President's Letter: The APMM Needs You! 

Peter Mack, President APMM

 

To most of you, the APMM is a great organization where you can ask questions or share your knowledge about a little-understood profession that we are all passionate about. Though I find my job very rewarding, it can also be incredibly frustrating at times. As we members of the APMM’s Board of Directors share thoughts and correspond via email, we discuss new ideas and suggestions for expanding directions that are sometimes overwhelming and yet encouraging. I also enjoy conversing with Sam Martinez, the APMM’s executive director, for our regular mid-afternoon phone calls. Sometimes we just talk about the day and our personal challenges, just like you would, talking to a vendor or associate. Between Sam, myself and our Board Members, there are many projects and plans that take place behind the scenes.

As you all know we meet every two years for a Conference to share our ideas, meet new people, and rekindle past relationships. I have gotten to know quite a few people at our conferences and have developed long-standing friendships with many of you.

We’ve announced our Conference location early this time – we will be meeting in Grand Rapids in March 2018, as you may know. There were quite a few votes for Grand Rapids at the General Members Meeting in Greenville, SC at our 2016 Conference, and the more the Board talked about it, the more it made sense to revisit Grand Rapids (our last time was in 1999). An incredible amount of product development happens in Western Michigan. We are busy starting to line up tours, talking about workshops, and all of the usual planning that goes in to a Conference.

There is another topic that is rarely discussed concerning the APMM… MONEY. Of course this is one of those behind-the-scenes things we talk about all the time. We operate on a very tight budget and you might assume that the dues our members pay and the earnings from the Conference would keep us afloat. Well, our member numbers just haven’t kept up or increased in the past few years and Conferences are becoming very expensive to put on, which further erodes our earnings. At the end of the day, the APMM simply struggles to make ends meet.

My father was a salesman and he always told me, “you have to ask for the order; no one is going to do it for you.” So here it goes: the APMM needs your help financially. Sam Martinez does an incredible job poking and prodding you to renew your memberships but it just isn’t enough. We need new members and vendors to keep the organization going. It’s as simple as that. So I’m asking each one of you to ask someone to join the APMM. We have all the info you need to answer questions about the benefits of membership; you can even use your own story as to why you’re a member. (Hint: this would be the best way to persuade someone to join because you already know your story.) What I’m really asking for is an effort, I know we are all busy, but this is important and I’m only asking you to ask one person or company.

As the end of the year approaches, there is an opportunity for you or your company to contribute financially directly to the APMM through renewing your membership and claiming the business expense in this current tax year. While we are not a 501(c)3 Charitable Organization, we are a 501(c)6 Trade Association, so payments you make to the APMM are deductible as a business expense since we are an organization with “trade association membership fees”.

Though we experience difficulties from time to time, I’m encouraged about the direction the APMM is heading in and I hope you’re as excited as I am that our Conference will be in Grand Rapids in 2018. I hope you can further our growth and help support the organization by reaching out to someone new and bringing them into the APMM.

See you in Grand Rapids!

Pete

 

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