The Association of Independent Compressor Distributors met last month in San Antonio for its 33rdannual convention. We took the opportunity to catch up with the group’s Administrator, Kasey Gould, about her role in the organization and what the future holds for the AICD.
Gould first became involved with the AICD through what she calls “pure happenstance.” Her husband was a pilot for a pump and compressor company based out of Texas, and the VP of that company was a past president of the AICD.
“His wife—who became a good friend of mine—also happened to be the administrator for the association,” Gould said. “She was looking to retire, and when my sales job became too demanding once I had children, it was a perfect transition. I have been the administrator since 2015. The first show I helped plan was in 2014.”
Gould explained that the association used to be only for Quincy compressor distributors. The group decided to change that several years ago and become a truly independent association.
“The first trade show that was open to everyone was in 2013. Since then, the association has grown year after year. This year in San Antonio was the highest attendance from members we have ever had! We have members from all across the country, as well as a few in Australia, Canada, and Mexico,” she said.
In a time when some industrial distributors worry about their roles changing or being threatened, Gould said that the AICD is aware that the compressor industry is constantly changing and evolving.
“As an association, we are trying to ensure that our members stay abreast of important industry changes and standards,” she said.
This year’s conference, she said, was the group’s best yet, noting that the feedback she received from both vendors and members was overwhelmingly positive. There were 60 member companies in attendance, compared to last year, where there was 43. This year, the total number of attendees (both vendor and member) was more than 350. Next year’s event is being planned for the Renaissance SeaWorld in Orlando, from May 19-21, 2019.
Over the next few years, Gould sees the association’s mission as increasing ties within the industry.
“The main mission of the AICD is to be the vehicle to provide a place for members to share ideas and develop solutions to industry problems,” she said. “In the evolving compressor industry, we hope to be an invaluable resource for our distributors. We are working hard to do this by facilitating strong relationships between our members, as well as developing relationships between vendors in the compressed air industry and our distributors. We are also developing an AICD-exclusive training program for our members. The association is striving to be not only fun, but extremely beneficial for every person involved.”