President’s Message: Looking back and looking forward

Jan 20, 2016

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t live life in the rearview mirror.” There’s a certain element of truth in that. If you spend all your time looking behind, how in the world can you know what’s in front of you?

On the flip side, there’s an old saying I learned from a lobbying mentor of mine: “You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” In other words, the past is important to help you chart a course for the future.

Both of these axioms are pretty common. And both have undeniable wisdom.

In that spirit I want to look back a bit and leave you with a few things I’ve learned over the course of my first year as NASGW’s president.

  • NASGW has an incredibly loyal membership. Each year, over 90% of our members return. What an incredible vote of confidence in the association. Thank you!
  • The NASGW Expo shattered attendance records this year because of your belief in the product and opportunity we provide. NASGW Expo has become “the” place to do real and meaningful industry business transactions. You all told me that over and over in New Orleans. Thank you!
  • You all care deeply about this industry. Because of that, we were able to help other associations achieve goals important to all of us. This year we donated $120,000 to NRA-ILA, NSSF, CSF and YSSA as these groups work in concert with us to grow our future. Thank you!
  • Your passion and generosity shine. It’s remarkable and humbling. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Many associations would be thrilled to look back at a year like this and simply hope the next year is just as good. That’s one approach. But the NASGW approach is different. We’re not resting on our laurels and won’t sit still with our success.

In fact, we’ve undertaken a very in-depth review of our past and present and we’re now looking to the future. We’ve recently been through a strategic planning process which will help us shape the NASGW mission for the months and years ahead. Two-step distribution is still an efficient and effective way to bring products to market. We know that… and by the end of next year, we plan to make sure a lot more people know that as well.

It’s been a well-lit road to get here, but we’re about to replace the headlights (and get a tune-up too). I hope you’ll all join us on the freeway ahead.

Thank you for all you do to help our industry and this association find success. We are grateful and we look forward to bigger and better in 2016.

Until next time... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Kenyon Gleason,
NASGW President

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