By Diane M. Calabrese / Published January 2022
Avibrant and growing organization that represents the professional interests of distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers, CETA thrives through team effort, and the team sees a vigorous 2022.
In 2021–2022, Al Bonifas, owner of All-Spray in Swanton, OH, is serving as president of CETA. He works together with an enthusiastic and expert-rich board of directors.
Speaking for the CETA leadership team, Bonifas says he expects to see much accomplished by the association in 2022. First and foremost, CETA will continue to build on its strong complement of programs, initiatives, and activities.
Members are already looking forward to the 2022 PowerClean in Orlando, FL, (October 12–15, Shingle Creek). They recognize CETA as the top resource for distributors in the power-cleaning products industry.
It’s a recognition taking hold more firmly as CETA provides networking, education, and training opportunities. As such, membership is growing, and Bonifas wants to see growth truly accelerate.
The more members there are, the more collegial connections and the higher the visibility of the organization. High-visibility professional organizations command attention from regulators when comment is being collected on new regulations.
And there are pending regulations that require immediate and ongoing attention. One of them, explains Bonifas, is the small off-road engine (SORE) regulation from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
SORE in California is modeled after the initiative of the Environmental Protection Agency, but it will take effect much sooner. Without some give and take from CARB, it will put new requirements on pressure washers beginning as early as January 1, 2024.
“Our new SORE committee will be working on behalf of CETA to forward our response as well as the comments from our members to the CARB,” explains Bonifas. An extension (to 2028) of the deadline to meet zero-emissions requirements for pressure washers powered by small combustion engines is urgently being sought.
Bonifas says the sanitary benefits of using pressure washers must be weighed in the risk-benefit analysis. CETA will offer comment to CARB to make certain the health and economic benefits of using pressure washers in the SORE category are fully appreciated.
[Note: See the article on SORE in the December 2021 issue of this magazine for details regarding the parameters for engines covered by the legislation and regulation.]
Not exclusively for the feedback to CARB, but also for the benefit of the public, Bonifas envisions a stronger focus on disseminating information about all the good that pressure washers and related tools accomplish.
“There are so many applications, from cleaning agricultural livestock barns to control of the spread of diseases, to cleaning invasive species off of boats to keep them from spreading, to cleaning kitchen exhaust systems so the grease buildup doesn’t create a fire hazard,” says Bonifas. All should be known.
Moreover, CETA members should have ready access to examples. And they do. Good and growing, CETA University, an online repository, continues to expand.
The university enables instructional videos and audio programs to be compiled and retrieved by members. Bonifas expects the “holdings” to become more robust in 2022.
Indeed, the holdings already offer a single-point access to resources. The consolidation of information includes organized modules and primers from manufacturers and distributors. Thus, CETA U serves as a location for members who want to find assistance for training employees in the best possible way.
Formal and informal endeavors will continue to provide members with new ideas regarding how to fortify and grow their businesses. In addition, again as a part of membership, distributors will be able to participate in the benchmarking program.
As a self-check on how a company is doing—and how it can do better still—the benchmarking program gets very high praise from members who use it. The more companies that participate in benchmarking, the more precise the results, and the more useful the results are to individual companies.
Via benchmarking, which protects all data submitted with utmost privacy, a company can compare its sales, service, and inventory expenses with similar businesses. (“Similar” businesses but identities are not known).
Getting the word out regarding the utility of benchmarking as a part (optional) of membership is a priority in 2022. Stronger companies, stronger industry…
And as for a stronger industry, distributor members who have not yet done so will be encouraged to obtain CETA certification. The CETA Certified logo elevates recognition of the company—and of the industry—by demonstrating a commitment to excellence. Manufacturer members of CETA who meet the association’s CPC100 standard can similarly use that logo.
The CETA Scholarship Foundation gets stronger each year. The trajectory will continue in 2022. The foundation raises funds for scholarships, which are awarded through a competitive merit-based system. Members in good standing and their employees and family members are eligible to complete the application process.
As the nation resumes the level of activity that prevailed into late 2019, the familiar and important methods of interacting will again define the association. They will include not only the roundtables and seminars at annual meetings but also regional gatherings.
Sustained sharing of ideas and solutions, as well as a bit of friendly competition, will resume in a welcome way in 2022. Naturally, members will be able to rely on the committee dedicated to technical issues and standards, which is led by immediate past-president Jimmy Welch of American Pressure Inc. in Robbinsdale, MN, for the most up-to-date information.
It’s not only the SORE regulation deriving from CARB that must be understood and incorporated into business models. There is the steady stream of modified and new regulations from EPA, OSHA, and DOT that must be internalized, too. CETA facilitates the dispersal of new information in the timeliest way.
A company could go it alone and successfully conform to all regulations, ranging from hazmat to California’s very specific Proposition 65. Yet there is something about working with colleagues—and competitors—to meet the ever-changing expectations for our industry.
Dealing with a seemingly daunting new requirement becomes quite a bit easier when an owner hears from a colleague about what worked and how compliance was not so difficult. In 2022, Bonifas wants to make certain that members of our industry take full advantage of the collective expertise that defines it.
Passionate about what they do, CETA members are eager to welcome others to their association. As Bonifas sees it, the members reflect the advice of President John F. Kennedy.
The 35th president suggested that instead of asking what their country could do for them, citizens should ask what they as individuals could do for their country. Bonifas endorses that sentiment. And he uses it as a jumping off point to encourage members and prospective members of CETA alike.
“We have enough going on that we are hoping members don’t just ask what CETA can do for them, but instead ask what they can do for CETA,” says Bonifas.
[Not yet a member or questions about membership? Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.]