January 27, 2021
Recruiting and retaining members has long been a concern for the association, but the problem seemed especially apparent at this time. At least five distributors had terminated their membership during the previous year, with the fee structure being the cause of termination in at least two of the cases.
In an attempt to attract new members, a 50% reduction in the first year’s fees was offered, as well as a chance to attend a workshop, compliments of CEDA, and to have the initiation fee waived. Burt Robinson hoped these tactics would work, but he warned the Board: “The success of CEDA lay in its regional directorship and member activity, and that’s where the solution would have to come from.”
After less than a year of publishing, CEDA Current was well received by contractors, architects, manufacturers and distributors. The magazine had also provided the incentive needed for two new members to join CEDA. But storm clouds began to build. An overriding concern with the magazine was a shortage of advertising; revenue from advertising revenue did not cover the $6,000 per issue production costs. The possibility of engaging an advertising salesman was discussed as being too expensive.
Financially things were changing for the association. Members’ fees now brought in almost $56,000 of CEDA’s total budgeted income of almost $60,000. The general manager’s pay had also been increased substantially, his annual salary was now shown as $20,000.
Source: CEDA: Fifty Years of Service – An Historical Review of the Canadian Electrical Distributors Association, 1934 to 1984, Kerrwil Publications. Please feel free to reach out to us any time if you have great photos, historical anecdotes or perspectives. We would love to hear from you; firstname.lastname@example.org.