From the desk of the Executive Director - Cathy Berg
Summer is finally here at last – what better time to be thinking about getting those new hires trained and TAM certified. We offer classes monthly in various areas of the state, as well as private business classes for those establishments that have 12 or more attendees to certify. With summer here, that only means that the Sturgis Rally will soon follow in the next couple of months. It’s never too early to be thinking about training your new staff with the high number of new hires needed to serve the many tourists that flood the area during the summer season. It’s important that your new staff have all the tools they need to be responsible and to know the laws of South Dakota in serving customers.
It was a very busy winter and spring as we worked through another legislative session. This year’s session brought 15 bills that directly affected the industry, and with the help and hard work of our lobbyist and board, we felt we had a great session in terms of the best outcome of what we were able to do to protect the interests of our members and the industry. Our lobbyist works diligently throughout the year, visiting with legislators and others in Pierre, as we prepare for the next year’s session. This also includes any summer study topics that the legislative executive board feel needs further discussion and research prior to the following year’s session.
In April, our board met in Sioux Falls for their annual spring meeting. We were fortunate to have several of the wholesalers attend the meeting to discuss various topics, which included their new products and any happenings going on in their companies, discussions that involved the outcome of some of the bills that were passed in the 2017 session, and any issues that needed to be addressed in regards to members and the 2018 legislative session. It was a great meeting, and we look forward to working with them in the future.
I had the great opportunity to do some membership recruitment with board member, Mike Carrels, who oversees District 4 (the Aberdeen area) for the association following the board meeting. We visited 7 different establishments which gave us a great opportunity to visit with them about their organization, any issues they need addressed and what we do as an association and the benefits of being a member. Membership is a very important aspect of our association, as that is the reason we exist, to help you, as a business owner, to fight for you and the industry so that your business and all the others like yours can continue to thrive and remain strong. The bigger we are, the stronger we become and the more our voice is heard in Pierre when needed. As they always say, we are stronger and better in numbers.
We continue to recruit for new members. Without our members there would be no association, and without an association, there would be no voice in Pierre to fight for the industry. If you aren’t a member, you should be. If you are already a member, we appreciate your continued support.
Our office is always available for your calls, ideas and thoughts. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time if you have an issue or an idea. You can contact us at #800-721-1789 or visit our website at: www.sdliquorandgaming.com. You are also welcome to visit with any one of our board members as well.
Thank you, once again, to our members for their continued support of the organization. Your membership is valued in so many ways, as it is important that the association remains active and viable as we move forward into the future in this highly regulated industry.
Cathy Berg, Executive Director