There's no shortage of professional organizations around today—several times a month, I'm solicited for membership by at least one organization. It’s vital to pick which ones you want to be a part of. Being the president of a company means making difficult choices about where you put your time and effort, especially when it comes to professional organizations. Time and time again, the following organizations have shown value to Mead Metals.
1. Metals Service Center Institute
The ability to connect with peers within your specific industry is important for any professional. For me, these connections happen via membership with the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI).
“MSCI’s mission is to promote the health of the metals industry and its role in the North American value chain, providing member companies with a broad range of strategic and tactical information they cannot get anywhere else.
We are the primary resource for the most accurate and reliable metals-focused economic trends data, for original industry and economic insight and perspective, for leadership education and executive training, and for creating a business community that can grow and prosper together.” — Metals Service Center Institute
Over the years, this organization has been essential in numerous ways. I rely on MSCI for educational opportunities, updates on regulatory changes, metrics for benchmarking alongside my peers, and overall advocacy for the unique needs of metal service centers. Being a member of MSCI is very important to the work we do at Mead Metals.
2. Precision Metalforming Association
Being an associate member of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) is a key asset for keeping in touch with the needs of our customers. PMA primarily focuses on metal stampers and fabricators, a classification many of our customers hold. Remaining educated on the changes and evolutions our customers face allows Mead Metals to be more proactive in meeting customer needs overall.
“Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) is the full-service trade association representing the $137-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes." — Precision Metalforming Association
Through our membership with PMA, we’re able to tour different businesses, which gives us invaluable insight into what our customers are doing, how they’re doing it, and how we can improve the ways we support them.
3. Women in Manufacturing
Women in Manufacturing (WIM) originated when PMA recognized there was a need to identify and address the unique barriers of women within this industry. At any level of manufacturing, there are women. And to be frank, the industry needs women workers for their numbers and their skillsets. There are unique challenges women face within a male-dominated industry, and WIM helps individuals and businesses facing those challenges.
“Women in Manufacturing® (WiM) is a national association dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women who are pursuing or have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry. WIM encompasses manufacturers of all types and welcomes individuals from every job function – from the shop floor to the C-Suite.
This group encourages the engagement of women who want to share perspectives, gain cutting-edge industry information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in partner programs and network with peers.” — Women in Manufacturing
WIM provides opportunities for education, professional development, networking, and more. They hold an annual national conference where attendees also gain access to tour local companies and see how they operate.
4. Association of Women in the Metals Industry
The Association of Women in the Metals Industry (AWMI) operates internationally, regionally, and locally via chapters. They put out information and host educational opportunities that are particularly valuable for individuals in sales and purchasing.
“Association of Women in the Metal Industries (AWMI) believes that women in similar industries can benefit themselves and their companies through relationships, education and shared knowledge.
The programs and activities of AWMI are intended to enhance members' skills and experience, address challenges confronting the industry, and promote members' career growth with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of women employed in the metal industries.” — Association of Women in the Metals Industry
Mead Metals employee, and fellow blog author, Dani Weinhandl, represents our company at local meetings. Plus, we invite anyone at the company who’s interested to attend speaker events. We can always count on AWMI to provide interesting and informative presentations on relevant topics.
Unlike the other organizations I’ve shared, Vistage isn’t specific to the metals or manufacturing industries. Vistage is an organization where CEOs and senior leaders come together to form peer advisory groups. These groups are made up of individuals from diverse, non-competing industries, and they come together for monthly discussions on relevant topics.
“Over our 60-year history, Vistage has solidified our reputation as the world’s most trusted executive coaching company. Our core formula of peer groups of executives from non-competing industries, backed by one-to-one coaching, has driven our members to outperform their competition through boom markets and recession.
While the Vistage formula proves year after year to be the most effective way for good leaders to make great decisions and achieve great results, we continuously refine and grow our platform to equip our members to surmount every new challenge and reach ever-higher levels of success.” — Vistage
My Vistage membership helps me think outside of the box and outside of my industry. It’s a wonderful opportunity for leaders of privately held organizations to be able to share experiences, discuss strategic visions, and ask questions within a trusted peer group. They also bring in expert-level speakers and provide numerous networking opportunities.
Do Your Homework to Find the Right Professional Organization to Join
Like I mentioned above, there are a lot of professional organizations out there today. But, not every organization is going to be a good fit for every business. You have to do your homework and put in the time to realize the value various professional organizations can bring.
Being a member of these five organizations has brought tremendous value to Mead Metals over the years—a tradition I look forward to continuing.