TRFA 2020 Year in Review and Member Update

Dear Members,

With 2020 thankfully behind us, TRFA’s Board of Directors wishes to provide an update for our members on TRFA activities and to inform on plans for the near future. 2020 was a difficult year all around due to the global pandemic. Business activity, traditional work days, travel, workday settings, schooling, sports/cultural/social activity, as well as trade association meetings have been markedly disrupted and altered due to the pandemic. It is likely that many in our group have experienced more severe effects of the virus. Some may have fallen ill or had a family member or friend fall ill, or worse. We hope that with development and availability of vaccines that brighter days are ahead in 2021 and in the near future we can return to some semblance of normality to carry on without the specter of the virus over everything we do. To those in our group who have suffered the effects of COVID-19, we offer our sincere condolences and support. 

COVID-19, of course, has been the most significant factor in altering our plans and activities this year and was responsible for the cancelation of the 2020 Annual Meeting, originally scheduled for April in Denver. While we were planning to hold a live event for 2021, those plans have now been dropped in favor of a virtual event. Planning for the 2021 virtual event is underway and updates will be supplied to the membership as specific details evolve. We are planning to hold a live event in 2022 at the Fairmont Dallas and fully expect that normalization of business activities and travel will allow us to be together again, in one place, at that time. 

To help compensate for the loss of technical interactions, a webinar series was held in 2020 to bring monthly presentations to interested members free of charge.  A total of eight webinars were held from May through December.  Average attendance for the webinars was around 30 and attendance for the individual sessions ranged from a low of 14 to a high of 58.  All presenters volunteered their time and expertise to make this happen.  Thanks to the efforts of the presenters and TRFA staff, each webinar was interesting, informative, and ran flawlessly.  All eight presentations are available on the TRFA website under the Resources tab for those who were not able to see live, or wish to see again. 

Regrettably, four directors needed to resign their positions from the Board this year. These directors include: Bruce Burton, Phil Allen, Alyson King, and Karana Shah. Each made valuable contributions to the Board and to TRFA and we wish to thank all of them for their service and wish them all the best for the future. Fortunately for us, four talented individuals have volunteered their time and efforts to fill these positions on the Board. They are:

  • Lingyun He with Olin Corporation
  • Jimmy Kung with Crosslink Technologies
  • Eric Nowicki with Evonik
  • Peter Schreiber with Gabriel Performance Products/Huntsman

All four of our new directors are already participating and contributing to our organization and we thank them all for stepping up to take on the task of continually improving TRFA.

We expect that we will have one or two additional positions on the Board come open in 2021. We would ask that any individual who would like to be considered for a Board position to let that be known to a Board Member or to TRFA staff. 

In another important development, the Board decided in September to make a change in our association management provider from CM Services to the Association Resource Center (ARC). CM Services is the original and only management organization that has served TRFA since its inception in 2003. ARC, formerly Svinicki Association Management and located in Milwaukee, has been in the association management business for over 30 years. Transition from CM to ARC has been underway since October. As of January 1st, ARC has been working full time as our management company. 

In addition to working on the management transition and plans for the 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, the Board and ARC will also be working on a redesign of TRFA’s website, membership platform, learning platform and to identify new legal counsel, as Dan Myers has retired from the role he has filled with TRFA since 2003. 

On behalf of the TRFA Board of Directors, we wish all members the best for 2021. While 2020 was a year unlike any other, we are thankful for your continued membership and support. Even in these unprecedented times, TRFA is dedicated to providing the same quality service you have become accustomed to. While things may not be “business as usual,” TRFA is adapting to new methods and processes in order to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Thank you for your continued involvement in TRFA. 


Charles Zarnitz
President, TRFA

NEW TRFA Contact Information
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 4210
Milwaukee, WI 53214
Phone: 414/488-3916 
General Inquiries:

Jenni Kilpatrick, CAE
Executive Director
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