The benefits of membership: You & ISPA need each other
By Gerry Borreggine
As we approach the year’s end, most of us reflect on the type of year we’ve had, both personally and professionally. In business, we often measure our success or failure in dollars and cents. It’s a rather easy measurement—we’re either in the black or in the red.
Measuring the value of our trade association membership isn’t quite as easy. The value-to-cost ratio is more difficult to measure, especially if your barometer is merely dollars and cents. What a good trade association—in this case, the International Sleep Products Association—brings is so much more than what can be determined from purely the cost of membership, especially in our case, where so much has changed during the past three years.
First, we have new management and leadership. The personality of the association has changed with the spirit of that new direction. ISPA is, and will remain, an engaged and collaborative association. We don’t simply ask for member support and involvement, we need it to survive. And, the current staff recognizes and appreciates that fact.
What are some of the things your association is doing for our industry?
Well, it does function primarily as the industry advocate for us all in both national and local political arenas. For example, this year when California, Connecticut and Rhode Island attempted to develop their own recycling initiatives, which would have had an onerous impact on the manufacturers that ship into those states, ISPA stepped in and, through collaborative efforts with local members, successfully prevented that legislation in 2012.
ISPA soon will be mailing its annual dues renewal information to all members. I ask that you process your renewal promptly. Now, more than ever, the industry needs what ISPA delivers and ISPA needs your support to keep doing this work.
What are some other benefits of membership?
- Ongoing consumer outreach, research and education programs through the Better Sleep Council
- Networking opportunities with your peers, customers and prospects
- Access to industry data that allows you to make smart, strategic decisions on how to manage your business and benchmark your success against peers
- Programs and services that advance the bedding industry as a whole
- Solutions to the most significant challenges encountered by the mattress industry
- Opportunities for you to contribute ideas and insights.
All of these are worthy reasons to be a part of ISPA and to renew your membership for 2013. But, for me, the No. 1 reason that I have been a member of ISPA for more than 20 years is, not only am I a part of this industry, I also want to feel like I am a part of it. And, along with that feeling, I believe that I have responsibility to this industry to return at least some of the good that I have taken out during that rewarding time.
Being a part of ISPA satisfies the need in me to put back some of what I have taken from this industry. And, being involved and engaged allows me to help our industry maintain its status as the great example it is for all other manufacturers to observe and admire what we do and how we do it.
I ask you to be a part of the bedding industry’s future. Renew your membership or make the leap of joining ISPA. Your industry needs you and your input.
Gerry Borreggine is president and chief executive officer of Therapedic International and chairman of the International Sleep Products Association. He began his career in 1977 as an executive with sleep products retailer 40 Winks and joined Therapedic in 2003. Borreggine became active in ISPA more than 20 years ago when he was the first retailer asked to join the board of the Better Sleep Council, ISPA’s consumer education arm.