Born to Run  
The Truth About Trade Associations  
b y E r i n F l e t c h e r  
he truth about associations is  
that they’re like an incredibly  
good pair of running shoes. It’s  
not enough just to own a great pair;  
you won’t run faster by letting them  
sit in your closet, and you won’t shed  
pounds by admiring their sleek design.  
You meet your goals once you lace them  
Your running shoes provided the foundation  
to explore strengths you already had …  
that’s what a trade association is for—  
it serves as your foundation.  
up and put them to use. And the truth stander.I decided it was time to lace up Urmilla Sowell. GANA members assist  
is, even after you start wearing them, my “running shoes” and put them to in ensuring our events have top-notch  
it might take a while to see results. But good use. I attended several local sem- speakers and cutting-edge content.  
wear them to the gym enough and inars, served as a committee member Their participation is a reflection of  
you’ll find yourself getting stronger. and attended the national conference. the value they recognize and create  
Once you hit the pavement in them a In no time at all, I found myself pre- for themselves and their company  
few days a week,you might see yourself paring presentations or serving as a every day.  
getting leaner.  
panelist. This exposure as a presenter  
When it comes to my own experi-  
Now, let’s imagine it’s been a few expanded my network and gave me a ence, I feel as though I’ve put on my  
weeks, and you reach a major fitness pool of peers to rely on for best-prac- running shoes and finished my first 5K.  
goal. Sure, you’re the one who did the tice guidance. Attending events has I have no plans to stop. Where are you  
heaving lifting. You summoned the given me new ideas and creative solu- on your membership journey? If you’re  
motivation.You did the research to find tions to problems big and small in my already a member of GANA, please  
the best “Couch to 5K” running plan. day-to-day work on behalf of GANA. know that we appreciate your support.  
But could you have gotten the job done My commitment to engage has painted If you’re interested in learning how you  
without your trusty running shoes?  
me as an expert in certain subject areas can get more engaged by committing  
and has, in turn, painted my employer just a little bit of your time and talent,  
as a leader in the industry. I’ve truly please contact me today at efletcher@  
Get Active  
Your running shoes provided the strengthened my own skills while si-  
foundation to explore strengths you multaneously strengthening the suc-  
already had. Similarly, that’s what a cess of my company.  
trade association is for—it serves as  
If you’re not yet a member and want  
to hear more about the foundation we  
can provide so that you can strengthen  
your career and advance the success of  
I know I’m not alone in valuing the your company, visit us online (www.  
your foundation.Being an active mem- See Results  
ber (remember, it’s not enough just to  
have the membership in the closet) is sometimes abstract, but powerful, and send us an  
the basis for reaching career and com- benefits of belonging to a trade associ- email (  
pany goals. I would argue that being ation.GANA members are proof of this  
Let’s lace up those running shoes,get  
an active association member is the every day.We have hundreds of volun- them dirty and get going. n  
single most effective tool to strengthen teers who contribute by sharing  
your career skills while simultaneously their unique areas of knowledge.  
strengthening your company’s success. They offer expert content for pre-  
E r i n F l e t c h e r is the  
Here’s a personal example. Over the sentations at events. They work  
director of marketing and  
last year, I committed to being a more collectively to provide industry  
communications for the Glass  
Association of North America  
in Topeka, Kan.  
active participant in a professional expertise and write valuable re-  
society. I had been a member for the source documents in collabora-  
previous two years, but more of a by- tion with our technical director,  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2016  
September 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing