New England Mail Order Association Fall 2008 Conference

Last month four of us at Hodges’ traveled up to Burlington, Vermont for the New England Mail Order Association (NEMOA) 2008 Fall Conference. This a great group for small mailers to learn from and network with. It was also the perfect place for a conference dedicated to “Growing Green” – Business and environmental sustainability in today’s market… Burlington was beautiful, and with the hotel right across from Lake Champlain you woke to an awesome view where the leaves were just starting to turn.

It was a great conference. The goal was to introduce members to other catalogers who have a “Green” program going and show us what they are doing to make it work. We learned a lot in 3 days and met some interesting people from all kinds of catalog companies.

The conference started with a panel of catalogers, Brian McGovern from Timberland, David Hay from Plow & Hearthand Nancy Fischman from L.L.Bean showing us what they do and what we can do. They definitely have a grasp on what can be done and why it’s important. It was impressive.

At Hodges we are already trying to get the message out that we are starting to go green and it’s important to be environmentally conscious. We are spreading the word that our ribbon products are biodegradable and our catalogs are printed at a certified environmentally friendly printer now. It’s a small start but this conference gave us more ideas. We are even starting a “green team” to look around the company for places were green improvements can be made as well.

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Philadelphia USGA Olympic Selection Trials

Jenn and I spent last week at the USAG Olympic Selection Trials in Philadelphia, PA.  We were there to exhibit along with the other USGSA members at the gymnastics trade fair held in conjunction with the trials.

Traffic at the show this year was very good.  Cathy Feldman of USAG told us that they had a record 1,900 paid attendees before the show started.  I heard later that another 500 signed up during the show.  As usual Thursday (the first day) had the best quality of attendees with lots of club owners hitting the floor. By Saturday we were tired, and the hall was full of young kids bent on stealing as many knick nacks as they could get their hands on.  Thieving kids is one thing, but when you see them handing all of your sample ribbons and medals to their mom a few booths away, it makes your stomach turn!

As usual the mega-raffle was a huge hit.  We raffled off $68,000 in gymnastics equipment!!

While we were there we took in the women’s gymanstics trials on Friday night along with folks from Mancino Manufacturing and Deary Gymnastics.  Where was Gibson?  The women looked great and as someone who doesn’t eat, breathe and sleep gymnastics, wow – they have gotten really good in the past four years.  Best of luck to all our competitors in Bejing this summer!!