separate financial entity (the Scholarship Foundation), family members and employees of CETA members can apply for competitively awarded scholarships. Employees can also apply for financial assistance with continuing education and certification courses.

Regional meetings across the year, monthly subscription to Cleaner Times magazine, participation in certification for distributors, and participation in a performance standard for manufacturers are but a few of the many other CETA benefits members can tap into.

Building and doing—whether skyscrapers, aircraft, or industries—begin with engaging. Engagement perfects the way the pieces ultimately make the whole.

Not yet a CETA member? Visit www.ceta.org for membership information (and to read the complete list of benefits).

Current Digital Issue

Click to read.

Past Digital Issues

Click to read.


March 2024
February 2024
January 2024