February 14

NAMA Emerging Leaders

NAMA Emerging Leaders Monthly Column

There is a certain positive spark that can be generated when you bring new technology and old wisdom together in the same place at the same time. A spark that can revolutionize something that is already good and makes it brilliant. A spark that can take something that may be so small but flourishes it into something worth bragging about.

It is a powerful connection that needs to be made across the board in all professions and in all industries. However, The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) has already taken that first step into the right direction toward creating this spark.

CoffeeTalk is introducing a new series of articles for the 2014 year! They will feature the NAMA Emerging Leaders Network  (ELN) that was launched in July of 2013. This group of individuals in the vending and refreshment services industry is a great example of the spark of change that needs to be instilled. They have the tools necessary to allow the vending and refreshment services industry to continue to grow for many years to come.

Bridge the Generation Gap
NAMA recognized that there is a generation gap in their industry. It is inevitable that when industry veterans retire, in any industry, that someone else is going to have to step up and take over. However, how will this be possible for the continuing success of that industry if the emerging industry leaders are not educated on the same level as the ones who are retiring or moving on?

Education is key for this solution. A group, like the NAMA ELN, allows for a collaboration that is essential for the successful operations of the industry. New ideas from the next generation of industry leaders allows for a spark of transformation to be instilled to the ever changing economy and constant flow of different and innovative trends that are evolving every day. How can one progress and move forward when they are stuck in old routines and not simultaneously moving forward with the economy and world around it?

It’s a Give and Take Relationship
The emerging leaders and the industry veterans each have something that the other wants. The emerging leaders grew up in a time period jam-packed with various kinds of technologies everywhere they turn. Technologies today that are becoming more and more prevalent in sales and marketing, like social media for example. The industry veterans have the many years of experience and knowledge needed to further the life of an industry.

You see, while the two generations standing alone may operate suitably for now, when you put them together and allow them to work together, it betters not only both of the generations, but the industry as a whole as well. An industry cannot thrive on one of these areas alone. Technology and industry traditions must be pieced together to advance. The tools that these two groups possess will generate greater profits when used together, than when used separately.

About the Emerging Leaders Network
The ELN holds meetings at the various industry conferences around the United States. They are able to collaborate together at these meetings even though they may live many states apart. They utilize their LinkedIn page that gives updates about the group in a matter of minutes. LinkedIn is used to funnel issues and keep up with changes and concerns that come up on a daily basis. The more you get involved the more valuable you become to the group.

“Membership in NAMA’s Emerging Leaders Network provides younger vending and refreshment services executives an opportunity to network with other NAMA members and influential industry leaders,” said Paul Tullio of Gourmet Coffee Service in Anaheim, CA, and chair of the group. “It gives the next generation of industry leaders a platform to express their ideas and vision for the future of the industry.”

There are currently about 100 active members, and the numbers are growing. To be a member, you must be an already-existing member of NAMA and of the age of 40 or younger. These memberships are available at no cost. You can contact Roni Moore at NAMA or Paul Tullio for more information on how to become a member.

Be the Spark in your Industry
We understand that many of our readers are in the coffee and tea industry; however, it is important to highlight this NAMA ELN group and learn from them. Roasters, retailers, growers, and even service providers can learn from the ELN. If an industry wants to continue on, it must take the necessary steps to build up and better itself. Now, I’m not saying that it is going to be easy, and if I did, I would be lying; however, doesn’t the saying go: “nothing worth having in life comes easy”?

The Emerging Leaders Network has started the spark to change their industry, but what about you? How are you going to bridge the gap in your industry? Have you thought about who is going to take over after you retire? Did you consider what pieces of knowledge that you want to pass down? Be inspired, be proactive, and be that spark to change your industry.

Stay tuned for future articles about the NAMA ELN. Learn from them how to be a part of the change that you want to see in your passion and profession.

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