OPEESA comes up big at annual meeting

“Nurture Small Ideas to Grow Big Results” was the theme of the annual meeting for the Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association (OPEESA) Feb. 23-26 at the Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif. Given the amount of ideas and information exchanged at the meeting, it appears that was a solid choice.

Following a board of directors meeting, registration, first timers’ reception, welcome reception and dinner on the first day, Joshua Collins, chairman and CEO, Blount International Inc., kicked off day two with his “State of the Industry” presentation. Mark Herbek, senior research analyst and partner at Cleveland Research Company, discussed the benefits of participating in OPEESA’s Quarterly Trends Surveys and Reports, which provide benchmarking and forecasting tools for distributor and manufacturer members. Patrick Kelly, senior policy advisor, American Petroleum Institute, gave a presentation on “E15 Hurdles and Uncertainties,” which covered the good, the bad and the ambiguity still in the marketplace. The day’s festivities concluded with a choice of two options: a shotgun-start golf tournament or a San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour.

Day three began with roundtable discussions over a continental breakfast. Brian Beaulieu, economist with ITR Economics, then followed with an “Economic Update,” providing members with easy-to-apply solutions, audience-specific strategies, and insightful suggestions to help them make smart decisions. Alex Goldfayn, founder of the Evangelist Marketing Institute, wrapped up the morning with a presentation on “The Time to Think Big,” showing members the latest ways to market their products and services, and he led breakout sessions in the afternoon. The day concluded with the closing reception and dinner.

On the fourth and final day of the meeting, Nancye Combs, president and CEO of HR Enterprise Inc., shared her vast human resources experience while talking about how to “Prevent HR Mistakes That Drain Your Bottomline.” Steve McClatchy, founder of Alleer Training, rounded out the guest speaker lineup with his presentation on “Trust, Conflict and Leading Relationships,” with attendees receiving a free copy of McClatchy’s New York Times best seller, DECIDE: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example.

2014-15 OPEESA Board: OPEESA announced its officers and board of directors for 2014-15 at the annual meeting. Ron Monroe of Hayward Distributing Company was named president. Joining him as officers will be Vice President Jeff Plotka of Precision Work Inc., Secretary/Treasurer Steve Purdy of Oscar Wilson Engine & Parts, and Immediate Past President Todd Winstead of Tidewater Power Equipment.

The remaining 2014-15 OPEESA board will be as follows: Ted Finn of Gardner Inc., David Dollard of KPM Exceptional, Mark DeShetler of Florida Outdoor Equipment, Lucas Mezzenga of RBI Corporation, and Todd Bohon of Power Tool Company, all as directors; Michael Rickey of American Honda Motor Company and Kevin Parker of Sheffield Financial, both as manufacturer/affiliate representatives; and Nancy Cueroni as executive director.


 OPEESA’s original logo


 OPEESA’s new logoNew logo: With confusion surrounding its original logo, OPEESA decided to come up with a new logo, which it unveiled at the annual meeting. To many non-members, the original logo was confusing because they didn’t realize the first letter in the acronym was an “O” with a tree in the center and thought the tree was a graphic and the association’s acronym was actually “PEESA.” The tree also wasn’t fully representative of the members’ product offerings. Thus, OPEESA crowd-sourced its logo and received 442 logos for consideration. After narrowing the choices down to a select few, the association decided to pick a much more clearly defined and more representative logo featuring grass instead of a tree and the acronym appearing separately to the right of the grass. The tagline “Powering Distributor Success” remained part of the logo.


 OPEESA’s redesigned websiteNew website: In addition to unveiling a new logo at the meeting, OPEESA launched a redesigned website at www.opeesa.com. The new website is much more intuitive and features a slide show with testimonials among many new bells and whistles.

Save the date: OPEESA will hold its 2015 annual meeting March 1-4 at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla.


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