From The Editor | August 4, 2013

RSPA RetailNOW 2013 Kicks Off On A High Note

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson


After attendees settled in at the welcome reception of RSPA’s RetailNOW 2013 on Sunday evening, a video presentation called attention to the stage. The video recapped the Retail Orphan Initiative’s trip this year to the Dominican Republic to provide computers to schools in vulnerable areas. Then the RetailNOW Jam Band took the stage, ready to rock again this year “for the kids.” The talented group from the channel entertained the RetailNOW crowd once again to raise money for Retail ROI’s projects. RetailNOW 2013 attendees voted for their favorite Jam Band rocker with donations while the band played favorites like “Already Gone,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Taking the title of this year’s favorite Jam Band rocker was Ted Clark of Toshiba Global Commerce who played bass and sang with the Jam Band.

In addition to Clark, RetailNOW 2013 Jam Band members are Steve Cuntz with BlueStar on guitar and vocals; Joe Finizio with RSPA on guitar and vocals; Mark Fraker with BlueStar on Harmonica; John Gerig with Service Integrated Systems on lead vocals; Ricky Keys with Common Cents Solutions on keyboards; George Koroneos with VSR Magazine on vocals; Alex Malison with ASI-Restaurant Manager on guitar and vocals; Marcie Moncrief with Ingram Micro on vocals; Doug Perkins with Skurla's POS Solutions on vocals; Sam Reynolds with POS Tech on guitar and vocals; Jeff Riley with Dinerware on drums; Joanie Simon with Copperstate Restaurant Technologies on vocals; Lynn Skurla with Skurla's POS Solutions on vocals and percussion; Michael Tash with Essential Systems Solutions on guitar; and Charlie Watts with Creative Digital Solutions on bass.

The Prelude For New Members
Before the welcome reception, new RSPA members had their own event to kick off RetailNOW 2013. After time for networking and socializing, Joe Finizio, RSPA president and CEO, urged new members to get involved, to visit each booth on the exhibitor floor, and to talk to as many other attendees as they could. Lynn Skurla, who will serve as RSPA’s board chairperson this year and RSPA General Counsel Robert Goldberg  spoke about two of the ways members can see a return on their investment in membership. Skurla reminded new members of UPS shipping discounts for RSPA members, and Goldberg discussed free legal support. Finizio quantified both of these benefits in the opening session Monday morning. Average RSPA dues are $458 per member, and the average savings from RSPA member UPS shipping is $2,300.  He added that last year, there were 600 member inquiries regarding legal matters, which, said Finizio, has an estimated value of $131,000. He said there is also a benefit that isn’t quite as easily quantified.  “There is a tremendous amount of industry IQ sitting in this room. The priceless part of getting together where the industry meets is talking to the person next to you,” said Finizio.