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Roving Chief Executive Program Promotes Peer Relationship Building

  • February 2022
  • Number of views: 2130
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Kevin Krupp
Management Services Committee Member
York Repair, Inc.

Many EASA members consider networking to be one of the top benefits of being an EASA member. Within the category of networking, the Roving Chief Executive (RCE) Program ranks number one for me as a means of developing meaningful relationships with my peers.

The RCE program is a group of leading executives that meet 1-2 times per year to discuss issues and share information about the electrical apparatus industry. RCE members are top executives from non-competing EASA locations that are spread throughout the world. There are generally 6-10 different companies that are represented for each group and all members must be accepted by everyone in the group. Each group sets its own rules, and they are independent of EASA. The only topic that is off-limits is pricing due to issues with collusion and U.S. federal laws.

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I am a founding member of the ELMO group that started in 2000. Since then, our group has met 28 times and I have attended most of those meetings. Our group still has three original members from 2000. As members retire, change jobs or sell their business, they drop out of the group and additional members are added. Since members are non-competing, we review an active list that EASA Headquarters maintains to determine possible candidates to add to the group.

The ELMO group tries to meet two times per year at one of our locations. The meeting host helps with hotel accommodations and restaurant reservations for the group and sets the agenda for the meeting. All members have input regarding additions to the agenda. We have not held a traditional meeting during the pandemic; however, we have had a Zoom meeting and we also had a group dinner at the 2021 Convention.

There are few places where you can share the ups and downs of your business with friends who instantly identify with your issues. We discuss quality, safety, healthcare, vendors, technical data, business metrics, human resource issues, regulations, equipment, family, ownership, employee productivity and anything else that is on our minds. Many times you find that the thing that is your most pressing problem and causing you to lose sleep is an issue that another member or two has solved and are more than willing to help with advice. Each meeting pays for itself many times over and the bonding that occurs in these meetings has forged many lifelong friendships due to the common bonds that we share. Our meetings are full of laughter, tough love, bonding, great meals and occasional side trips to travel the country. Enjoying a fellow member’s favorite restaurant or pub in Memphis, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Edmonton, Wheeling, Salt Lake City, Lubbock or Bay City, Michigan is always memorable.

Between meetings, we often email each other with questions. It is not uncommon to send an email out with a question and receive an immediate response or a phone call with exactly the information you need. Most people are more than happy to share both their biggest wins and lessons learned from their biggest challenges. Sharing these stories with others in a safe environment is very therapeutic.

If you would like to join a group, contact Linda Gladden at lgladden@easa.com and she will add your name to the waiting list. Due to the non-competing nature of the groups, it may take several months before you are contacted by a group. Once you join, you will not regret it as it is the best benefit of EASA membership.

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