By Erik Sine
Why is it that every Sign Association is filled with a bunch of "Do Nothings" who are regurgitates/throwbacks from one Sign Association after the other??? Or serving in multiple Associations at once???? They pride themselves in turning government regulation into a profitable program for themselves for all to assimilate to INSTEAD of doing what's right for the industry they represent, AND fighting it! Are they all from France??? Seriously!
Who is DUMB enough to spend money to PROVE they are green???? I thought it was just a MARKETING term to throw out at the ignorant public all to sell a good or service? NOW it really exists??? I'd like to have one DEFINE Green, what makes you Green? Compared to?
U.L.-E or U.L. - Environment, It's such a failed program where even the UL inspectors don't even want part in, or even understand it!!!. Are the ice caps melting or not? It the earth warming or cooling??? Can man shift nature???? We just discovered the scientist that claimed polar bears were dying because of man made global warming was lying the whole time, and now he's in federal custody for fraud. So what is it? Now we NEED mythical studies to study a myth??? An this our Associations cozy up too? Is this the reason why they are against the new Office of Government Ethics proposed law???? (Stay tune for this one in a separate thread)
I will never buy a UL-E product because I know I will have to pay more to do so, all costs get passed down. KNowing Green is the new communist red I will buy from their competition who doesn't use Marketing statements, (something that is executed and never explained)
The latest is California Sign Associations proud announcement of UL Green Leaf listing. Expect more since the Sign Hugger is in charge with more Marketing barrages and a stick of broccoli in mouth.
By Erik Sine
Any of you feeling it yet? Maybe not at all.
If any of you are somewhat of a geek like me (who enjoys comic books) you'll understand the significance of this image and how it relates to our very own industry. If not, you have a World Eater, debris from what it destroyed, and it's Herald.
It seems like all the separate sign associations that had a separate individual voice are all gone now. Is the USSC next? Will they allow themselves to be gobbled up, errr.....merged, or will we have at least one association left with a "separate" voice?
The market talking point is "we're having a larger single voice".
People need to wake up. Usually what startes out in "good intention" ends up another way given time.
I know Thanksgiving is coming up and all, but all I EVER hear these days is "GOBBLE GOBBLE"!
By Erik Sine
I'm all for making changes in your life, whether it's personal or perhaps a career change.
But sometimes you have to wonder who it is that runs your industry, or the people who can influence changes in your industry. I've always had questions that for these trade groups that never got answered and always wondered the "why's" behind some important decisions or omissions to act that took place, and continue too.
I've run into people who one day sold lift gates for commercial trucks then the next day their LED salesmen for a LED manufacturer telling me that LEDs are the best thing on the market in comparison to other light sources AND in all phases. When you ask a question in comparison to traditional light sources they haven't a clue but they may know more about their like competitors, or at least have those selling points that were handwritten down for them memorized. Maybe it's me, but I would feel a little better talking with a salesmen from someone with our or my background in "Signs".
Sometimes the butt of the joke about shoddy sign installation is that one day the vinyl sticky guy became the electric sign installer that day for their company and we get new pics submitted into our Hall of Shame. But, at least that sticky guy has some sort of relationship to what he was doing and maybe he was able to make a better effort than say the lift-gate salesman would have been able to because at least the sticky guy who has seen signs before could at least better guess what needs to be done and make a better "best guess" effort.
Ever look at the make or resume background on individuals of our Trade Associations and wonder "why" they are there and serve our industry? I'm not talking about the volunteer base made up of some of our finest men and women presently in the sign industry. I'm talking about the "core" employed group who pay themselves from the non-profit. Sometimes we see some wacky decisions being made and anyone in the sign industry asks "why?", why did they do that, or why did they stand and do nothing? Some of these longtime rhino's have backgrounds similar in comparison I just made to the lift-gate guy turned LED salesmen.
We just had the International Sign Association gobble up all the other little sign associations like Pac-Man and I'm still NOT clearly understanding the "Why". I know what the selling point was. This was a decision made and pushed by the "core" association employed group rather than the volunteer base. The base still is not clear to this day but they went along with it anyway and a vote was pushed very fast to get this past before anyone could fully understand what they were voting on, sort of like healthcare (don't worry...we'll figure it out later). I mean, they hired an outside consultant to tell them how to push this along. I know that pic below that was made for a past thread involving the globalization or gobble up of our local associations is a bit extreme, or is it? If nothing else you could say it's metaphoric, maybe even call it a political cartoon that has a little humor to it. But both terms have an ounce of truth to it, otherwise it wouldn't fit.
Do some of these Lift-Gate people from somewhere else have our industries intentions best at heart? Do they hold the same values and "traditions" of our industry at heart too? How can they, do they have that ability to turn that emotion on like a switch? Can you be a lift-gate salesmen one day and be in the sign industry and "know" our past traditions to shape a better tomorrow?
Sometimes some very bad decisions get made which can effect us all.
I don't know if a decision to act or omission made is there to kill a part of our trade IS made out of ignorance because their more or less acting on limited information which they deem legit (because it was lift-gate sales one day and signs the next), it can even be said that they become a puppet to the puppet master who is a large light source mfg who's intent is to sell their products over all others and thus get the trade association to help push legislation or stand down from legislation so that it will benefit their cause or business in the form of asking the government to pic a winner, or leave fewer option for the consumer.
I get an accountant can be plugged into a sign industry position from a lift-gate industry, as well as a few other areas. But what about the big decisions? The ones that affect what you and I sell or produce? Even though some would like to commoditize what we do, and bastardize our industry by inserting, selling, plugging in whatever can make a quick buck. I think the hiring process for these positions need to be left for those within our industry, for those who have worked in the sticky department, to the guy who installs a pylon or wall sign, and everything in-between. Otherwise, why work for an association for a trade you have no experience in or find akin too? Aren't associations left for those who are involved in their own industry, or is it just a job?
I've always been a firm believer that the best sign salesmen or women are the ones who have fabricated a sign and installed a sign. That's my belief, opinion and I'm sticking to it. Bullshitters are a dime a dozen, and we're not used car lot. We fabricate and install the best illuminated branding there is, most of time the sign becomes the hallmark and landmark, it's the face of a business. When they think of a business they don't quickly generate a thought of the retail shelves stocked with goods, or the bellhop or pool, they think of the sign lighting up on the street.
Anyway, you're probably asking why you're even reading this thread, and what the purpose is. Why the hell did I start it? I did because I got wind that Rich Gottwald left the Vice Presidentship of the International Sign Association (Or maybe he's doing two jobs now like so many other concurrent association people) and became the CEO of the Pool and Spa Trade Association . No knock on him personally even though he still could/would not legitimately answer some important questions to some my "why" questions which almost heavily impacted our trades traditions. I just hope that he at least owns a spa in his backyard moving forward to his new position. But the news struck curiosity in me. I did some quick research and discovered he went from a plastic association guy to signs, to now pool and spa's. Some other high ranking association core group members also came from the plastic association group before the International Sign Association. Is this trade group one of the same perhaps?
Again, I'm all for career change and sometimes people are all-stars no matter where they go. Sort of like gifted athletes, it doesn't matter what kind of ball you put in their hands their just naturally gifted so I can't speak in detail. I sincerely wish Mr. Gottwald the best and hope for whoever replaces him is someone who comes from a Electric Sign Background, and not someone who lobbies to the "Green" movement, or someone who has a marketing background from within their present ranks.
I just genuinely want whoever can be the best fit to help our industry. Someone who has a good vision, and remembers our past, and holds our traditions best at heart. Someone who can take into account what the rhino volunteer base has to say, have the knowledge to debate them and make an educated, industry based decision on that. I want someone who's not looking with the intent to stand around and let a bill pass that affects our industry just so they can get the association to turn that new regulation into a program to sell to our industry.
Maybe it's just wishful thinking.....just my open aired thought for this Tuesday
By Erik Sine
Here's something interesting coming down the pike. What does it mean for The International Sign Association? Will this new proposed law benefit our Industry? Will this new law benefit our industry by not benefiting our Sign Associations, or is it a dis-benefit and dis-service because it doesn't serve our Associations?
Well here is what's coming, when it comes to inviting government employees and appointees to WAGs, Widely Attending Gatherings (of diverse opinion or position, not just one)
Proposed OGE Regulations
Widely attended events (the name given under the House and Senate Gift Rules) and widely attended
gatherings (the executive branch’s version) are exemptions from the gift rules restrictions. Government
officials may attend events featuring a number of different people (more than 25 non-Congressional
attendees for the legislative branch) when the government attendee is either speaking at the event or his
or her attendance will further the government’s interest. These exemptions allow officials to attend events
such as trade shows, social gatherings, roundtable discussions, and other similar events where
government officials have the opportunity to interact with the private sector.
Since the beginning of the Obama administration, however - political appointees have been barred by
Executive Order 13490 from attending widely attended gatherings unless speaking at those events. This
order requires political appointees to sign “ethics pledges” that promise, among other things, that
appointees will not accept gifts from entities that employ or retain lobbyists. Therefore, events such as
tradeshows, panel discussions, and social events are off limits unless the political appointee is speaking
(attendance is limited to the day of the speech), or if the appointee pays admission.
OGE or Office of Govenment Ethics proposes to extend the EO to all executive branch employees. This will mean that organizations,
particularly associations (which often have events that fall into the widely attended category), will not be
allowed to invite executive branch employees to their widely attended events unless the employee has a
speaking role. This could have a major impact on associations that wish to interact with government
employees at their events.
Some are of the opinion that this will "Stifle" relations/eschange of information between government and the public sector. The OGE is quoted as saying:
Under the new proposal another issue being addressed is the "Registered Lobbyist" or "Lobbying Organization". While trade associations are calling on the OGE to categorically exempt Trade Associations from this definition, many believe this exemption is NOT justified. The OGE is quoted as saying:
The proposed rule did add some exemptions of lobbyists, and that's for Institutions of Higher Learning, Nonprofit Professional Associations, Scientific Orgs and Learned Societies. The OGE has said it acknowledges that certain WAGs provide educational and professional developments that may further agency interests, ” there is often a cozy relationship between these organizations and industry groups"
More than 400 Trade Associations have sent their comments and concerns similar to ISA's Letter attached.
Many business's are outraged with the Obama Administration for the proposal, "its a slap in the face" to business. This is odd, I thought Earlier in the year Lori Anderson of International Sign Association who wrote this letter to reconsider was orgasming over Obama's Apperance at Gelberg Signs, AND quoted as saying.
What happened? Many that run this Association have been for government meddling in the public sector, OSHA, Cap & Trade. Why the outrage?
What else does this proposal prevent?
• limits on the amount of money lobbyists and their employers can spend on public officials
• Gone are free tickets
• golf outings
• social trips
• regular one-on-one dinners with lobbyists
The Lobbying culture is upside down right now.
What will this mean for our Sign Industry, for you and I?
Well, if we look at the history of Associations and Legislation in the bigger picture outside our associations fighting signs codes and EMC's for their constituents fellow board executives. It might not mean a Damn Thing! It might be better for us as a industry, and as a country?
If you think about it, what will it do? What have our associations done for us except the two points listed above when it comes to regulation? In the past our Associations like International Sign Association, California Sign Association just roll with CA Title 24, Demand Response, the Energy Commission Decisions, OSHA and have just about managed to turn all of those into programs and seminars. Now we see a promotion of UL-E or UL Green Leaf as something of Non-Fiction.
You're all a bunch of children, get in line. They will make you a lunch, a snack, pat you on the head and send you off for schooling, and whatever else is to come.
Maybe some distance from government and bureaucracy and undoing of some cozyness will somehow benefit US! I can't say for certain, but if these associations just attend meetings with government to figure out a way to turn it into a program instead of doing what's right and fighting for freedoms and liberties then this new proposal/law from the OGE, can't hurt. Maybe something they don't like is somehow a benefit for you and I? I mean, if you're not going to make useful, with the time and resources you have, what loss will it be?
We live in an age where there it too much cozyness between public and government sectors, whether it be crony capitalism, Government and insider trading, bailouts. Just my opinion, but I think it will benefit us all not just our trade if we all just stay on a first name basis, and not cozy up.
We live in an a age where money talks, and ethics walk. Sometimes membership money drives, program profit farming are more important that our own ethics of doing what's right when it comes to protecting the reason why you're there in the first place. Oh I don't know, disciplining board exec/chair members and assoc. members who are in ethics violations.
Now, don't get me wrong, this new proposal may have some negative effects for us, but does it out way the possible benefits?
Just my thought for the day, I thought I'd share