2014

NAMA Emerging Leaders

NAMA Emerging Leaders Monthly Column

The NAMA Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) is still in the process of building itself. However, with such a short time of being installed, it is showing great promise to the industry. There are many benefits for a group like this, not only for its members, but for the entire industry as well.

Benefits for the Newer Generations
One of the biggest benefits that the industry veterans can give the newer individuals is a lifetime’s worth of experience. It is unavoidable that at some point these industry veterans are going to retire well after they have established a name for themselves.

Maxwell Elliott, Customer Relations Representative at Tomdra Vending & Coffee Service, explains his ELN experience, “The older generations in the industry have been there and done that. They can give us advice on what worked for them and what did not work so we can learn from their experiences and expand. They give us a sort of guidance that we cannot get anywhere else.”

They have put in hours, days, weeks, and even years worth of time into this industry. The experience and knowledge that these individuals have will greatly benefit the industry when passed down to those who are looking to keep the industry thriving.

“The older generations pass down the best practices, traditions, and other tricks of the trade. They teach us the ropes. We need the older generations to teach us so we can continue to provide and meet consumer expectations,” Elliott said.

Benefits for the Industry Veterans
Without a doubt, social media has become such a huge part in the marking practices of a company. Without it, a company will lag behind while competitors launch forward into the up and coming. Technology is all around us, and while it makes our lives easier, there is sometimes a learning curve that needs to be surpassed in order for it to be successful.

The ELN helps to close this educational gap of social media and technology. While the industry veterans pass down information and industry knowledge, the younger generations aid them in the benefits of social media and new technologies that they have grown up with and have come to know like the backs of their hands.

“Social media keeps everyone up to date on the current events going on in the industry. The group uses a LinkedIn page to connect. You can post and share something that is new in the industry for others to read, and in return they can repost it for even more people to read,” says Elliott.

Another benefit for social media in the ELN is that it keeps everyone linked in the industry. Companies and individuals may be located across states and between county lines, but with social media they can share new ideas and thrive off of each other.

Benefits for the Industry
A group like the NAMA ELN allows for an industry to flourish and to keep thriving as new and different generations come and go. This group meets at NAMA events all around the United States and brings an entire industry together. It gives the new individuals a place to come, meet people, share ideas, and learn from the best. It joins the younger and older generations in one place for a collaboration that is essential to the continuation of successful service.

“It gets everyone united on the same front,” says Elliott. “It allows us to have a chance to do things that we may not have had the opportunity to do other wise.”

Elliott accompanied the NAMA Board and other members on their trip to Washington D.C in 2013. He said that the trip was not only educational, but he also got to meet state senators and congressmen to see the effect that the government has on the industry.

Leadership opportunities are also vital to keep an industry afloat, and the ELN has taken advantage of this knowledge. As of April 3rd, NAMA announced the formation of the ELN Steering Committee. This is a committee in which they are to provide broader participation in leadership-related activities for future ELN developments.

As the NAMA ELN continues to grow, so does our trade. NAMA has provided the members of its organization with the tools necessary to grow. The collaboration that the NAMA ELN has created is one that the various other industry organizations should adopt. The NAMA ELN is connecting, innovating, and cultivating growth all over the country.

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