January and February have been chock-full of events for the canvas industry and I’m finding myself on a whirlwind tour to connect with as many canvas professionals as I can in the next several weeks. We kicked off the year with the  Marine Fabricators Conference in January, where we got insight into the latest innovations and business strategies for the marine canvas industry. The NECPA Annual Meeting and Expo followed shortly after and was filled with exciting sessions, hands-on demos and the first ever LiveStream of the event! February started with the Professional Awnings Manufacturers Association (PAMA) board meeting at the Midwest Fabric Products Association Convention in Chicago followed by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Midwinter board meeting. Finally, I end the month by traveling to IFAI Headquarters for some meetings before attending the Western Canvas Products Association Annual Meeting and Expo at the end of the month.  

As for the state of our association, I’m pleased to report solid performance on all fronts. Finances are secure, so all divisions are being directed to invest in educational programming.  I’m pleased to report that membership retention is high and new members are joining daily.  Our new software system conversion is nearly complete and our new web portal will lead to a new revenue stream. We have all the building blocks in place to give us insight on how we can increase value to our members and improve the attendee experience at member events. I hope you are as pleased with our progress as I am and, as always, I welcome your ideas and feedback, especially ideas for seminars for next year’s Expo.    

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