President’s letter – March 22, 2011: Getting Your Money’s Worth

March 22, 2011 | Many trade associations have what we call “checkbook members” – members that pay their dues but rarely show up for meetings or take advantage of other member benefits.  TIA is no different from other associations in this respect, but in our competitive industry it is particularly regrettable that not all of our members take advantage of their opportunities to leverage TIA to help protect and grow their business. 

The members who get full value from their dues investment are ones that attend the meetings and participate on committees.  These activities are where valuable information is exchanged, lessons are learned, ideas are hatched, missteps are avoided and opportunities are identified.  In February, the TIA Board approved an entire set of new TIA committee charters to open up opportunities for participation to a larger number and scope of members.  Shortly, TIA members will be receiving solicitations of interest in committee membership, and I hope many will respond. 

In addition, our newly renamed “PlayCon,” TIA’s International Conference of Play Professionals, will convene on May 4 at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch.  The program has a stunning roster of speakers and presenters, but without question the primary value of the event is the opportunity to network with other TIA member companies.  If you are a member of TIA, you should be there. 

Also, for the first time this year we will be hosting a special Sacramento “Fly-in” event June 7-8 as a way for California toy companies to become acquainted with their State Legislative Representatives and tell them about how hard we work to keep children safe.  If you are a TIA member in California, you should be there. 

A final example of the benefits of being a TIA member is an opportunity we recently identified for members in the State of New York.  NY has $30 million in funds available to help companies that produce products in the state export them to foreign markets.  We have been vigorously canvassing our NY members to see who qualifies.  

We hope any of you that have been checkbook members in the past will become active members in the future.  It is the best way for you to get your money’s worth. 

Warm regards to all,


Carter Keithley