Published October 2020
The Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA) brings together distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers. It advocates for the interests of its membership and provides robust opportunities for training and certification.
What does CETA plan for the next few months? Ben Hagemann, president of CETA and the general manager at American Pressure Inc. in Robbinsdale, MN, and Debbie Murray, the managing director of CETA, respond to a few questions from Cleaner Times (CT).
Hagemann: The adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” comes to mind. I think that this time has given us cause to reflect and better understand what we do and why we do it. CETA as an organization is strong. CETA is its members and exists for them. The response on the technical side and the development of white papers specific to the COVID-19 virus has been a new task that has made our technical team sharper than ever.
I do worry about the members; there are certainly opportunities but also hardships. I have heard many stories of hours and pay rates cut in order to help companies survive. Any time a government decides to shut down portions of society and enforce new mandates, it is always difficult; but those government actions can also serve to strengthen one’s resolve. Our members are very tenacious and will work hard to both survive and thrive.
Hagemann: We are working to develop a series of virtual experiences for members on Thursdays, starting with an October 22 meeting. The sessions will include COVID-19 and technical updates, CETA University presentations, and roundtables. Details are still being finalized (in August). (Check www.ceta.org for the latest information.)
Murray: We are planning to have Jimmy Welch, chairman of our CETA Technical and COVID-19 Committee, give a virtual presentation for our members on October 29. In addition, Mike Tonies, chairman of the CETA University committee, along with Henry Hardaway, coordinator for CETA University, plan to give our membership a tutorial on the progress that has been made on the educational enterprise, which is very near launch.
Murray: For each category it means something different, but for all members I believe it comes back to networking and the technical issues our industry faces. If not for CETA’s strenuous dedication with committee involvement harmonizing U.S. safety standards, UL could have adopted European efficiency standards and greatly disadvantaged our domestic manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. When the pandemic started, our technical committee went to work immediately to help our members sustain their business. Our benchmarking, CETA University, and other committees work tirelessly to keep our members up to date and competitive in the industry. Even though we can communicate by phone and email, nothing replaces face-to-face interaction with our members.
Hagemann: Simply put, CETA is our industry. Everything CETA does is for our members and our industry. Technical, education, and networking initiatives highlight our activities. The purpose of the organization is encapsulated in its bylaws.
CETA recommends standards of business conduct and activities for member approval and monitors industry practices; develops and implements industry data and promotes benchmarking; defines and establishes product standards, safety, and performance ratings and promotes their acceptance within the industry; develops appropriate publications and methods of publicizing the activities of the organization, its members, and the industry; and plans and implements conferences, seminars, and trade shows, which will provide continuing educational opportunities for both members and the public.
Murray: Jimmy Welch will serve as president in 2021. He has a great passion for CETA and will continue to motivate our committees to provide our members with the best resources. We do have a regional meeting planned May 13–14, 2021, in Minneapolis, MN, and PowerClean 2021 will be held September 8–11 in New Orleans, LA.
Hagemann: The virtual business meeting we plan for late October will be the occasion also for the installation of the 2021 president and board. I am excited to be able to hand the gavel to Jimmy Welch. He has a passion for our industry and CETA. Jimmy has more knowledge of our industry than anyone else I know.