Jan 6, 2016
We shall start where all of the great journeys throughout history start, at the very beginning. It was August of 1926 and a group of independent typewriter dealers…What is a typewriter? Google it Millennials, I don’t have time to draw you a picture. Where was I? Oh yes…
It was August of 1926 and a group of independent typewriter dealers gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to form an association that would one day become the Business Technology Association. By 1933, the Association had grown so much that it was decided a name change was needed. The National Association of Typewriter Dealers became the National Typewriter and Office Machine Dealers Association (NTOMDA), a decade later in 1943; it became the National Office Machine Dealers Association (NOMDA). Fun fact, new products announced in the September issue of the NOMDA NEWS in 1948 included such items as:
- The Tape Recorder — a compact, magnetic tape recording and playback machine designed for non-professional use.
- The Wire Recorder — a new, portable, low-priced model. The combination phonograph/wire recorder reproducer claimed to have 12 essential features of sound reproduction.
- The Photo Copy Duplicator — designed to produce letter- and legal-sized exact facsimiles of anything written, typed, printed, drawn or photographed in a matter of minutes. Claimed to produce more than 30 finished copies an hour at about five cents per copy. Portable. Had a self-contained darkroom.
Fast forward to present day, the Business Technology Association (BTA), led by Executive Director Brent Hoskins and a Board of Directors made up of independent dealers/entrepreneurs, serves office technology dealerships, resellers, manufacturers, distributors and service companies. Its core members — office technology companies — consult, provide services such as managed print services, managed IT services and sell hardware, software and supplies with the primary goal of helping businesses optimize business information workflow. Through the association’s various educational programs, information, research, legal services, publications and guidance, BTA member dealerships are positioned to be the premier source of the office technology used by businesses throughout the United States every day. Bottom line, this association is about dealers helping dealers.
National Typewriter and Office Machine Dealers Association August 20, 1928, Cleveland, Ohio
So, if you’re reading this and you’re not a member, my question is: Why Not?! This is seriously what they call a “no-brainer” because for a measly $430 a year…hold on, let me start this part again.
This is seriously what they call a “no-brainer” for only $1.18 A DAY you have access to the following (imagine I am saying this with the voice of Don Pardo):
- Legal Services – Led by the esteemed Bob Goldberg (he doesn’t even make me refer to him as esteemed, I do it out of the respect I have for his contributions to the BTA and our industry)
- Free Publications & Online Resources – Like Office Technology Magazine
- Channel Trends & Statistics – Including our very own InfoTrends Dealer Vertical Market Opportunity Analysis (yes, it’s a shameless plug, sue me after you become a member and have access to Bob Goldberg’s legal services)
- Business Support Services – Including our very own InfoTrends Ask the Analyst service (alright, alright, that will be my last shameless plug)
- Discount Programs
- Insurance Programs
- BTA Scholarships – These scholarships are awarded to children of dealers & the children of their full-time employees.
- BTA Navigator Program
- Volume Purchasing Agreements
In addition to all of these fabulous benefits, the BTA holds five District Events per year (I know I said no more shameless plugs but this one isn’t about me, thus it doesn’t qualify as shameless), in the West, East, Southeast (traditionally one in first quarter and the annual Fall Colors event in North Carolina) and the Mid-America event. This year the Mid-America event will be held in BTA’s home city of Kansas City, Missouri, on June 8th thru June 10th to celebrate the association’s 90th Anniversary. These events feature industry leaders, networking opportunities, educational sessions and opportunities for exhibitors to meet one-on-one with attendees.
So, let’s go back to the beginning. Founded in 1926…let that soak in for a moment people…founded in 1926!!! Another fun fact, did you know that of the Fortune 500 firms in 1955 vs. 2014; 88% are gone? Gone people, gone! My Peeps at BTA have been diligently serving the independent dealer community since 1926!!! And…AND…they all still look great! Valerie, Teresa, Mary and Elizabeth, they don’t look a day over 30! Brent and Brian…well, let’s just say they look great for 90 and we’ll leave it at that.
If you are already a member of the BTA you know first-hand all of the great work this group of individuals on the staff do for you on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and the contribution made by the association to our industry throughout its proud history. If you are not a member, pick up the phone or email this man, Brian K. Smith, listed below and join today! I promise you, if you invest the time to maximize even a fraction of the benefits I listed, it’s worth every penny. And again, the pennies, work out to be like $1.18 a day!
Brian K. Smith – Membership Specialist
Business Technology Association
12411 Wornall Road, Ste. 200
Kansas City, Missouri 64145
Congratulations to the entire staff at BTA and the countless volunteers, who are too many to name in this blog, for your many hours of hard work making the association successful. A special shout out to Brent Hoskins for his dedication to and stewardship of the association. Last fun fact, Brent also doubles as editor of Office Technology magazine. So when he retires, the Board will have to hire two people to back-fill him; good luck with that. Brent is someone I both personally and professionally have a tremendous amount of respect for and is also someone I believe could be the nicest person on the planet. Much continued success to the Business Technology Association in 2016 and here’s to the next 90 years of dealers helping dealers!