NATM Fall Meeting Finds Buying Group in Time of Major Transition
NATM Buying Corporation’s 2014 Annual Conference, held Sept. 17-18 in Dallas, marked a time of sweeping change for the organization.
As Bill Trawick, who has served as the group’s President and Executive Director for the past 15 years, led his final group meeting prior to his retirement at the end of 2014, the group announced that this leadership change would coincide with sweeping reorganization for the group.
NATM, which currently represents 10 leading regional CE retailers, will usher in a new era at the start of 2015, as Jerry Satoren takes on the role of Executive Director.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the changes ahead for the group.
These changes were detailed in a Sept. 17 press meeting with Trawick and Satoren.
The first change explained by Trawick was that of his old job. While Satoren will replace him as Executive Director, the President title will be assumed by former Vice President Scott Hymas. The rest of the executive board will be comprised of two vice presidents and a treasurer/secretary.
These changes were approved by the group’s membership in recent elections.
Another big change ahead: “We decided to open up membership,” Trawick said.
Previously, NATM’s bylaws specified that dealers had to do $100 million and above in annual business to qualify for membership; this requirement has been relaxed. While Trawick didn’t specify a dollar figure that will be a requirement for new members, he stated that “we’ve changed some of those rules to go out and look for new members.”
Previously, membership was limited not just due to economic factors but also to avoid bringing in dealers that competed with each other in specific areas. By loosening the sales requirements and broadening the scope of retailers who qualify, NATM can now reach out to dealers in areas previously unrepresented, as well as bringing in dealers based in larger regions that aren’t close enough to be considered direct competitors. “The people that we’re bringing in are not really our competitors,” Trawick said.