UMAPP and the Importance of Service

Happy selling season!! This is crunch time in our industry.  Suppliers are out on the road working hard on tradeshows in a variety of venues and incarnations. Distributors are busy meeting with clients to either start the process or finalizing what they would like to give employees, customers, etc., for the gift-giving season. This is prime time baby and I hope everyone is doing well and keeping their “head above water” and it is a successful fall season for everyone.

UMAPP is very busy with several events, elections and a variety of end-of-the-year tasks.  We are kicking off the UMAPP Fire and Ice Show at US Bank Stadium planning with our first committee meeting on September 21 at the Radisson Red in downtown Minneapolis along with a tour of US Bank Stadium.  We have a vibrant and enthusiastic group of volunteers assisting at making this a fantastic event for 2018 (May 9 to be exact)!!

Additionally, our Professional Development committee is hosting a seminar on technology along with a Craft Brewery Social on October 4in St Paul.  The technology session will be presented by Terri Sparkman of SAGE.   The event starts at 2.00 pm on October 4at PAIKKA (pronounced “PICA”) Event Center (550 Vandalia St., St Paul, MN 55114) with the seminar and continues immediately after just next door at Lake Monster Brewing Company with a tour, beer tasting and networking.  There is a food truck on site and UMAPP will provide a voucher towards the purchase of food.  The fee is $25 for members ($35 for nonmembers) and we are really looking forward to a great afternoon.

Finally, we are in the process of voting for suppliers for the Room Show coming up in February and selecting new board members for 2018-2020.  We need one supplier representative and one distributor member for the board for a 2-year commitment.  We have two candidates for the supplier spot and one for the distributor spot.  This brings me to the meat of my column!!

I am thrilled that the people that are running have put their name in the hat, but I must tell you that I am disappointed that more of our fellow members (over 485+ companies) have not considered or reached out to run for the board.  I have racked my brain over the last several weeks to figure out why people are not deciding to give it a shot and run for the board?

My conclusions are that people are busy, distracted, or just don’t fully understand the time commitment and therefore another task or group that they have to be beholden to may be too much on their plate.  I fully understand all of those and I, too, feel you but I am here to tell you that you can be on the UMAPP board and not interrupt your business, your family, or your life.  We meet 8-10 times per year as a group and although there are occasional meetings outside the monthly meeting, they are frankly not that frequent.  We have an Executive Director in Sue Selseth, with years of experience who fully supports the board and really is the backbone of the organization.  She allows the volunteers to do their work and she is there to run the day-to-day operations. 

I am here to tell you and that we need you!! This organization will only continue to thrive as long as our membership stays involved and engaged.  We have an awesome group of people in the industry in this part of the country and I want to meet more of you.  I really want you to engage with each other and develop relationships with one another.  When it is all said and done, that is all we really have - our relationships.  This industry provides us huge opportunities to meet many unique and engaging people and UMAPP wants to help facilitate that in your career.  

I will now get off my “soapbox,” but I am very passionate about not only this industry but also UMAPP.  It is something I have been involved with for over 10 years and I truly believe that there are so many things that can be gained by getting involved.  Please reach out to me or any of our board members if you have any questions about events, board service, etc.  We would love to see you in October at the Technology/Brewery event and to consider getting more involved in 2018 and beyond!!

Have a great fall and I will talk to you all later in the year!!

Carter Sharp
UMAPP President 2017