CLDA President's Letter, September 2020

Dear CLDA Members,
 
I am very excited to be leading such an important professional association, one that I have been a proud member of since 1998. I look forward to collaborating with you to leverage new opportunities, increase membership value and champion growth for our industry.
 
I’ve been actively volunteering with the CLDA for 12 years in many different roles, including chairing the vendor committee, membership committee and conference committee and most recently serving as the first vice president. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to talk with many members, vendors, shippers and other stakeholders, and our conversations have increased my enthusiasm for the logistics profession and the value it brings to companies all over the world.
Between COVID-19, hurricanes and everything else 2020 has brought, I still feel like I'm getting settled in as president, but I want to share my thoughts about the future of the CLDA.
 
As a professional association, we often think primarily of members in the final mile space. However, there are so many more people, companies and groups that are important parts of the transportation community. The CLDA is comprised of companies that are in the first, middle and final mile that are all great members or prospective members of the CLDA. We have vendors and strategic partners who support our standards and best practices. We work with other professional associations on initiatives like government affairs, providing opportunities to share ideas, knowledge and initiatives to enrich all of our stakeholders. I want to continue strengthening these relationships and, through them, increase the value to our members.
 
As I see it, we have three main goals: (1) supporting the professional development of our members through education; (2) affecting our destiny through our involvement with government agencies; (3) building networks within the different facets of our industry to build a more global association.
 
Our Board of directors is really enthusiastic about some of our most recent initiatives, and I want to share a few of them with you.
  • The incredible response from our recent member survey provided great data that we used in a two-day strategy and business planning session to create a road map for initiatives to bring forth to our members in the future.
  • Our Executive Leadership Summit is set for September 23-24 and should not be missed. This year we will be virtual, but the education and networking opportunities are unparalleled.
  • Under the leadership of Joel Pinsky from Global Messenger, the CLDA has completely revamped our member benefits program. In just a few months, Joel and his committee have created a tremendous amount of cost savings opportunities for all CLDA members by partnering with companies that provide supplies and services that we use every day. Included in this initiative is the partnership between the CLDA and the HUB Group to bring a much-needed benefit to our members: an association-backed health care plan.
  • Under the leadership of Jason Burns and Kelly Hackbarth, the CLDA has committed to creating a Diversity and Inclusion task force, which is our opportunity to make a difference and define who we are and who we represent as industry leaders.
As members of the CLDA, we have so many great people that make up our organization and so many opportunities. I want to engage you and want us to work collaboratively to grow the association and grow the awareness of the value of our work. I encourage you to email me at president@clda.org to share your thoughts on the future of the CLDA.
 
Members of our board of directors are driven professionals that want to ensure the value of your membership, but we need your participation. We need your assistance on our committees, and we want to hear from you and learn what you want from your membership in OUR association. 
 
With the challenges facing our industry, our world and our nation right now, we need a strong association more than ever. Together we can work to ensure that the CLDA is one of the tools you need in your toolbox to drive your personal and business success.
 
I am so fortunate that you have allowed me to lead you through these times, and I look forward to our bright future!
 
Sincerely,

Steve Howard
President, Customized Logistics and Delivery Association
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