Gaining Strength With Age
25 March 2008
SC&RA looks ahead to its 60th anniversary in 2008 with considerable confidence. The association closed 2006 with another record high of 1,200 company members, compared to 1,132 at the end of 2005. In 1958, the association, then known as the Heavy-Specialized Conference of the American Trucking Associations, began with fewer than 100 members.
Much of our growth has come in recent years, however. Consider that we have added several hundred companies to our membership numbers in the past 15 years. During that time, we also have become increasingly international in scope, doubling the number of participating nations from 23 to 46.
One of the secrets to our membership growth is a high retention rate. We kept 94.5% of our members from 2006 to 2007. Next year, we will recognize a handful of our members that have stayed loyal to the Association from the very beginning.
Each year at our Annual Conference, we honor companies with Longevity Awards at five-year intervals, beginning with 25 years of membership. Topping the list this year is Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., San Leandro, CA, with 55 years of continuous membership. Look for the entire list of this year's honorees on page 71.
We attribute our enviable membership retention and growth to a number of factors, many of which are interrelated. SC & RA always has been known for the quality of its meetings and seminars, and we continue to raise the bar.
We just wrapped up our 20th Specialized Transportation Symposium in Orlando, FL. This unique event presents an excellent opportunity for our members to exchange information with state, regional and federal transportation officials - and with their colleagues in the industry.
We are completing preparations for our Annual Conference, April 10-14, in San Antonio, TX. We have a great roster of educational speakers lined up. Interest in the Products Fair has been so great that we have had to expand the number of exhibit spaces. We also anticipate high levels of participation during the committee meetings.
SC & RA is equally enthusiastic about prospects for the Crane & Rigging Workshop, September 20-22, in Kansas City, MO, and the Financial & Risk Management Seminar, October 11-12, in Indianapolis, IN.
All of these meetings benefit greatly from the strong member participation and generous financial support of sponsoring companies.
Our member growth and retention efforts are further enhanced through this magazine and its sister publication, International Cranes and Specialized Transport. In addition, SC & RA members gain from concise, timely and relevant coverage in our weekly newsletter on topics of vital interest.
Members also stay informed through direct contact with association staff. I frequently hear from members with compliments about the responsiveness of our stafi.
Still another way we attract members and earn their loyalty is by providing new and improved products and services. For example, we constantly expand our members-only property and casualty insurance lines; close to 500 member companies are participating in the SC & RA/NBIS insurance program.
A less predictable source of our recent success has been a strong economy.
A number of our members enjoyed record profits in 2006. Even with uncertainty regarding the interest rate and general market environment, the outlook is promising for members in 2007.
We really believe the best is yet to come - for both SC&RA and its members.