We all hear and read a lot today about the power of social networking, about Twitter, Facebook and blogging. We participate in it. It works. But the reason you haven’t heard from me in a few days is because I had a wonderful opportunity to do some “face to face” networking at the 47th Annual Management Conference and 13th Annual Team Dealer Summit hosted by the National Sporting Goods Association. (and yes, they did talk a lot about social media) The event was held in Tucson, Arizona from May 1-4th. I attended with 9 other team members, which included my children Brett Stahl and Erin Stahl. I can’t say enough about how friendly, professional and well-run this event was. If you are involved in retail sporting goods, or are a wholesaler or manufacturer that provides products or services to the sporting goods market, I urge you to become a member. Attending this conference gave me the opportunity to do one of my favorite things, and it wasn’t golf. (Although they did have a golf tournament for attendees on Tuesday). One of my favorite things to do is learn. From the inspiring keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche to the celebrity luncheon speaker, Erin Andrews, to the knowledgeable speakers of the breakout sessions, I never left a room without jotting something new down in the notebook I always have with me.
It was also a fantastic opportunity to speak and meet with other attendees, many of whom were long time customers or business partners of Stahls‘ or Hotronix or Transfer Express. Some familiar faces, many new faces. I was very pleased to meet my fellow inductees to the NSGA Hall of Fame, Jim Baugh of Wilson and Tom Raynor of Fleet Feet. I was humbled and honored to be in their company during the ceremony the NSGA held on Tuesday evening. Thank you again to everyone at NSGA and on the NSGA Hall of Fame Nominating Committee for presenting me with this tribute. As I said in my acceptance speech, it will always mean a lot to me. I will share more tomorrow when I finally get the pictures uploaded.