Board of Directors

Natural Disasters, Oil Spills and Community Effort

Over the past month a number of our NTPDA members have had to deal with weather related disasters. In Iowa there has been a rash of flooding and then in Rock Valley there was a major oil spill.  Rock Valley is the home base of our President Scott Schelling. We sent an email to Rock Valley Flood 2018 Scott to check up on him. We thought his answer mirrored so many of our members and their communities that we're sharing it with you:

"Sorry for the delay in responding.  I have been out for over a week for various reasons including sandbagging and flood relief.  We are getting back to normal, the river is back in its banks but we still seem to get rain every couple days so it doesn’t go down much.  We set an all time record back in 2014 when the river got to 22.7 feet over floodstage.  This year we topped out at 21.5.  We were more prepared this time and we knew where and what to do so things went a little smoother, but ultimately we still got our butts kicked by the river.  We were able to avoid the major property damage with the work we did and most people just had to empty their basements Rock Valley Flood 2018 Twoand pump water.(they still are pumping water)  We took some steps after 2014 to prevent that same event in the future, we built a permanent berm on the north end of town to keep the river out and bought a couple huge pumps to pump out our storm sewers.  When the river is in flood stage it is higher than our storm sewers and cant run away so we have to pump it out.  And that takes a HUGE pump to keep up when you keep getting rain and everyone is pumping water out of their basements.  We also made some changes to make the river flow away better so it don’t dam up as high.  All the steps we took helped, but we still can do more.  I’m sure we will have more ideas to help for future events. 

 

The oil spill was just 6-7 miles upriver from us and I understand it was the worst oil spill in the US in the last 5 years.  The last number I Rock Valley Oil Spill heard was 230K gallons spilled, and as of last Thurs, only about 100k of that was recovered.  We could see oil in the river and of course it puddled up along the banks in the quiet water.  You could smell oil all thru town on Thursday and Friday.  We had to shut down the city wells to try to keep oil from getting into them.  The DNR has been out and testing dirt in places as the river recedes to see how bad the contamination was.  They have cleared the soccer fields and ball fields to be played on, they say the contamination was minimal in those areas.  The cleanup crew that BNSF brought in was excellent, they went right to work with cleanup and repair and last Thurs the trains were running again down those tracks.  We will see how long before they are finished with oil cleanup, but they don’t stand around, those people are here to work. 

 

The silver lining of it all is the way the communities come together to fight back against the water and how they come out to help others that are in need.  We again had several thousand volunteers from the surrounding towns come to us and help, and they still are coming to help people they don’t even know with cleanup.  This is the reason I love to live here, we don’t just throw up our hands and cry about it and quit, we show up any time of day, and help out people we might not know, and we stand shoulder to shoulder in chest deep water throwing sandbags all night, and we pick each other up when things seem like they are hopeless.  It is a beautiful thing to witness, and it keeps you going even after no sleep, or when your muscles don’t want to go anymore.  I love my town!!"

Scott Schelling - Rock Valley Tractor Parts


Membership Committee Update

Last month the reconstituted Membership Committee of NTPDA held a telephone meeting and lots of ideas were floated. The first being the decision to let our membership know that YOU are welcome to attend Summer Smash, the meeting formally known as the Summer Board Meeting. Summer Smash

Here’s the deal: For years the Summer Board Meeting has been open to any member of NTPDA but…the name alone…suggested it was only for leadership. We want to turn the event into a fun and educational effort open to everyone.

Currently the Committee and President Scott are working on the details and the agenda but please…mark down the dates: July 11 – 14 at the Embassy Suites in Minneapolis, MN. We’ll be sending out more details in the coming weeks so watch for it!

Other suggestions from the group:

· Enhance Benefits Package

· Include a Trial Membership Program

· Reactivate “concierge” (welcome wagon) program

· Incorporate Networking Exercises

· Build Up the Education Tracks for the Annual Meeting

· Develop New Member Outreach and Orientation Programs

And there were many more.

Our goal is to listen to the Membership and be proactive in presenting real value for your membership dollars. We think we can do that with what we already have as well as building in new programs that are a true positive return on your investment. The Summer Smash is just the start.

Hope to see you there!


NTPDA Membership - Kick Start

This week NTPDA (National Tractor Parts Dealer Association) president Scott Schelling called together a group of members to reignite the NTPDA MembershipMembership Committee. The group is tasked with working on new and innovative ways to improve our membership numbers while offering real value in, not only, our Annual Meeting and Trade Show but also our summer gathering.

The Membership Committee is made up of:

The meeting looked at various ways in which to offer increase value to our members, which assists in retention, and the active recruitment of new members.

While we'll detail changes and plans here one of the first things the group decided to accomplish was to re-name the Summer Board Meeting. The reason is that many members figure the meeting is only for the Board of Directors. That's not the case. So, we're rebranding the event as The Summer Smash. Our goal is to invite the Board and our Regular and Associate Members to an event that is packed with information, planning and fun...as the name suggests.  As soon as our plans are more clear we'll be sending out some schedule information.

Please know that this Membership Committee is committed to creating and building a better National Tractor Parts Dealer Association and we look forward to this future.

Thanks for reading and more to come! 

 

 


It's Like Family...

Being part of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is more, much more, than simply doing business. Sure, we trade with each other, sometimes Doug and Phyllisprotecting our turf but more often than not we honestly care for each other.  Over the years we've become more like family than an association. New members that join us can tell that right away. There is an honest respect and love for each other.

That's why the passing of our Immediate Past President Doug Swanson is so tough to take. Doug, from Abilene Machine has been with NTPDA for decades. He has served, faithfully, on the Board of Directors and recently took the job of Board President. We knew, when we were in Corpus Christi last month, that Doug was putting up a fight against the cancer that he would often say, "Just sucks". His fellow Board Members and attendees were all hopeful that he would pull through and get back at it.

That was not to be and sadly our friend passed away as the new month began. And, it hurts.

Today we remember his family, friends, co-workers at Abilene Machine and all who were touched by him, his story, his business and his laughter.

We don't know if it's like this with other associations but we know what it's like here.

UPDATE:

A Celebration of Life will be Friday, February 9, 2018, from 4-8 p.m., at Ryan Mortuary, 137 N. Eighth St., Salina, KS

In lieu of flowers a card, message, blessing can be sent to Doug's daughter - Taylor Swanson,  1015 N. 9th, Salina, KS 67401

Please keep Doug's family, friends and everyone at Abilene Machine in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is a link to the obituary.

Thank you for being with NTPDA...

The photo (with Doug and Phyllis) is from our time together at a recent Annual Meeting and Trade Show.  We will always remember.


Oh, The Memories - NTPDA18 with Elizabeth Fawcett

Just after our time together in Corpus Christi we reached out to those of who attended to give us some feedback on your time during the NTPDA Annual Meeting and Trade Show. Elizabeth Fawcett from Fawcett Tractor Supply offers these thoughts:

We had an amazing time visiting and building relationships. The weather was not ‘Texas’ weather but still much warmer than Canada. The Jeff and Elizabeth Jan 2018 hotel was wonderful aside from the construction happening on some people’s patios, but we are tough, rural folk and managed just fine.

The training from Richard and Crystal was amazing. I can’t begin to explain how crucial good training is and I feel as though it was delivered this year. We learned about some tough leadership issues that everyone who deals with people encounter. We also learned about some of the tricks about social media and a little bit of a good intro to those who are overwhelmed by the options.

The trade show was as good as I always remember it to be; we had some new faces that left some impressions (the Steiner Girls) and the tasty baklava from the gentlemen at Keba; these were just a couple of the great product conversations and good times shared.

As a new board member, and the youngest, I am excited for the upcoming term and very eager to learn from those around me – I feel like I’m among some folks that have a lot to teach (not an age reference, I promise) and I look forward to continuing our good times this summer at the Summer Conference in Minneapolis. I also found out that not everyone knew that the Summer Conference was open to everyone – it’s not just a board meeting! If it’s anything like the Annual Conference and Trade Show, it’s bound to be a great time! (Me with former president Jeff Griggs)

Meanwhile, back to Corpus Christi!

Now the banquet, that was something else! Phyllis outdid herself with the food choices and the music (again). There was a dance floor that got some good action with about a dozen of us dancing the banquet to a close. The auction was NTPDA18 Fog Boatamazing! We had to explain to some new-comers that yes, mailboxes go for $300 here and that’s ok because it’s all for a good cause. There was also the Chuck-challenge for Doug….Wow. Just Wow. If I had only one word to describe this crew of people it would be ‘family’. The support and love showed that night, and all through the convention was astounding. A night to remember for sure. It didn’t end there though (it rarely does); a few of us decided to stay an extra day in Texas for a deep-sea fishing adventure which turned into, well, an adventure!

We arrive to Port Aransas with fog as thick as pea soup and some less-than-equipped vessels. Some of the boats were still not fully repaired after Harvey made his way through so we didn’t have radar or GPS on the boats which made for a very challenging hide and seek game with the breakers to get back into the jetty (I just learned those words so excuse me if I misused them….). After 8-10 foot swells, a good bought of sea sickness, and very frazzled captains, we called it Lexingtonafter only 45 minutes on the water.

We all decided that wasn’t going to be the end of our day so we headed for breakfast, then naps, then some went for walks and shopping and some went to the USS Lexington – a dry-docked aircraft carrier turned museum; quite an impressive thing! With the ever-skilled Phyllis working on reservations for our group, we finished off the day with 26 of us heading to Landry’s for a delicious meal and farewells. It was an amazing trip and I am so excited to spend time with these folks again in July and January 2019; lots of laughs and learning.

 

Cheers,

Elizabeth


Helping In Forgotten Communities - NTPDA

When we received word that Harvey had struck the Coastal Bend Area of Texas it hit a nerve with our Board and our Members. Recently Coastal Bend Map we held a meeting near that area and our Board had an opportunity to interact with residents there. (You can click on the map to see the area.)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey it seemed like these communities had been forgotten as all the attention focused on Harvey Images Sept 2017Houston. This takes nothing away from the destruction in our nation's 4th largest city it has been awful. However, we wanted to help in an area we knew and where there was minimal assistance and focus.

The Board of Directors for NTPDA authorized a donation to buy generators, fuel cans and other supplies. Phyllis and friends loaded up a truck and drove to the Coastal Bend to deliver them. Buying, loading and driving took hours and the donated supplies were GONE in minutes.

Thank you to our staff and to our Board for your assistance in this effort. We have heard from several people in the communities we visited and they all extend their gratitude to you and our general membership. 

Giving back is often the very best feeling...ever.


The Value of Membership

One of the benefits of being a member of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is our Scholarship Program. Since 1992 NTPDA has been awarding Diploma Scholarshipcollege scholarship funds to deserving students of our members. To date your association has delivered 510 scholarships with a value of $461,250.

Think of that for just a moment. We have been able to impact the lives of several hundred young people because the NTPDA Board has seen the value in sharing our good fortune with our member families. It's called a return on investment.

True, you can invest in a host of other groups but here, at the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association our mission is to provide our members with service, value and business training. It's what we do on a daily basis.

This year NTPDA has awarded nine scholarships at $1,000 each. NTPDA kicks in $750 per student and the sponsoring member adds $250 to hit the one-thousand dollar mark. Be looking for our Summer Bulletin for the names of our scholarship winners.

We're proud to be able to help train the next generation of business leaders and grateful that you and your business are part of our continuing effort to offer concrete reasons for membership.

Don't you think this is something we should share with others?

 


How About a Checkup From the Neck Up?

Doctor FunnyEveryday our NTPDA Members go to work making life better for their customers and employees. That, at least, should be the goal because when we are "other focused" we all get what we want.

So, how can your association make your life/business better?  That is constantly the focus of our Board of Directors and staff and we think, based on your response to some recent polls, we may be on target.

Next year we'll gather in San Antonio to offer your business a "checkup from the neck up". We'll help you take a hard look at current business practices and ask you what you think has worked and what might need work. We'll spend time on marketing, social media, sales, employee recruitment and retention. We'll listen to what you've done and offer some tips on how you might change some tweak some things to boost your level of happiness.

Sure, we'll have fun and have the opportunity to enjoy the company of our family and friends but we also want to deliver value for your membership and we, honestly, want to help your business get better.

We're looking forward to doing that business checkup in San Antonio and be watching for registration information soon!


NTPDA and Social Media

Social Media HandsPerhaps you have noticed an uptick in our social media efforts. That's because we've refined some search items and we've been reaching out to more and more members as well as potential members.

Part of the future success for the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association is going to rest with how well we share the value of membership. While it's true that, when we get together, we have a great time it is also true that your association leadership is attempting to help you become more successful. We do that by sharing topical news items, links to new sales ideas, marketing advice and member to member sharing.

So, here is something you can do for us...get social.  

If you are using social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube make sure you hit us up as well.  Let us know what you are doing. Share with us your news. Tag us in your posts and let us use the power of social media to help promote the work you are doing.

Search for us on Facebook: National Tractor Parts Dealer Association

And on Twitter we are @NTPDA

Together we can make an impact and make a difference.


Too Early?

The Summer Board Meeting is in the books and much of the meeting had to do with the 2017 Conference and Trade Show headed to San Antonio starting on Save the Date January 18. So, this is your "heads up" to Save the Date!

The Membership Committee is working on details surrounding the event and recently members filled out a survey telling them what they wanted to learn while in Texas.  The survey was sent via email in May to 192 email addresses we have on file. 14% of our members responded and told us these are the top four things they would like to learn more about during the 2017 Conference and Trade Show:

  • Marketing including Social Media - 74% of those who responded said they want to learn more about how to market effectively and how to better use social media in their marketing efforts. This would include traditional marketing methods such as print, radio, television as well as new media such as Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram and a host of other products that are available;
  • Employee Recruitment/Retention/Motivation - 44% of our responding members say they would like to learn how to better recruit and retain employees. And 59% said they would like to learn how to better motivate current employees. This didn't surprise us much because across most industries we hear the same thing, "We can't find good people who want to work." Our goal with this area would be to examine what works and what might need work when it comes to finding, keeping and motivating employees;
  • Sales - This area received a 51% rating. Our members want to know how to increase sales and who doesn't? What new ideas are there to boost the bottom line and deliver a more sound profit?

You can be assured that we are working, right now, on delivering on our promise to bring value to your membership. 

We hope that you'll Save the Dates of January 18 - 21 for our Annual Conference and Trade Show this year in San Antonio!  More information will be coming to you on a regular basis!

See ya in Texas y'all!