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In Good Hands Going Forward

By AICC Staff

June 4, 2019

width=232This is my last “official” column for BoxScore in my role as president of AICC. Next issue, my friend and colleague Mike D’Angelo will be writing his words in this space in his new position as president. I am gratified that AICC’s board of directors recognized Mike’s inherent industry knowledge, his longtime friendships among many members, and his well-known integrity in selecting him to succeed me in this position. AICC is in good hands going forward.

Before I officially sign off, I want to thank you, the members of AICC, who have over these many years become my friends and comrades in arms. When I was hired in 1983 by Dick Troll, who then was AICC’s executive director, I had no inkling of the career that lay ahead. I am grateful that AICC’s founders—men such as Jack Grollman, George Arvanigian, Hardy Sanders, Bill Akers, and many of you after them—took the time to teach me about the dynamics of the business.

I also want to throw in my two cents’ worth on the value of being independent—and remaining so—in our industry today. While the dynamics of our North American manufacturing base have changed dramatically, with rapid consolidation, increasing concentration of market share, and new generations of workers, the value and reward of independent entrepreneurial enterprise remains. Good, talented people thrive in an environment where they can be creative, take risks, and embrace the urgency that says “how high?” when the customer says “jump!”

What I have learned from you, our members, is that you who have invested in this industry have not just bought a building, some equipment, and a few trucks. No, you have invested in your communities, your customers, and your people. You have invested in our free-market economy, the proven value of which is something we all take for granted but for some reason is now being vocally challenged in the public square. I see this in your lobbies and conference rooms—the plaques, newspaper articles, trophies, and memorabilia that proudly say that this independent company in this customer-centric business is the best place to work, the best family to be a part of.

As I step down from my position as president, I am not stepping out completely. I will remain on as AICC’s “consulting ambassador,” meaning you will be seeing me at your doors from time to time to visit, talk about your challenges, and convey them back to Mike and the team at AICC. And speaking of the team, nothing AICC has done over these many years could have been accomplished without our wonderful staff members, past and present. Each one has carried the same passion and sense of purpose in their work on behalf of our independent members. I thank them all for their loyalty and for making this look so easy.

AICC is in good hands going forward because of who and what it represents. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of it.

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Steve Young

President, AICC