FMA Annual Winter Meeting 2015
The Florida Messenger Association hosted 80 attendees at its annual Winter Meeting at the Orlando Doubletree Universal Resort on January 23rd and 24th. The meeting was held on a Friday night and Saturday, which helped to attract newcomers to the meeting. Attendees benefitted from networking opportunities on Friday night and the educational sessions on Saturday. It also provided a chance for companies to bring more members of their management teams, such as dispatcher managers and customer service managers. Attendance this year included a last minute surge of registrations.
This year’s event, themed “Business with a Purpose,” began on Friday night with an opening reception (attendee badges provided by Brightstone and Key Software), followed by a buffet dinner sponsored by CXT. After dinner, guests were treated to an insightful presentation from Adam Sarhan of Sarhan Capital. Mr. Sarhan discussed the differences between working “on” the business versus working “in” the business to add value to a company. After the discussion regarding business valuation and investing, the conversation turned to the topic of risk tolerance. Shortly thereafter, the meeting segued into a different version of risk tolerance — when Casino Night began. Participants enjoyed a number of opportunities to gamble with “funny money” which was later used to win phenomenal prizes such as tablets, gift cards, electronics, and a 55-inch flat screen television. The association appreciates Courierboard for sponsoring Casino Night. Many attendees won gifts valued at more than the cost of attending the event!
The Saturday session began with breakfast sponsored by the Friends of the FMA, which includes Baron Messenger, NE Where Transport, Manko Delivery Systems, and Stealth Courier. After breakfast, Thomas Jowers, vice president/chief operating officer of ADL Delivery and FMA president, gave opening comments before turning the microphone over to Harold Boyett, president of Blue Streak Couriers, and FMA board member and past president, who discussed the initiatives underway for the Government Affairs Committee. Harold talked about the upcoming state lobby days on March 10th and 11th.
The meeting continued with the keynote speaker, Kevin McCarthy, sponsored by ADL Delivery. Kevin spoke about the “On-Purpose Business Person.” His presentation was insightful and included some interaction with the audience. Attendee Lance Dearborn, of Air Traffic Services, and FMA board member, commented on Mr. McCarthy’s presentation: “As I listened to the topic of being on purpose, I felt motivated and inspired to look at my work in a much different way. I was intrigued by the concepts and perspective that Kevin discussed. His presentation is another example of how our association continues to help all of us raise the bar in our personal and professional lives.”
After the keynote presentation, Dan Schutt, president of Double Time Transit, FMA board member, and chair of the Membership Development Committee, addressed the group. He shared the efforts and results of the committee, and then he introduced the Spotlight Courier, Rebecca Knight of Bayside Courier in Saint Petersburg. Bayside is a new member, and Rebecca shared her enthusiasm with the group as she talked about her entry into the industry.
The meeting included two vendor fair sessions and two round table discussions, sponsored by Fleet Complete. Attendees were provided with “vendor passports,” which facilitated quality one-on-one time with vendors during the vendor fair sessions. The roundtable discussions were an opportunity for members to discuss topics important to the health of the industry, as well as best practices and shared experiences.
After lunch and the vendor fair, Harold Boyett led the panel discussion regarding the future of last mile delivery. The panel consisted of Matt Stofflet of Ensenda, Stuart Hayden of Fusion Logistics, and Ben Kaplan of Rightaway Delivery. The discussion gave the attendees great insight into the mindset and perspective of the third party logistics companies our industry serves.
Saturday afternoon continued with the Vendor Spotlight presentation featuring Chris Kane of Courierboard. Chris shared the latest versions of both Courierboard.com and their driver-recruiting site, cbdriver.com. Courierboard continues to be a tremendous advocate for the FMA, and the association is thankful for their support.
The last presentation of the day was by Tim Cocchia of CXT. He had an astute approach regarding the direction and future of the technology of the industry. He covered topics such as the use of drones and unmanned vehicles for delivering packages.
The final moments of the meeting were another highlight of the annual event, as attendees participated in a raffle. Once again, attendees had a chance to win high-value prizes, such as a big screen television. The 50/50 raffle resulted in one of the members winning and then gifting their prize immediately to another member of the association who is experiencing a significant medical crisis in their family. The association did the same thing with the other 50%. This is a true testament to the character of the members of this fine organization.
Overall, the annual Winter Meeting for the Florida Messenger Association was successful. As always, the FMA leads the country when it comes to state association activities, and the Orlando Doubletree Universal continues to serve as a great venue for the meeting
On behalf of the board of directors, as well as the general membership, the FMA is sincerely thankful to our president, Thomas Jowers, for all of his hard work and dedication in organizing our annual meeting.
The feedback from the attendees continues to inspire the board of the association:
“I brought several members of my management team to the meeting because the main event was scheduled for a Saturday. Normally, I could not afford to lose six of my people on a weekday because of the demands of their daily responsibilities.” – Harold Boyett, FMA board member and President, Blue Streak Couriers, Jacksonville, Florida.
“The annual FMA meeting is a must-attend function for our team. They get to connect with other courier partners, see the latest vendor offerings, and gain valuable industry knowledge all at the same time. Each year the event improves, and we are looking forward to 2016.” – Walker Allen, President, Specialty Freight & Courier, Jacksonville, Florida
“My wife and I attend every year. We enjoy the camaraderie, coupled with the very informative guest speakers. The session with Adam Sarhan helped us, as business owners, to understand financial matters, and we thoroughly enjoyed Kevin McCarthy’s intuitive session on helping us to help others. Also, the round table discussions further broaden our business acumen by allowing us to trade ideas on how we each handle certain situations. If you didn’t attend this year, you must set a placeholder in your calendar for the end of January 2016.” – Steven Seltzer, Comet Delivery Services, Miami, Florida
“This fantastic event was packed with interesting speakers, industry experts and vendors, and non-stop networking. This signature event always exceeds my expectations. For courier, delivery, and trucking companies throughout the state of Florida and southeast United States, there is no better event to spotlight the important issues that our industry faces.” – Steve Howard, Esquire Express, Miami, Florida
“Engaging, intelligent, entertaining, and stimulating conference. Although these are powerful adjectives that I don’t use lightly, they still fall short of conveying what a GREAT association we are involved with.” – Bryan Bilchik, Chief Operating Officer, Manko Delivery Systems, Tampa, Florida
“Each year I look forward to attending the winter FMA meeting, not only for the social time with my fellow members, but for the learning experience and networking opportunities. This year, as in the past, I was not disappointed and look forward to next year. Another terrific event — kudos to the board members.” – Gary Gilbertson, Vice President, Alpha Logistics Service, Orlando, Florida
“We are so glad that we made the time to go to such a great event. The knowledge that we gained and the contacts that we made are so valuable and so much more than we ever expected. We look forward to becoming an integral part of such a wonderful organization.” – Angie Chandler, President, Ace Courier & Delivery Service, LLC, Niceville, Florida
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Rebecca Knight, Operations Manager, Bayside Courier, Saint Petersburg, Florida
A special thanks to our generous sponsors:
- ADL Delivery
- CXT Software
- Key Software
- Fleet Complete
- All Over Media
Friends of the FMA:
- Friends of the FMA:
- Baron Messenger
- NE Where Transport
- Stealth Courier
- Manko Delivery Systems