Volume 50, Issue 1 - January 2015

GANA Perspectives

2015: We’re Ready for It
A Look at GANA’s Past and Future Initiatives

by Bill Yanek

As Yankees’ player Yogi Berra once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” By almost every measure, 2014 was a successful year for the Glass Association of North America (GANA). Throughout the year, GANA staff and its leadership followed a path developed last March during the annual strategic planning session. As a result of that meeting, we developed initiatives that guided our efforts this past year and will continue to do so into 2015. Here’s a look at those efforts:

Strategic Initiative #1: Defend and advocate for our material in every relevant venue.

In support of this initiative, we committed to:

• Reviewing who, what, when, where, and how we play in the advocacy arena;

• Communicating to our membership the need for advocacy investments of both time and money;

• Delivering our advocacy message to decision makers; and

• Evaluating and executing 2014 and 2015 budget management that reflects the strategic importance of GANA: Advocacy.

Advocacy is one of our primary functions. It is our collective voice as a membership that carries great influence among stakeholders and industry decision makers. In pursuit of carrying out this strategic initiative, we made great strides by:

• Communicating to our board and advocacy stakeholders an analysis of our advocacy efforts;

• Conducting in-person visits with key industry and association decision makers;

• Reinvigorating the GANA: Advocacy online platform by staffing content delivery, with a significant emphasis upon our social media efforts; and

• Crafting and executing alliance relationships with organizations aligned with our advocacy goals.

Strategic Initiative #1a: Increase the financial stability of GANA.

In support of this initiative we committed to increasing membership and event attendance. Membership grew in 2014 and our event attendance improved over 2013 as well. Of particular interest, we continued to evolve into a true North American trade association by attracting new members from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Last year also saw the formation of a working relationship with the Canadian Glass Association (CGA), which will result in joint technical, event and resource efforts. The work we do with CGA will occur in concert with our continued association relationship with the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance.

2015 and Beyond

Management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.” Within GANA our internal operations have continued to evolve. This includes technical activities. Urmilla Sowell, technical director, Sara Neiswanger, technical resources coordinator, Tom Culp, energy consultant, and Thom Zaremba, fire, safety, and structural code consultant, will continue to serve as the foundation of these efforts. Moving forward, I expect our technical activity portfolio to grow and our staff needs to increase.

There are also a number of other areas in which we are focusing. These include:

Canada. As mentioned above, our unique partnership with the CGA will continue to grow. GANA’s subsidiary, Centric Management, is now the management company for CGA. This will serve to strengthen GANA/CGA ties.

Expanding the market for glass. Over the past several years, GANA’s focus on glass market expansion has focused almost exclusively on the outside building envelope. In 2015 and beyond, we will explore market expansion for glass and glazing inside architectural structures.

Advocacy in a different Washington, D.C., environment. Hopefully, this new political environment will prove to be better. I cannot guarantee that – but it is sure to be different as a Republican-held House and Senate learns how to interact with the final two years of the Obama Administration.

Your GANA Team. For the first time in several years, our team begins the year fully staffed and ready to move forward. Ashley Charest continues as account executive. Urmilla Sowell, technical director, and Sara Neiswanger, technical resources coordinator, remain to shepherd our technical activities. Erin Roberts begins her second year as director of marketing and communications. And, yours truly begins his eighth year as executive vice president.

Thinking ahead, book author Karen Lamb once said: “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” So, let’s get on with 2015.

the author

Bill Yanek is the executive vice president of
the Glass Association of North America in Topeka, Kan.

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