How a New Strategic Plan Will Expand Mission and Membership

The EIFS Industry Members Association has spent the last 40 year doing mainly technical work. In July 2022, EIMA rolled out a new strategic plan that broadens the trade group’s mission, hoping to attract new members and become a better version of itself.

Since its launch in 1981, the EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA) has focused on the technical aspects of the exterior insulation and finish systems industry. However, in the wake of the pandemic, the trade association realized it needed to modernize and embarked on a new strategic plan in 2021. Under that plan, approved in July 2022, EIMA will expand its scope to be a more comprehensive resource for its industry.

“For the first 40 years of our existence, we were very much a technical association,” said Stephen Sears, EIMA CEO. “There was a realization that, ‘OK, we’ve done all the technical stuff. We’ve done all the code stuff.’ If we wanted to do more as an industry, then the industry would have to band together and work on some industry goals and objectives.”

The new strategic plan has three industry objectives: promote EIFS building products to position the sector for growth, engage and partner with relevant organizations, and deliver resources to help companies maintain and attract a quality workforce.

“We felt it necessary to broaden the scope,” Sears said. “What was decided was that we would have to go from EIMA 1.0 to EIMA 2.0.”

In keeping with the version upgrade analogy, Sears shared his vision for what the new EIMA will look like if it follows the strategic plan.

“EIMA 2.0 is more of a holistic approach because it capitalizes on this technical expertise that we have, but also does other things that trade associations typically do,” Sears said. “Workforce development and education will be a big part of it, the promotional aspect will be a big part of it, and certainly advocacy will be a big part of it.”

Membership Growth Expected Too

Because the new strategic goals require more reaching out and collaboration, EIMA expects the membership base to expand.

“The intent is to attract new membership,” Sears said. “All the industry players are going to be having a role in how the industry moves forward. It’s not going to just be the five manufacturers that are the primary engine drivers of the association. But it’s also going to be the specialty trade contractors who install the product, the labor union who has applicators who install the product, the distributors, and it’s going to be suppliers who provide things like the insulation board, the mesh, and the acrylic that go into the product.”

The organization hasn’t started reaching out to member prospects yet. That’s because EIMA is revamping its dues structure, which is complex and uneven at the moment. For example, some members are charged a flat fee, while others are charged based on sales volume.

“Once that is done, then we’re going to go for a pretty major membership push and get the word out there and get some new folks into the organization,” Sears said.

He added that the organization was ready for the change and had received positive response from members.

“At the end of the day, when this was done, it was approved unanimously by the board,” Sears said. “I think that the membership at large is pleased that there is now a path forward for EIMA 2.0. I think that’s what they’re really excited about.”

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Rasheeda Childress

By Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is a former editor at Associations Now. MORE

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