On June 17, 1997, TIA took a flyer and hired me as the chief staff executive. I was, in fact, the third chief staff executive for the association in 18 months. We had revenue of $721,000 and negative net assets. We had a weak voice in Washington. We had few benefits or programs for members. But we had amazing members who loved helping and learning from each other, and who were loyal to TIA.
So, we started digging in. Every time we got two nickels, we made them a quarter. Then two quarters became a dollar. Soon, it all began to click.
Membership more than tripled and now represents nearly 80% of the market by value, with a 92% annual retention rate or better. TIA is a leading and respected voice in Washington and around the world. The TIA Political Action Committee was created to enhance our lobby efforts. The TIA Foundation was created to provide educational resources to TIA Members and new market entrants, along with the TIA Logistics Academy that provides executive education to rising company stars. TIA also supports the business needs of its Members through the TIA Services Corporation, providing insurance and other products to Members as well as legal guidelines, including litigation and model contracts’ best practices. We fixed the finances as well, with the budget growing from $721,000 to $7.5 million with net assets sufficient to meet the current crisis and future needs.
I’ve accomplished everything I was hired to accomplish—and then some. While there is never a good time to change a winning lineup, sometimes you just have to do it. So, in consultation with the Board and officers, we agreed that now was the best opportunity to do so for both TIA and me. And, so I will be leaving TIA at the end of September.
It’s been quite a ride, and I’ve loved every minute of working with TIA Members. I have had the opportunity to work with amazing staffs over the years, many of whom have gone on to be leaders in other associations. I have made many friends over the years. My family and I have had many adventures. There will always be a special place in my heart for TIA and its Members. I wish you continued success. Thank you.