By Bob Waterloo
Ten years ago, at The Precast Show in Houston, NPCA invited me to share some thoughts at its New Member Reception about what it means to be an associate member of the association. It has been on my mind frequently ever since. My talk was later published by the Precast Concrete Association of Virginia, an NPCA affiliate member. My perspective comes from the standpoint of an associate, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it applies to both producers and associates. The following is my take on what it means to be an active member of NPCA.
Opportunity can be defined as, “a combination of favorable circumstances.” As a longtime active member of NPCA, I most heartily agree! Over the years, I have experienced countless opportunities where the interaction between suppliers and precast producers has greatly benefited both parties.
Here is my Top 10 list of what being an active member of NPCA means to me. They are in no particular order. Each is equally important.
As a member of NPCA, I have the opportunity to:
- Help sell my product. And it helps both producers and associates learn what’s available on the market – both current and new products, ideas and technology.
- Develop new innovative products by working with (inside and outside) the industry, learning what is needed and then passing the information to individual precast producers and the entire industry.
- Develop information of value to the industry and then pass this information along to the industry through Precast Inc. magazine.
- Be aware of the industry’s needs and help precasters save money, work more safely and understand the rules and regulations that affect the precast industry.
- Support the association for the betterment of the precast industry.
- Serve on committees that work to benefit the industry.
- Assist with plant education, both on a technical and production level, and conduct continuous research that will benefit the industry.
- Keep abreast of the market and help forecast and plan for the future.
- Interact with customers and other suppliers regularly to help them, and in turn, receive help from them. I also enjoy introducing NPCA to prospective members to tell them about the many opportunities and benefits available through NPCA.
- Finally, as a member of NPCA, I have the opportunity to get involved. And I hope all of you, especially newer members, remember one of the great lessons of life: the more you put into something, the more you get out. This holds true for your own business as well as your involvement with NPCA or any other group. I firmly believe that the more you are involved with NPCA, the more you will get out of it.
So, you too, have an opportunity. The opportunity to be involved. And these opportunities will continue to present themselves as you become more involved.
As the old saying goes, opportunity knocks, but it’s up to you to answer the door.
Bob Waterloo is a technical sales manager, concrete release agents, for Hill and Griffith Co., based in Indianapolis.