I was speaking with my friend and mentor Mark Amtower earlier today talking
about visibility, viral marketing and generally "how the heck did we get here
So often as he does, Mark reminds me that we have in fact worked for where we
are and that some of what we are seeing is the result of our efforts. "But be
humble about these achievements," he says. It kind of reminded me of the scene
in Star Wars (Episode 4 from the original trilogy) where the Millenium Falcon is
being chased by Tie Fighters and Luke Skywalker has manned a laser cannon. After
destroying one of the fighters, Luke celebrates out loud to which Han Solo
responds, "Don't get cocky boy!"
It's difficult not to get pretty excited about what's going on now. I mean,
we started four years ago as a bootstrap operation and no Members. After
experiencing good growth and some substantial wins by our Members last year,
this year came in like a lion. Really. Last year we grew by 150 companies the
entire year and since January of this year, we've already grown by more than 80
companies. On top of that, we're getting information from our Members about more
successes which they attribute to being associated with us.
Let's take Harry for example.
Actually, before we take Harry, let me quickly state that The ASBC is not an
IT-based organization. Now back to Harry. Harry's company is a moving and
storage company that participates in our CORETM Membership program and they are an agent for
Allied Van Lines. Since Harry joined us a few months ago, he has articulated to
us that business has been good. Really good. So good in fact that before he won
his most recent contract with the Army National Guard, he credited The ASBC with
his doing $300K in billed business. The most recent contract, by the way, was
the result of a referral from another Member to her contact at the Arlington
Readiness Center. As Harry shared with the group that convened for one of our
Business Over BreakfastTM events, in less than thirty days, that
introduction resulted in a $100K contract with the Army National Guard where he
is already working and they are paying him with a SmartPay Card. Not too
Harry wasn't alone either. The referral Harry received was also shared with
another of our Members, who is quite honestly, a signmaker. I think the contract
Martin and Ruth received was bigger than Harry's but I'm pretty sure that
neither of them is upset about that fact.
My point is that I'm looking forward to celebrating with everyone next month
at our Fourth Anniversary Networking and Awards Reception at
the Tower Club in Tysons Corner, VA. In addition to a great time networking and
enjoying some great food (and an open bar!), this year Admiral Tuttle will
present opening remarks and we've got some great awards to present to some of
our Members this year (the one below is what we handed out last year).
The 2008 Member Awards to be presented this
- Flag Bearer Award - presented to the
Member who routinely carries the message of The ASBC through their continuous
participation and support.
- Eagle Spirit Industry Award
- presented to an Industry Member who through their advocacy of The ASBC and
support of other Members, embodies the spirit of The ASBC.
Eagle Spirit Government Award - presented to a Government
Member who through their advocacy of The ASBC and support of other Members,
embodies the spirit of The ASBC.
- Rookie of the Year
Award - presented to a first-year Member in their first two years of
business who has effectively leveraged The ASBC and achieved a level of
- Member of the Year Award - presented to the
Member who has gone above and beyond in utilizing their membership, the
resources of The ASBC and also provides ongoing and continuous support to others
within The ASBC.
- Founders Awards - presented to two
Members based on merit criteria established by the President and Chief Visionary
Special Honored Guests: We've
extended invitations to the public servants charged with protecting the
interests of the small business community to include The Honorable Nydia
Velazquez, Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, The
Honorable John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and
Entrepreneurship and The Honorable Ben Cardin, Member of the Senate
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
We're looking forward to a great celebration and hope to see you there! We're
also looking forward to another four years, and then some!