Trade Association: noun
- An association of people or companies in a particular business or trade, organized to promote their common interests.
The Florida Swimming Pool Association is comprised of 700 member companies. I wonder how many of our members know the history behind associations and what it means to be a member of an association?
Associations have been around much longer than most people think. You can find examples of trade associations back to Elizabethan England (16th Century) with the formation of guilds. The guilds were formed by merchants and individual artisans coming together to protect their interests and provide services for the industry. The guilds offered regulations on work hours and wages as well as education in specific fields relating to the guild’s industry (sound familiar?). As the world expanded and grew to today’s modern world, guilds grew and expended to reflect the needs of the ever advancing members.
The United States of America has a proud history of association involvement. In fact, you can see how important having the availability to be a part of an association was to our founding fathers by looking at our constitution. Freedom to assemble and freedom of speech are key factors for an effective association which are protected in our constitutional rights. The earliest association in the US is the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York that was founded in 1768. A group of 20 merchants pooled together to form the Chamber of Commerce with the goal of serving the needs of the local community. They gradually grew to become the industry’s leading advocates and attracting participation from some of America’s most famous business families: Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Murray,and Astor. The US boasts tens of thousands of associations that represent various groups and industries that make up our vast nation.
You have been accepted into the Florida Swimming Pool Association because of your commitment to a code of ethics, your credentials, and your dedication to advancing Florida’s swimming pool industry. You have chosen to continue on the path laid down by our forefathers. FSPA is only as good as our membership. We look forward to many more years of fighting for the swimming pool industry with our loyal and hardworking members leading the way.