Industry Association Involvement
By Michael Brown - Customer Service Manager
One of General Parts Group five Core Values is Community. The value is stated “We are proud of the community we create and those that we serve. We are devoted to giving back to our local communities, and to delivering a positive social impact.” One way we get involved with our community is through association memberships. We are proud members of the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA), Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry (MAFSI), and my personal favorite, the Restaurant Facilities Management Association (RFMA).
RFMA has been around since around 2005 and General Parts has been right beside them all the way. I have personally been a part of the RFMA community since 2010. Both in restaurant facilities and now as a vendor member. If you plan on being involved in any industry association one of the best ways is to join a committee. Don’t just join to get the logo on your website. Truly become a part of the community. Since becoming a vendor member I have joined the Member Engagement Committee in 2018 along with being on the Red-Carpet Crew Taskforce.
This group helps welcome new members to the organization, introducing them to the benefits and opportunities they have. I then became Co-Chair of that committee and held that position for the past two years. Being involved in finding ways to capture the attention and keep up engagement of the RFMA members has been one of the best parts of my career. I was even presented with a RFMy for Member Engagement Enthusiast in 2020. A RFMy is their version an Emmy award, for outstanding involvement.
This year I am moving to the Vendor Voice Committee. Growing deeper in the RFMA community. This amazing group serves as the association’s representative for a very diverse Vendor-Allied membership base. Giving vendor feedback to RFMA so they can better understand the needs and changing environment we vendors face throughout the year. I am truly excited to be chosen for this position and will ensure one of the longest standing Allied Members provides any feedback we can to help improve the association.
Being part of any association gives the opportunity to collaborate with peers on industry trends and topics that truly effect all companies. From labor shortages to supply chain and vendor/customer relationships. We are all just friends working together to better one another and the industry as a whole. A great way that General Parts Group has been able to give back to the community is through the RFMA Gives project. I have been involved with that event each year for the past 5 years. It is a day to show up in person and giving back to the chosen non-profit for that year. As you can see, it is a heart-warming day that creates lasting memories and friendships.
So, if you decide to join any industry association, whether it is CFESA, MAFSI, RFMA or the like, make sure to get involved in the association. Give back to your industry community and your return will be well worth the effort.