With regard to vending, we should be riding the wave of growth associated with new retail technologies, emerging product channels, and the next generation of consumers which is the market segment that will make this growth a reality and instigate a renaissance for unattended retailing. A prime example of how NAMA’s leadership is striving to do this is the Industry Growth Strategy and specifically the recent Gratitude Tour. This activity was designed to boost awareness, generate excitement particularly among Gen Y consumers about the vending experience, and place more consumers in front of our members’ machines. By all reports the Gratitude Tour was a great success and step forward in that direction.
For coffee service, it involves exploiting opportunities associated with coffee, tea and water which still a largely untapped market—both for the industry and for NAMA—and one that is experiencing phenomenal growth. A tangible example of this is the recent ‘CoffeeTea&Water’ conference; I was fortunate to attend this event and witness first-hand the excitement and enthusiasm it generated within this segment of our membership. In the longer view, NAMA is convening a group of thought leaders in early December for a planning session dedicated to creating a more comprehensive strategy for this sector. And you can be sure that I will be actively participating to consider how we can translate the session’s conclusions into tangible and actionable tools for our members. One important outcome we anticipate is to conduct comprehensive market and consumer research to help us better understand all aspects of this emerging market and validate our intended actions on behalf of members.
Regarding NAMA’s established assets, there is emphasis on deepening and amplifying its Government Affairs program at the local, state and federal levels, and working relentlessly to protect our members from potentially harmful legislation. And of course ensuring a continued strong and powerful OneShow where members of our industry can see the latest technology, access great education, and enjoying a host of networking activities with industry partners is essential.
How do you approach leadership of a non-profit organization where the “member/customer” is also an owner?
The job of an association executive is to create a shared vision among the leadership of the organization on its desired future and then direct the strategy and delivery mechanisms that will ultimately transform the vision into reality. My approach is to foster that understanding among the board, staff and all participants in the NAMA community of practice, creating consensus on where we need to go and organizing the necessary resources to execute the programs and services that will deliver results. In any organization, sustained and measurable success is achieved by many individuals executing with excellence on the same vision. It’s my responsibility to be the diviner, apostle, standard bearer, and driver of the vision.
What do you see as the core mission of NAMA and what do you see as the “extras”?
The core mission of NAMA mirrors that of any association – to advocate for members; to deliver quality educational resources; to disseminate relevant, timely information and knowledge; and to provide networking opportunities and a forum for business. For NAMA this translates into a robust OneShow; a vibrant advocacy program that includes government affairs, industry advocacy and public relations; all of the education delivered at its conferences; the superior professional development programs it provides, and the expanse of information outlets used to connect with members – from the website and magazine to the Keeping In Touch with NAMA e-mail series.
As noted previously, NAMA’s current strategic initiatives, including the Industry Growth Strategy and the plans for accelerating expansion of the coffee sector, are essential building blocks for the future because of the tremendous value and results they will deliver to members. Finally, it will be important for us to pinpoint new ways we can drive value within each of these mission pillars, working to help our members seize opportunities while also reducing or eliminating obstacles like regulations that make it more difficult for them to succeed. I cannot opine on what might be the “extras,” but anything that furthers NAMA’s mission and delivers high value to members and the association, is fundamental.
What are your short term goals as CEO? (100 days, or other similar period)