Goals Set, Met: More Useful Assistance Provided for Members

by John Ospina

Welcome back to the Grand Wailea. The last time we held our annual convention here was in 2010.
A lot has changed since then, but the drive to improve the offerings of the Association remains strong. GAWDA continues to have a vibrant and active leadership and volunteer base. Their involvement and dedication continues to drive GAWDA forward for the benefit of all our members.

One of the goals this year was to improve communication between the Association, its members and prospective members in the industry. A number of committees stepped up to address this challenge. The Management Information Committee and the Young Professionals Committee first brought up the importance of social media to the membership more than two years ago. Many of our members began to utilize Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels as part of their marketing efforts. With the creation of this year’s Social Media Advisory Committee, GAWDA made great strides in using these mediums to engage the membership and to stimulate online conversations. GAWDA Media also became more active in the use of social media channels to promote our industry and our Association.

The Membership Committee actively employs social media to get the word out about GAWDA to non-members. Committee members are working on improving GAWDA’s industry recruitment collateral. They’ve created consultant- and member-based testimonial videos that now appear on our web pages. The committee also has challenged our current members to help recruit new members. The new Member-Get-A-Member program is designed to recognize and reward active members that help in this important effort.

The Safety Committee continues to keep members updated on timely safety, compliance and human resources issues through our GAWDA consultants and through the monthly electronic Safety Bulletin. Committee members also have begun introducing consultant-led webinars that discuss the benefits of GAWDA programs. This past August, they developed a seminar that covered the value of our CGA Subscription program. These webinars are recorded and are available to members through our member-only portal. Keep an eye out for more webinars like this in the near future.

Our Regional Meeting chairs also have added more take-home value to their programs, and this has resulted in larger and better-attended meetings. In 2017, all regional meetings will begin using the new registration system to ensure that members have a dependable and consistent experience when registering for any GAWDA meeting.

GAWDA leadership continues to evaluate current practices and systems to identify where improvements can be made, what services can be added and how these benefits can more effectively be communicated to the membership. Their focus continues to be not only on creating a better and more valuable benefit package, but also on how to ensure that those excellent benefits are utilized by as many members as possible.

On behalf of the GAWDA leadership, volunteers, consultants and staff, thank you for your continued membership in GAWDA and for your support of our industry.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
John Ospina Meet the Author
John Ospina is GAWDA’s executive director. He can be reached at GAWDA Headquarters in Hollywood, Florida, via telephone at 844-251-3219 or via email at jospina@gawda.org.