Fairer Skies for SEDA Members

Coping with change and seizing opportunities are the focus for the 2010 Safety Leadership Forum.

Members of the Safety Equipment Distributors Association (SEDA, www.safetycentral.org) are bound for downtown Baltimore this month and the association’s 2010 Safety Leadership Forum in better spirits than a year ago. The event kicks off with a June 15 reception at 6 p.m., less than three hours after the expo of ASSE’s annual meeting has closed, which allows distributor members who exhibited there to attend the SEDA meeting economically, said Kaymie Thompson Owen, SEDA’s associate director.

“Members are looking ahead with brighter anticipation than they previously had had,” she said. “The market is improving — slow — but they are seeing improvement.”

This meeting is chiefly a networking event, but it features a strong speaker lineup. Thompson Owen, who plans the association’s meetings and has worked for SEDA for five years, said SEDA’s looking for “a normal year” this time around aft er several years of changes. A meeting held with an industrial glove distributors group for several years, this event was co-located with a Safety Marketing Group conference one year and then was SEDA’s alone the past two years in Nashville and British Columbia.

Co-locating with the ASSE meeting seems like a good fit, she said. “It was manufacturers on the planning committee who already exhibit at ASSE who felt it would be a good fit,” said Thompson Owen. “And they said, ‘We’re already going to ASSE.’ We’ll see how we do in Baltimore.”

SEDA was founded in 1968. Its distributor and manufacturer members provide the full complement of safety products.

Leadership Forum Highlights

Coping with change and seizing opportunities are the focus for the forum (http://safetycentral.org/forum10/) and its speakers:

  • Keynote Session: “Assessing Your Future Market Potential: Six Steps to Future Opportunity,” 9-10:30 a.m. June 16, William R. McCleave, president of W.R. McCleave & Associates. He is described by SEDA as an expert in supply chain relationship concepts between manufacturers, distributors, and their customers.
  • “Navigating the Choppy Legislative Waters,” 10:45 a.m.-noon June 16, John S. Satagaj, president and general counsel of the Small Business Legislative Council. His talk will cover labor laws, health care reform, tax reform, entitlement programs, and the state of the economy.
  • “Enhancing Partnership Advantage in the Marketplace: Making Talk Matter!” 1:30-3 p.m. June 16, William R. McCleave. He will share results from a study of SEDA’s members on current issues and will introduce a new assessment tool for attendees to use to make their Executive Conference sessions more useful.
  • SEDA Political Report: “Navigating the National Political Scene,” 8:30-9:30 a.m. June 17, Bob Franken, former CNN commentator in Washington, D.C., and a frequent MSNBC guest.

Also on the agenda at this event are seminars, the one-on-on Executive Conferences of manufacturers and distributors, and networking receptions. The event takes place at the InterContinental Harbor Court hotel located at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

QSSP Still Going Strong

Qualified Safety Sales Professional (QSSP, www.safetycentral.org/qssp/) training delivered twice per year in Louisville and co-sponsored by SEDA and the International Safety Equipment Association is still going strong.

The year’s first course ended April 23 and was sold out; the fall course set for Nov. 8-12 had a handful of spots open. Some registrants encounter last-minute conflicts — two scheduled to attend the first course this year were unable to make it because of travel disruptions caused by the erupting volcano in Iceland — so course organizers maintain a waiting list, Thompson Owen said.

QSSP 2, which would be a follow-up course for past graduates, is still in the planning stages aft er several years of discussion about the concept, she said. “To do the whole affiliation through a university and have all the CEUs and all that is a big project,” albeit one that probably would be popular, she added.

This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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