By John Henderson, P. E.
When I was asked to consider becoming Chairman of the GMA Executive Council in January, my immediate reaction was: “No way! I already have a full-time job. Why do I need more things to do?”
However, as the next few days passed, a nagging feeling persisted. I began to hear voices (which happens to most people who spend any time in the geosynthetics industry) saying: “If not you, then who? If not now, when?”
My mind was sending me a message that each of us already know about our industry, but often try to ignore: I need to get involved and make a difference. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and complain that the industry has stagnated, that some all-encompassing, ambiguous organization should do a better job of growing our industry, or my industry association does not care about me.
So, you ask, why am I in this position? Well, I am glad you asked.
First, GMA now has a solid strategic plan under the leadership of Andrew Aho, GMA’s Managing Director. Andrew has a clear vision for the future of the geosynthetics industry and in a short time has focused our efforts on key and effective initiatives—education, government relations, and membership growth. Since Andrew came on board, the association’s membership has grown by more than 30%, and we now have our first non-manufacturing Executive Council member, TRI/Environmental. Great job, Andrew!
But Andrew and I—and all of the geosynthetics industry—now need your support.
Second, to be a successful industry, there must be an industry voice that provides clear, concise, and accurate information to facilitate the growth of that industry. Our customers and influencers are longing for an organization that can serve as a clearinghouse for all issues related to geosynthetics. Quite frankly, we have let them down during the past 40 years. We need a strong, dynamic, one-stop shop for our industry. GMA is that organization.
Finally, you need to get involved because you are needed! Your experience, your ideas, your energy—we need it all! Our industry and the future of all of our companies are too important for excuses, past lives, or old issues to stop the dynamic growth of this association. Also, you are missing out by not being involved. The excitement and the momentum currently generated in GMA about the direction of not only our association, but our industry, is contagious.
If you are a member of the geosynthetics industry, then you should be involved in GMA. How? GMA membership is offered on three levels:
- Executive Council Membership level is open to companies in the geosynthetic industry. Executive Council members provide the main source of funding and serve as GMA’s board of directors, carrying out the primary activities of the association.
- General Membership level is open to all members of the geosynthetics industry. General members serve on association committees and help shape the direction of the association.
- Distributor Membership level is open to alldistributors, consultants, and other service providers for thegeosynthetics industry.Distributor members serve on association committees and help shape the direction of the association.
Go to the www.gmanow.com Web site for more details regarding membership.
Regardless of your past experiences during the ups and downs of our industry, now is the time to take action, now is the time to join the momentum. Get on board–it’s going to be a great ride!