National Association of Electrical Distributors creates 'Associates' program

April 15, 2005 - New membership category is designed for manufacturers, service providers and technology organizations.

The National Association of Electrical Distributors Board of Directors recently voted to create a new "Associates" membership category for manufacturers, service providers, technology organizations and value-added resellers in order to further strengthen NAED's role in advancing the electrical distribution channel.

The new membership category will provide the involvement and resources necessary to further enhance the role NAED plays in improving communications, standards, and supply chain efficiency in the industry.

Associate members will have a dues structure similar to that of distributors, based on sales volume through electrical distribution. They will also have a voting representative on the NAED Board of Directors who will be chosen by the board based on recommendations from members of both manufacturer committees.

"The goal of associate membership is to help make the electrical distribution channel more profitable and successful. We believe that we can do this better by fostering cooperation and manufacturer involvement," says Tom Naber, president of NAED.

"We are making official what is already reality," Naber continues. "We have been transitioning over the last year to aggressively provide new programs that benefit both distributors and manufacturers. This is a pretty big change for our 97-year-old association, but an important one. However, it doesn't mean our mission is different. Serving the electrical distributors and the electrical distribution channel remains our top priority."

New Associate members will continue to benefit from many valuable services in key areas including:

* Tackling tough issues such as special price authorizations, lighting practices, and industry data synchronization,

* New electrical industry training funded by NAED's Foundation such as Counter Pro, Warehouse Pro, Advanced Inside Sales, New Directions in Inside Sales, The World of Electrical Distribution, and EPEC 2005 NEC Updates,

* Money-saving networking opportunities such as industry meetings with additional B2B booth sessions, manufacturer peer networking groups, all-industry networking groups, Women in Industry networking luncheon, and NAED's closing event at regional conferences.

In addition, Associate members will receive new benefits including significantly reduced conference fees, a dedicated NAED staff member to serve the needs of suppliers, strengthened and expanded role of the current committees that impact suppliers and more.

"It's been widely accepted that the electrical distribution community can't survive without strong, viable manufacturers, and the manufacturing sector cannot survive without supportive distribution partners. The time has come for the industry to increase cooperation," says Bill Shulha, chairman of the NAED Manufacturers Committee and vice president of sales and marketing for Greenlee Textron Inc.

Affiliate main contacts have already received a letter of commitment outlining the NAED associate dues structure. Affiliates must return the letter and pay membership dues by July 1 to be eligible for NAED associate membership benefits.

Manufacturers' representatives are also welcome to attend NAED conferences under the umbrella of the manufacturers they represent. Reps will be eligible for the lower associate member rate, provided they are NEMRA members and/or provide a list of their manufacturer references.

NAED is based in St. Louis, MO. For more information, visit www.naed.org.

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