By Diane M. Calabrese / Published June 2018
Good choices spoil us. Confident that an excellent option will still be there tomorrow, we wait, usually for no particular reason.
Distributors and manufacturers who have never joined the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (and those who have allowed their memberships to lapse) know all the benefits of membership will still be there tomorrow. Yet if they all acted today, they would make a great option even better.
There is strength in numbers, and vigor in an organization that offers a vital forum for sharing ideas, continuing learning, and boosting business growth. One of the most important benefits of CETA membership is “networking with other people within the industry,” says Laura Niessner-Pyatt, the chairman of the membership committee and the product category director (professional pressure washers) at Kärcher North America in Denver, CO.
With the recent addition of regional meetings—2017 in Denver and 2018 in Minneapolis—the already solid calendar of CETA activities has become even richer. Regional gatherings complement the PowerClean annual tradeshow, this year in the Sunshine State.
Niessner-Pyatt cites five more significant benefits of membership. They are benchmarking, which allows a company to compare its business performance to other companies in the industry; certification programs for DOT, hazmat, and OSHA requirements; discounts for leasing programs, shipping rates, and credit card rates; updates on significant regulatory measures, such as Prop 65; and the CETA Education Foundation scholarships available to CETA members and employees.
“The membership committee has a primary goal to grow membership by 50 percent in 2018,” says Niessner-Pyatt. “Our second goal is member retention, keeping members interested in maintaining their membership long term.”
Spreading the word about the value of CETA membership is its own reward in terms of the potential to have more industry colleagues working collaboratively. In 2018 there will be a second reward for such efforts.
“This year the membership committee introduced a new referral program to help increase membership,” explains Niessner-Pyatt. “If an existing member refers a new member, the existing member will get a $100 credit applied to their 2019 dues.”
Niessner-Pyatt would like to hear from members and prospective members regarding ideas they have about how to increase membership. “I would also like to hear from past members on why they are not a member and what would motivate them to rejoin the CETA family.”
For CETA members who would like to make an even fuller commitment to involvement, Niessner-Pyatt offers a reminder. “I would encourage anyone who would like to join our committee, to provide any feedback or ideas—for one meeting or several meetings—to please contact Debbie Murray at email@example.com, and she can add you to the meeting. This is a great way to get more involved in CETA and make an impact in the industry.”
Greg Sprunk, who is part of the membership committee and the president of Superior Cleaning Equipment in Phoenix, AZ, has firsthand experience with the ‘why not’ question. “I was a hold out,” he explains.
“I have been a dealer for the past 26 years and really didn’t understand what the value was, so I can speak to the dealers who aren’t members,” says Sprunk. “Just the fact that we have an organization that is looking out for dealer interests is worth it alone.”
The board, committees, and membership of CETA do a lot of heavy lifting on behalf of the industry, explains Sprunk. “I have great respect and admiration for Dr. Marlo Dean with Kärcher, chairman of the technology and standards committee, who was one of the first Landa people I met in the late ‘80s. He is really on the front lines.”
Sprunk stresses he would join CETA if for no other reason than “the work Marlo is doing on Prop 65” and other work Dean and the technical and standards committee have done on issues, such as providing feedback to rule makers on what constitutes a boiler. He also cites the hard work that former board member Gregg Brodsky from Alkota Cleaning Systems and others have done on benchmarking.
“One of the reasons I volunteered to serve on the membership committee was because after seeing what CETA provides its members, I was surprised at the value,” says Sprunk. “The work CETA does for dealers in regard to regulations and the value of benchmarking data, as well as the other benefits, make membership an easy decision.”
Sprunk believes the number of dealer members in CETA can and will be doubled. He is committed to improved communication via the CETA website (www.ceta.org)—and by other means—to enhance recruitment of distributors still sitting on the sidelines. Like Niessner-Pyatt, Sprunk would very much like to hear from members and would-be members.
“I was on the membership committee my first year on the board,” says Chad Rasmussen, the 2018 CETA board president and the CFO at Royce Industries L.C. in West Jordan, UT. “That year was full of positive transition.”
Rasmussen recalls that Terry Murray of Etowah Chemical Sales and Service was the board president at the time and had been responsible for membership the year before. “Murray had done a phenomenal job of growing and retaining membership. Most of my work on the committee at the time was on member retention.”
Although Rasmussen says he would have liked to have seen more growth as well as strong retention during his time on the membership committee, he believes that all is in place now to accomplish both goals this year. “I think this membership committee is doing a good job of striking the balance between finding new members and effectively communicating the ongoing value that CETA membership has,” he says.
“As CETA President, my main goal regarding the membership committee was to get great people working on the committee,” explains Rasmussen. “We have done that. We have two members of our board on the committee, and they are doing a great job. They have aggressive goals and have done some great things to show potential members—and remind existing members—that CETA has a lot to offer.”
Vigor derives from a large membership roster representative of the industry. “Strong membership means a strong CETA,” says Rasmussen. “As we grow membership, we will find that there are more people bringing in their talents and ideas to make us all stronger.”
Moreover, Rasmussen wants to see more individuals from a single company actively engaged. “Strong membership means more than just more members. To me, it means more people. When companies involve multiple employees in the association, it brings a greater depth of knowledge.”
Realizing potential long discussed by members, the first full-scale co-location of CETA’s PowerClean tradeshow and the PWNA annual meeting will take place in Orlando, FL, in 2018 (October 19–21). “For PowerClean 2018, CETA and PWNA have both agreed that the show will be for members only,” says Rasmussen.
“Attendance at PowerClean 2018 is important,” explains Rasmussen. “It gives an opportunity for people in our industry to learn, network, see new things, and strengthen business relationships. This year affords the unique opportunity to put makers, sellers, and users of equipment and supplies in the same room. CETA believes this will create value for each of its membership categories.”