There are many exciting changes going on within NARMS, THE trade association for at-retail merchandising and marketing service companies. This week, as part of those ongoing developments, the members were emailed a link to a new downloadable NARMS Member Handbook. The .pdf document is also located within the members area of www.narms.com. The handbook is a snap shot of all the features and benefits of membership and is designed to help members get maximum value from their affiliation with NARMS.
The NARMS Member Handbook provides some interesting history about the development of NARMS from the early years in 1995-96 to the present day. Another section highlights the current members of the NARMS Board of Directors. There is also a section on the new NARMS headquarters staff now located in Broomfield, Colorado.
The heart of the document lies in detailed descriptions of the benefits that are currently available to members. Among these offerings are things like the NARMS Member Directory, the Recruiter, JobBank, Career Connection, Affiliate Member Programs, Conferences, the Infoshare Library and educational resources like NARMScertifyU and the NARMS Webinar series. The Handbook also covers the various member communication tools such as NARMS Newsfeed, Top Shelf, What’s In-Store and the official Association social media channels.
As you read this Handbook, you will see that NARMS is dedicated to providing continuous improvement to the at-retail service industry. Many of our members join for one or two specific purposes and later find out that there are many support functions available in the areas of industry research, education, networking and member programs. This document will help you avail your company to those services and help you take your place as one of the leaders in the Association and the industry.
These are exciting times for NARMS. The Association recently named Tom Caddell as Executive Director and is in the process of putting together the 2012 new membership drive and renewal campaign. The 2012 Spring Conference is coming on April 14-17 and in its 17th year will feature a new name. Remember to hold the date for The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference held at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa Florida. Caddell, Conference Chair Stefan Midford, the NARMS staff and the NARMS Board of Directors are putting together a value- packed agenda for our annual showcase event.
Billed as the largest event for retail merchandising and marketing across North America, the event is geared toward retail in-store companies, retail industry executives, retailers, independent food brokers, manufacturers, event/mystery shopping/demo companies, professional installation companies, merchandising service organizations and future NARMS members. The event annually features speakers, workshops, meetings and networking opportunities designed to address the issues and needs faced by the at-retail service community.
Registration for The Retail Merchandising & Marketing Conference will open up shortly at the Conference Center at www.narms.com/conferences. You will want to check the Conference Center often for upcoming agenda announcements, hotel information, sponsorships, and exhibitor opportunities.
If you have not already done so, open up your date book or smart phone and make sure you set aside April 14-17, 2012. There are many changes going on at your trade association and you are going to want to be on hand to witness and experience this annual event. Stay tuned for more big announcements from NARMS.
The NARMS Board of Directors has announced that Tom Caddell has been named the new Executive Director of NARMS. The announcement follows a thorough search process designed to find and hire the individual who can take the Association to the next level over the coming years.
The search process involved the Board of Directors and experts in human resources and consulting, both of whom the Association has used in the past for matters requiring a high level of expertise.
Caddell is no stranger to the at-retail merchandising and marketing service community. In fact, his fondness for NARMS has in the past led him to serve in a volunteer leadership position on the Board of Directors. His career has led him to successful stints in a wide range of segments within the retail industry. Most recently, Caddell was co-founder and partner in Emergent Brands LLC, a brand catalyst firm offering strategic services to emerging brands in the Health/Wellness industry.
Caddell learned first-hand of the challenges faced by a retailer at Albertson’s, rising from stocker to senior store management. Following this, he co-pioneered the introduction of several brands in the then newly-burgeoning natural foods category, while overseeing retail service for traditional brands, during his time with a leading national food broker. While there, he developed his vision for a diverse merchandising services organization with a national footprint, but regional focus. Subsequently, he held senior operations and sales roles with both start-up and established merchandising service organizations, even as he maintained active involvement in NARMS. Throughout his career, Caddell has worked with clients in the start-up world, as well as Fortune 500 companies.
Caddell will begin his new responsibilities on November 7, 2011.
In a memo issued this week to the members of NARMS, Board of Directors Chairperson Mary Jo Bastuba outlined some of the progress being made by the Association toward the projects and initiatives discussed at the NARM Spring Conference in Monterey. Among the key topics in the memo are: Spring Conference Venues, the Executive Director search, Accreditation, and the RORI study.
In the three months since Monterey, a volunteer committee was formed to help select locations for the NARMS Spring Conference for 2013 and beyond. If you recall, a decision was made in Monterey to stick with Saddlebrook in Tampa for the 2012 17th Annual NARMS Spring Conference. The committee consists of Marc Shapiro, Jim Fulk, Lucas Pierce, Bruce Wisener, Maria Siliamianos, and Judy Einbinder. The goal of the committee is to identify and suggest more centrally located cities for the annual event. Suggestions so far include Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, and New Orleans. The committee will look at possible venues in these cities and determine cost effective hotels, airfare and other factors deemed important by the members.
During the summer board meeting, The NARMS Board of Directors spent a great deal of time and consideration on a Job Description for the vacant Executive Director position. The description outlines the exact requirements and experience required to fill the position. That work is now complete and the opening has been listed on several career websites including Career Connection on www.narms.com. Phone screens and face to face interviews will take place in September with the goal to have the new Executive Director in place by November 1.
A common thread that was identified by the division committees in spring was the desire to continue along the path toward an Accreditation program. Although the program was side tracked last year, the Board is continuing to keep the topic on the front burner. Final steps are now underway to wrap up the RORI study. A final whitepaper will be available to the membership shortly followed by a NARMS Webinar where the members will get a chance to have all their questions answered.
Meetings at the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, held last week, resulted in significant action by the NARMS Board of Directors to ensure the future prosperity of our Association. Leaders from the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry engaged in a candid conversation in several forums. The first was the annual Board of Directors meeting, the second was a joint session of the Board and members of each Divisional Committee, and the third was a town hall question and answer session as part of the NARMS Annual Business Meeting. Here are the action items brought forward:
A committee will be formed to provide recommendations on the location and format for future Spring Conferences. The recommendations for locations will be in effect after 2012, as the Board had earlier decided to stick with the prior commitment to Saddlebrook in Tampa, Florida. The board is actively seeking volunteers to serve on this committee along with Jim Fulk, Judy Einbinder, and Marc Shapiro. Contact Ken McKenzie at NARMS headquarters if you would be interested in serving in this capacity.
The Board is proud to announce the following Division Chairpersons: Ken Kress and John Gillis will co-chair the MSO Committee, Lucas Pierce will chair the Event Marketing Committee, Gregg Morrison will chair the PIC Committee, Jim Hall will chair the IFBA Committee until a replacement can be determined, Kelly Baker will chair the Manufacturer Committee, and Charlie Fanning will chair the Associate Committee.
During the town hall Q & A, some concern was voiced over the current relevancy of the NARMS Mission Statement. Subsequent discussion revealed the need to review and revise the statement to better reflect the current state of the Association. Judy Einbinder has stepped forward to be the point person for the project. The revision will be passed through the board for input and then forwarded to the Membership to be reviewed.
Much attention was given to filling the vacant Executive Director position. The Board spent significant time listening to the members as they voiced their opinions about what they desired in a new leader. The Board is currently compiling a list of requirements in order to craft a job description to use in the search process.
The final, major topic of discussion revolves around the future strategic direction of NARMS. The Board will provide members with updates on a 60-day cycle, and more frequently if needed, to make sure that all members understand and support the direction and strategy of the Association. In doing so, the Board is seeking a greater level of transparency in initiatives such as RORI, Accreditation, and development of a project in collaboration with University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Perhaps the biggest observation from the annual get together is that the NARMS Board of Directors and leadership have been listening to the members and that the members have been heard. If you attended the conference, we are seeking your input on the event. Please click here to participate in a brief survey. #NARMSCON451
Over the history of NARMS, the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry has been blessed by the leadership of some of the top professionals in the industry. The calendar once again says it is time to begin the process of finding the next generation of leaders to take our industry into the future. In two separate communications this week, NARMS headquarters informed the membership that nominations for the Board of Directors are now open.
A Nominating Committee has been formed consisting of three current members of the Board of Directors and two other active members of the Association. The 2011 Nomination Committee includes Chair Lance Andersen of CROSSMARK Sales and Marketing, Inc.; Steve Donzelli of Chuck Latham Associates, Inc.; Gregg Morrison of Touchpoint 360, LLC; Kelly Baker of Teters Floral Products; and Julie Nichols of Nichols and Associates, Inc.
In order to be eligible, your nominee must currently act as the ceo, president, vice president or director of a corporation, member, partner, or owner of an active member company, or any individual vested with equal authority by the member company. The qualified candidate will be: able to meet the time commitment, attentive to Association needs, a group decision maker, objective, a good communicator, a person of integrity and absent of serious conflicts of interest.
Nominations are open for the expiring terms of Dave Tucci of CSN Retail Services, who is eligible for re-nomination to an additional two-year term; Kelly Hampton of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, also eligible for re-nomination to an additional two-year term; and Lance Andersen of CROSSMARK Sales & Marketing, Inc., who has served two complete terms. To include your nominee on the slate, you must submit their name to a member of the Nominating Committee by February 14 and copy Ken McKenzie.
When nominations are complete, a ballot will be sent to all NARMS Members. Members will then vote and submit completed ballots no later than seven days before the scheduled annual meeting that takes place at the 16th Annual NARMS Spring Conference. That means the cut-off date for completed ballots this year is Friday, April 1, 2011. Any ballots received after that date will not count.
Always remember that this is your Association. Getting involved by serving on a Division Committee or the Board of Directors is a means of demonstrating leadership. It is a serious commitment, but one that has many personal and professional rewards as you will be helping to guide the growth on an entire industry.
After just having completed the summer MSO Division Committee meeting yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to bring the membership up-to-date on the types of things that your leadership group is up to. The meeting took place on Monday and Tuesday, July 13 and 14, in Grapevine, Texas at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center. The meeting kicks off our mid-year meeting schedule which culminates in NARMS Summer Board of Directors Meeting during the last week of July in Bloomington, Minnesota.
During our time in Texas, our MSO Division was called to order at 1:00 PM on Monday and immediately broke into a very lively and productive afternoon session. The first order of business was to hear from Chris Dammann who presented a preliminary look at the 2009 Survey of At-Retail Merchandising and Marketing Practices. Dammann shared the results of the survey, some key findings that the data seems to indicate and the next steps toward publishing the results in a few weeks. There is still an opportunity for manufacturers and retailers to participate, so if you know of a contact who would like to help us out, please direct them to these links: Manufacturer Survey, Retailer Survey.
Phil Lauria next took the podium and delivered an update on the landmark RORI Study. Lauria briefed the committee on activity that has been taking place since the announcement of the project during 2009 Spring Conference. In general, RORI is generating tremendous interest in the marketplace with many key players lining up to participate. Those interested in participating should contact Dan Borschke for details. Lauria also shared a timeline for the project leading up to the 2010 Spring Conference.
The afternoon finished out with Vicki Alarie sharing some feedback from our Manufacturers Division. Alarie facilitated the division’s roundtable discussions at the 2009 Spring Conference and has been in close contact with the members since that time. The feedback centered on how manufacturers feel the Association can be of better service, how Spring Conference could be improved, and general observations of the marketplace. Incidentally, the information shared by Alarie closely tracked with information shared by Dammann earlier. The discussions led directly into Lauria again addressing the group on additions to the NARMS Strategic Plan that he plans to share with the Board of Directors in Minneapolis.
On Tuesday morning, the group was brought up-to-date on the state of the Association and spent the balance of the morning discussing and making plans for the MSO agenda at the 2010 Spring Conference.
On Tuesday-Thursday, July 28-30, the NARMS Board of Directors will be meeting in the Minneapolis area at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington. I will share more about the three day agenda in the near future. One of the more exciting items is a Manufacturer/Retailer Reception scheduled for Tuesday evening. This is designed to introduce new Trading Partners members to the organization. If you have a contact in the Twin Cities area that you think would be interested in attending and meeting association leadership, please pass along this invitation. NARMS 7/15/09
As the membership of NARMS has become more diverse over the years, we created individual service divisions within the at-retail merchandising and marketing sector to suit a more defined approach. It goes without saying that the Manufacturer and Retailer Division perspective is an extremely important part of the mix. These trading partners not only provide the customer insight on needs and wants at-retail, but many also operate field organizations of their own. With this in mind, we are holding two events this summer in conjunction with already existing board and committee meetings to attract new members and grow this vital division.
July will bring two Retailer/Manufacturer Receptions planned to introduce prospective members to the benefits of NARMS. The first will be held in conjunction with the MSO Divisional Committee meeting on Monday, July 13th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Ama Lur Patio inside the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas. A second event will be held in conjunction with our summer Board of Directors meeting and is scheduled for Bloomington, Minnesota on Tuesday, July 28th from 6:00 – 8:00 at the Napa Valley Grille in the Mall of America.
Both of these areas feature prominent retailing and manufacturing companies who would make great additions to our association. We would appreciate you sharing an invitation for the events with your contacts both in the Metroplex and Twin Cities area. Only through an intermediary such as you will we be able to attract the right people for this event.
These receptions are a tremendous opportunity to expand our experience base. As a member, here is your opportunity to make a tremendous contribution by helping us extend the invitation to contacts that are located in and around these key centers of retailing. We are confident that if we can attract potential members to kick the tires of membership, they will see the value and want to be a part of our active and vital organization.
Several exciting developments came out of the NARMS Spring Conference held this week in Colorado Springs . Among them were changes to the Board of Directors roster, the announcement of a major new study called Return on Retail Investment (RORI), and the unveiling of a new program for field personnel called NARMScertifyU. You will be reading and hearing more about these new initiatives in the days and weeks to come. Today we will focus on the changes to the Board.
One of the major items on the agenda for the NARMS International annual business meeting each year is the election of members to the Board of Directors. This year, the gathered membership took several actions. Newly elected to the NARMS Board of Directors for two-year terms are Rick Hall of The Beam Team and Don Unser of Hewlett-Packard Company. Re-elected to continue in a second, two-year board service are Ed Martin of Ready Set Companies and Lance Andersen of CROSSMARK Sales & Marketing.
The gathered membership also selected the officers for the coming year. The Chair for the group will be Don Koller of Lawrence Merchandising Services. Mary Jo Bastuba of Nintendo of America was named Vice Chair. The Secretary of the group will be Ed Martin of Ready Set Companies and Ethan Charas of Stratmar Retail Services will act as Treasurer.
Two retiring members of the Board were also recognized for their outstanding service to the association and the industry. The gathered membership had a chance to thank Tory Edge of Beacon Merchandising Group and Jim Fulk of Retail Marketing Services East for their years of service and leadership.
Our association has been blessed with great leadership over the years. No doubt, the new Board of Directors will continue this tradition. As always, NARMS encourages its members to get involved in Association matters by volunteering to become a part of a divisional committee and perhaps one day serving on the Board. You can find more information on the Board of Directors and the Divisional Committees by visiting www.narms.com.
An integral part of the NARMS Spring Conference is the Annual Meeting of the membership on Tuesday, April 7. At this meeting, a nominating committee will recommend a slate of qualified individuals to fill the 4 positions on the NARMS Board of Directors as of April 7, 2009. The Board positions are for a 2 year term: April, 2009 to April, 2011. Since not everyone can attend the meeting in person, all members were emailed a Proxy Statement to facilitate the election. If you are not going to attend conference, you can access the Proxy statement here, fill it out, and fax or mail it to NARMS HQ by March 15th.
The address at NARMS International HQ is 2417 Post Road , Suite A Stevens Point, WI 54481 and the fax number is 715-342-1943. Chuck Latham (Chuck Latham Associates) as Immediate Past Chair of the NARMS Board of Directors served as Chair of the Nominating Committee which was comprised of the following NARMS members: Audrey Fry (The Fry Group), Charlie Fanning (Synergy Systems), Tory Edge (Beacon Merchandising), and Jim Hall (Riteway Sales & Marketing). NARMS By-Laws also stipulate that in addition to the “Slate” put forth by the Nominating Committee, any qualified member may submit a candidate who meets the qualifications of holding a Director’s position within the Association. These additional nominations must be received by the Association no less than 15 days prior to the Annual Meeting which would be March 23, 2009.
The four candidates being nominated are: Ed Martin of Ready Set Companies for an additional two year term, Lance Andersen of Crossmark Sales & Marketing for an additional 2 year term, Rick Hall of The Beam Team for a new two year term, and Don Unser of Hewlett-Packard Company for a new two year term.
There are also four candidates being nominated for service on the NARMS Executive Committee: Don Koller of Lawrence Merchandising Services as Chair, Mary Jo Bastuba of Nintendo of America as Vice Chair, Ethan Charas of Stratmar Retail Services as Treasurer, and Ed Martin of Ready Set Companies as Secretary.
As members of THE trade association for at-retail merchandising and marketing services, it is important that you exercise your right to vote for the leaders that represent your interests. Voting is the first and most basic way to get involved in the association. Even if you are not going to be able to make it to Conference, let your voice be heard by downloading the proxy statement and making your choice. Remember, the form must be received at NARMS International HQ by March 15.