President's Message: Come Together!

SBCA Magazine ,

The San Antonio OQM was great; you should be at the next OQM

Man, the last year has been a wild ride! We started 2020 by implementing the association’s first long-term strategic plan. The process we went through to identify our members' top priorities and distill that feedback into a clear mission statement and goals for the association was intense. It made me proud and appreciative of the committed group of component manufacturers (CMs) we have on the SBCA Board who invested their time and energy into transforming the plan’s concepts into decisive action through topic-focused Strike Forces.

San Antonio open quarterly meeting

I’m thankful we were able to launch the Strike Force work at our first Open Quarterly Meeting (OQM) of 2020 in Miami, Florida. Held prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., that in-person meeting set a bold direction for each Strike Force that enabled each group to move ahead virtually as the pandemic made additional in-person meetings impossible. In just those few short months, it became clear the Strike Force approach to tackling individual initiatives is something that will serve us well for years to come.

A lot of work was accomplished in the first half of the year, but when it became clear we had to cancel BCMC 2020 we had to shift our focus to preserving the association’s long-term financial health. To cover the budget shortfall caused by planning a trade show we ultimately didn’t host, all but essential member services had to be paused. That process prompted our executive committee to look closely at every aspect of SBCA’s activities and budget. One thing that became clear was the nature of the relationship between SBCA and it’s management company needed to change.

Ultimately, we decided to move forward with our own staff of direct employees, distributed throughout the country. I’m very excited about the team we’ve been able to assemble. 
It’s a good mix of veterans whose names you know well and fresh talent that bring some impressive new skill sets to the association. The one position we have left to fill in the short term is that of a technical director. If you know of a person, or an outside firm, who you think would be a good fit for SBCA, please let us know.

In January, we gathered in San Antonio for our first in-person meeting in almost a year. It was so good to see CMs from across the country again! During that OQM, we resurrected several of the Strike Force tasks; discussed our early plans for an in-person BCMC show in Omaha, Nebraska, October 5-8; and reviewed the association’s operating budget for 2020 and 2021. It was no small feat that we ended 2020 with a small but positive budget balance of $6000. This means we can start 2021 from a position of financial strength as we move forward. We still need to act prudently as we don’t know what the future will bring with regard to the impacts of COVID-19, but given the current state of things we are confident planning an in-person BCMC show in October is the right decision.

So, let’s go have some fun! This is a great time to join and/or get engaged in the association. I want to encourage everyone to join us at the next OQM, May 24-26, at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. It’s the perfect location to soak up some natural beauty, as well as some ideas that are sure to help you improve your business. SBCA wants to transform this industry and create new opportunities for growth and profitability, and we want your help. 

Mike Ruede, SBCA President