What Is Your Purpose?

Katie BodifordBy Katie Bodiford
CSA Director of Meetings & Membership

While representing CSA at the HDW Spring Market last week in Hot Springs, Ark., I was asked one question more than any other. As folks that were unfamiliar with our organization would stop by our booth they would ask, “So what is it that you do exactly?”

If there is anything that helps you define your purpose, it is being asked that question hundreds of times within the span of a few days. What does CSA do? And how could it be beneficial to their company? Truthfully, on a trade show floor filled with people selling everything from faucets and ladders to cowboy hats and penguin umbrellas, it’s a bit hard to “display” the value of an association membership. But as I soon learned, sharing a bit about what we’ve got going on this year seemed to convey just how CSA works to meet the needs of independent LBM dealers.

So, what do we have going on this year? Quite a bit and the list is still growing.

For starters, we are kicking off our educational offerings with the ever-popular estimating/takeoff class taught by industry expert Casey Voorhees. This year, we’ve actually added a component to benefit those new to the industry: a one-day intro class called “The Nuts and Bolts of Building Material Sales.” This class can stand alone or serve as the perfect primer for his two-day estimating workshop starting the following day. These classes will be held at the BlueLinx Training Center here at our CSA office in Tyrone, Ga. on March 21 (intro class) and March 22-23 (estimating portion). Online registration opens today!

Then, March 31 - April 2, CSA is excited to offer the Women in Lumber Leadership retreat at the Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi, Miss. This two-day event helps women in our industry meet the challenges of leadership while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Participants will enhance their ability to influence others as well as learn effective conflict resolution techniques and how to develop their leadership and management skills. Because this is a highly-interactive session, participation is limited to only 15. Online registration opens today. Don’t miss out on this groundbreaking learning experience!

And, we can’t talk about a calendar of events without mentioning the all-important topic of safety and the debut of the CSA Safety Academy. This three-part series brings together a few of the most hot-button safety topics out there:  OSHA regulations, Hazcom/Industrial Hygiene and DOT Safety & Alcohol Training. CSA Director of Safety and Transportation Victor Shell will be teaching three separate workshops addressing these issues over the span of a few months. Completion of all three courses results in a certificate of recognition from CSA.

The first part of the academy will be the OSHA 10 course on May 4 – 5 followed by the Hazcom/Hygiene portion on Aug. 16 – 17. Both of those courses will be held at our offices with the final Safety Academy portion being held in conjunction with our Annual Conference in Savannah this fall. That course, the DOT Safety & Alcohol workshop, will be a pre-conference session held on Sept. 12 – 13 at the Westin Savannah.  More information including pricing and course details will be on the CSA website next week!

Throughout the year, CSA will also be offering various webinars and other seminars as we see the need arise. It’s our way of keeping you on top of the issues that not only affect the way you do business but also have an impact on your bottom line!

At CSA, we make it our mission to inform, to educate and, most importantly, protect the rights of the independent LBM dealer. The key to our success is ensuring that we are falling in step with your needs as our member. If there are issues that you’d like to see addressed in an upcoming workshop, seminar, please feel free to reach out anytime.

As we learned this past week, those unfamiliar with CSA may not initially understand our purpose. But one thing’s for sure … we do. Through the programs and services that we offer, we are here to help you be the most informed, knowledgeable and, ultimately, successful business you can.

That is the reason we do what we do.