ABC Keystone President Message July 2021


It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2021, and we are beginning to think about 2022. During the last 16 months, things felt like they would never get back to normal, yet the time flew by quite quickly. So, how have the first six months of 2021 turned out, and what is in store moving forward for ABC Keystone?

As we planned for 2021, we scaled back on several expectations. None of us had been through a pandemic before, and we were flying blind as we planned. We assumed we would see fewer new members join through the year, lower retention rates, fewer people at events and fewer people in our training programs. Your board and staff planned for 2021 based on data from the last economic downturn several years ago.

We were quickly surprised as we entered the new year and saw retention and new member acquisition running ahead of schedule. Our retention cycle is completed, and we have achieved the highest member retention rate since 1987! In addition, we are on pace to take in more new members during a year’s time since 2017. We are also nearing and may break several records on event attendance and education attendee numbers.

Thank you! We are pleased to announce that ABC Keystone’s Membership has renewed for 2021 in record numbers! The Chapter’s current renewal rate has reached its highest since 1987, and it is the second highest in ABC Keystone’s 62-year history! We wish to extend a sincere thank you to our membership for taking the Chapter to new heights as you continue to rely on ABC Keystone to deliver the education, advocacy, and business development resources you and your teams need. We look forward to the year ahead! Click here to learn more!

As we reflect on the first six months of 2021, we tend to ask, “Why are we seeing such strength in numbers?” My hope is that it is because we have continued to provide value in our three main areas of focus: Advocacy, Business Development, and Education/Training. I want to thank you, the members, for supporting your association and for relying on ABC Keystone to support your businesses’ growth. So, what is next, and where do we go from here?

The Board, the staff, and I know we cannot rest on our past accomplishments. We must continue to listen, both to formulate and to provide value. While we continue to plan events, educational programs and legislative action plans, our work does not stop there. Where do you want your association to be in one year, three years or even five years? You get to help decide.

In September of this year, we will embark on a new three-year strategic plan, both for the Apprenticeship Trust and for the Chapter. We will review our mission statement, our vision statement, and our value proposition statement. In addition, we will review what has worked well and what has not. This will be an opportunity to set direction and goals for the improvement and growth of ABC Keystone.

Why do I share this information? Because you can be a part of the plan for your Chapter. This planning will involve the staff, the board and all committee chairs. In addition, we will be inviting any member that wants to participate. The dates for the Chapter planning session are September 15 – 16 for the Chapter. Please keep an eye out for details closer to the time or email

Help be part of the growth and success of the Keystone Chapter!

G. David Sload
G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO

Posted June 20, 2021