With the holiday season being over, it is time to start writing our story for this upcoming year. Welcome to 2019 our next year of success.
Before we take time to reflect back on our accomplishments of 2018, I would like to share with you a little bit about myself. It may not be compelling reading, but I hope to show what can happen when opportunity presents itself and the positive outcome that comes from commitment.
Recently, I was asked how I ever became involved in the trade show business, a question that ignited reflection for me. This May I will turn 62 years of age and I realized that I have spent over half my life dedicated to the trade show industry.
In 1987 I started my part time career in Chicago as a union trade show carpenter. At the time, I owned a specialized small business and we were looking at what projected to be a somewhat lean year. A close friend asked if I would be interested in some part time I&D work down at Mc Cormick place. I had no idea what I&D work was but was interested to find out. I went out and bought all the required tools, a new tool bag and belt. I was ready to fit right in (or so I thought). My first day on the job was truly an eye-opening experience into the world of trade shows. I had never seen anything like it before. I worked with two tenured carpenters who were very experienced at initiating a recruit like an eighth grader on his first day of high school. Not only was I laughed at because of my shiny new tools, but I did not even know what a cam lock wrench was. I have decided to not mention the carpenter's names, but I will say they are still around and have become friends.
Day two changed my life forever. I was assigned to a new job and worked with a carpenter about my age who took me under his wing. His name was Jeff Brosseau and he too is still around and has become a good friend. By the end of week one, it was clear to me that I found my calling. Thirty three years later, I am humbled by my trade show beginnings and inspired by the opportunities the industry has presented to me as President of Sho-Link, one of the most amazing company success stories in the industry.
I have been associated with Sho-Link for 17 years as we proudly celebrate our 25th year of doing what many in the industry thought would never work. How did we get to 25 years? We employ people who believe in and are willing to make a commitment to the success of our organization. This letter is to acknowledge your part in our overall success.
So, let's reflect on our successes in 2018.
There are many types of success, I will address two. Company success and personal success. It is obvious to me that the two are undeniably intertwined.
In 2018, we completed a record number of jobs, in a record number of different venues and cities. We broke previous revenue records. Outside sales were at a record levels. We employed more workers than ever before. We improved on lowering job incident reports, and credits returned. We provided a record number of estimates. Our Power Performer Program well out paced the previous number of names submitted for outstanding individuals. We expanded our personnel mix in the field, new City Mangers, new Assistant Managers, new Traveling Supervisors, new Lead People.
At the corporate office we added new positions and promoted deserving individuals. We sponsored more member events than in previous years. We improved the way we communicate through upgrading our technology and we introduced our new Sho-Link Mobile App. We invested in new equipment, launched new programs and undertook the challenge of relocating our corporate headquarters during the busiest time of the year. We supported and participated in a record number of industry events. These were company efforts and successes that we all shared in.
On personal achievements, we watched families grow and supported our fellow workers when they experienced family loss. We cheered on our employees who took opportunities to further their education and achieve new personal goals. We applauded individuals who challenged themselves and stood before their peers to deliver enthusiastic presentations, at one of the best Leadership Meeting we ever held. We had people stretch their imagination and create new ways of sharing company information, Colleen Johnson, thanks for the first edition of the supplemental Corporate Brochure.
From day one, Sho-Link has made a commitment to our Members to provide a consistently great level of service based on a culture of partnership. To succeed in doing that we also had to make a commitment to our employees and show floor labor crews. One without the other dissipates the partnership culture.
Who is responsible for our success? Simple, all of us, working together.
Obviously, it all starts with our 12 Member companies. They have placed their trust and confidence in Sho-Link, as evidenced by a record dollar amount of revenue. Their commitment in 2018 was paramount to the success of Sho-Link.
The Sho-Link Board of Directors. Your leadership and dedicated support of Sho-Link has again proven to be invaluable.
Our corporate staff who is responsible for creating enthusiasm, pride, and building a culture of wanting to be a part of something extraordinary.
Our administration management and personnel, the behind the scene back bone of support and first in the line of fire.
Our IT department who shows extraordinary patience on a daily basis.
Our Account management team, what a difference you have made.
The best Operation Managers in the industry. Thank you for making my job so rewarding and enjoyable.
To our Affiliate partners, once again you showed an amazing ability to being adaptable. Thank you for your commitment to Sho-Link.
Our City Managers, Assistant Managers and support staff - You simply Rock. To all of your families, who share your crazy schedules and stress - You also Rock!
To our real heroes. The people our clients last see before the show opens. The I&D crews on the show floor. Last year I again had the fortune of a heavy travel schedule, I was humbled by the overall pride I witnessed and by the conversations I had with our crews and clients. I was approached by people that couldn't wait to tell me how much they enjoyed working for Sho-Link. Your commitment to our culture and the enthusiasm you show makes it easy to understand why more and more people are asking if we have room for them to join our team. Thank you for being the face of Sho-Link and representing our company in such a positive manner. You truly are our most important asset.
In closing, remember to take time to show the new people your secrets and to motivate them. Feel proud of what you accomplish every day and reflect on those successes.
Looking forward to seeing you soon on the show floor.