President's Message
Joel G. Newman, president & CEO
Monday, March 10, 2014
by: Joel G. Newman, president & CEO

Section: Spring 2014

This process will begin with identifying and gaining consensus on the 'critical factors' that will drive the future of our industry.
As all of our members fully understand, success is a well-designed balance of effectively managing the day-to-day details and also keeping an eye on the future. This comes from astute leadership and a team that fully comprehends the plan and executes it effectively. This is just as important for your association as it is for your business. I want you to know the American Feed Industry Association is working to maintain a similar balance by updating its strategic plan.
AFIA’s Strategic Redesign Project was developed and implemented in 2004. This was a significant redesign of the association that has provided very successful results for the members and the association over the last ten years. However, as you are well aware, our industry is ever changing and several global factors are making a significant influence on our future. Due to the multiple variables affecting the industry, it is very timely the AFIA Executive Committee and Board of Directors are undertaking a Strategic Vision process, looking forward to the next five to 10 years of AFIA leadership for the industry. 

This process will begin with identifying and gaining consensus on the “critical factors” that will drive the future of our industry. The second step is defining which of the factors AFIA can and should provide a leadership role on behalf of the industry.  

The Executive Committee hired Jefferson Davis Associates in the summer of 2013 to conduct an independent survey of AFIA membership and three member/non-member telefocus groups with the purpose of gaining industry input on the “critical factors” and AFIA’s effectiveness in several key areas. The officers and I also held 12 one-on-one executive meetings with member and non-member companies to gain similar input.      

I want to personally thank the membership for the strong response and valuable input we received. The survey, telefocus groups and individual meetings all provided a clear picture of the “critical factors” the industry is currently and will continue to encounter in the decade to come. It also provided insight as to where our members feel AFIA should and can effectively provide leadership on a selected group of these “critical factors.” This is an extremely important step in the Strategic Vision Project process.  

AFIA’s Executive Committee has appointed a working group to analyze the collected data from member and non-member companies and further develop specific recommendations and an implementation plan for this updated long-term strategy. The Executive Committee expects to present the recommendations and plan to the Board of Directors in March for their consideration. The plan will include specific actions AFIA should implement; recommend expertise, staff and other necessary resources for the successful implementation of this plan; and also maintain the flexibility for AFIA to adapt to future changes, which are impossible to accurately predict today. 

As the Strategic Redesign Project accomplished for the last nine years, this Strategic Vision Project will provide the focus and priorities for your association to most effectively and continuously strengthen its leadership for our industry and bring exceptional value to our membership. Thank you again for providing your critical input and we look forward to sharing the recommendations and plans with you as they are finalized.  
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