A Few Things I'm Thankful For

By Jim Moody, CAE
CSA President

As we all prepare to gather with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, it seems appropriate to let you know why I’m thankful this season. Here are a few of the things for which I give thanks:

  • The 20 pounds I said goodbye to. There are still 20 more who apparently really, really want to hang around. Hopefully I can get them to move along after the holidays.
  • High school football. The sense of community it builds is one I really enjoy. Fortunately my team’s still playing (likely to change by 10:15 Friday night). I used to enjoy college football, too. This season? Not so much. When beating Kentucky on a last second field goal is a step in the right direction, you know you’ve been down pretty low.
  • The end of humidity for a few months. But, I’d be OK with a little rain.
  • Safety. Y’all really seem to embrace our safety services, which we deeply appreciate. Victor has more requests for help than he can shake a stick at. That commitment to safety is great for your business, but it’s even better for your employees. Meanwhile, that safety culture also translates into another great year for our self-insured worker’s comp fund. Barring a catastrophic accident in the next five weeks, we will again end the year with an excellent loss ratio. Ultimately that will mean a good dividend back to Fund participants.
  • Speaking of CSA business, it’s been a great year for the association. We’ve had wonderful participation from all four of our states. We launched a Next Gen group primarily for Louisiana and Mississippi, and it’s going quite well. We also launched a Legacy group for owners within five years of retirement to help them figure out how to leave well and create a fruitful next chapter in their lives. The annual meeting was again a great success.
  • The future. We will begin implementing a new strategic plan in 2017 that calls for us to do a lot of work in human resources (the big picture stuff, not the “do you have an I-9 for everybody” stuff) and in technology (helping you use it better). We’ll also be pushing membership pretty heavily. More members means more clout in state legislatures, and it means more critical mass for us to launch new programs and services that help everybody.
  • A board of directors that thinks strategically. Most people don’t often think about the governance of their association, and that’s probably a good thing. But good governance is really the key to a good association. A board focused on minutia can’t think about the future. Every time our board gets together, it’s focused on meeting our mission of building strong independent dealers. They are never satisfied with the status quo, nor should they be. Very few groups in our industry have this kind of focus.
  • My work family. We have an awesome staff. They each bring an expertise to the table that serves the association and our members well. And we all have a lot of fun working with each other. Hopefully it shows.
  • Members who faithfully support our programs and services. We don’t measure our success in dollars. We measure it in how many people we touch and how those touches improve your business either through helping you grow sales, become more efficient, or reduce risk. When you continue to come to our stuff, read our newsletter and seek out our safety help, you are telling us that what we are doing is meaningful to you. That makes us happy.
  • Ten great years. I’ve had the privilege of working for you for 10 years this month. I’ve never worked anywhere that long. I’ve had other offers during that time, but I’ve always brushed them off. I’m happy at CSA. It’s home to me. You make me feel welcomed and appreciated. For that, I’m most certainly thankful.