BSA hails forum



BSA hails 2010 forum


Industry icons Irwin Helford and Jess Beim honoured at BSA 2010 Forum


Over 125 participants representing wholesalers, buying groups, manufacturers and manufacturer representatives attended the Business Solutions Association (BSA) 2010 Forum held in Arizona during the autumn.


This ability to bring together different groups, even competitors, from the independent dealer community is seen as one of the main strengths of the BSA Forum.


BSA President Joe Templet commented: "This year’s event was clearly a success. Each participant with whom I have talked said the value received was well worth the time, money and effort to attend. It is quite obvious to me that we are meeting the demand of the industry for a Forum, and we will continue down this road."


There were several highpoints of the Forum. From a personal perspective, BSA honoured former Avery Dennison SVP Jess Beim with its 2010 Leadership Award, while the iconic former leader of Viking, Irwin Helford, received the inaugural Legend of the Industry Award. After receiving his award, Helford talked about his guiding principle of providing "fanatical" customer service while building solid business relationships.


In terms of attendee feedback, the highest rated part of the Forum was the panel presentations. There were three panels that focused on end-users, e-commerce and the future of the industry.


One outcome of the e-commerce panel was the establishment of a BSA task group that is charged with developing content management standards.’s Mike Gentile said that this was a great step forward for both the members and the industry, but added that it was important that all manufacturers and suppliers fully support this effort.


Another successful format was the ‘town hall meeting’ that allowed for questions and comments from the floor about any issue facing the industry. One concern that was raised was the difficulty that the industry has in attracting – and then retaining – young talent. "We must keep them hungry with performance-based programmes, as well as keeping the environment fun and exciting," said Fellowes’ Michele Pitner.


The 2011 BSA Forum will take place from 17-21 October in San Antonio, Texas.