2022 SC&RA Annual Conference review
By Mike Chalmers08 July 2022
The SC&RA Annual Conference attracts members from around the world. Mike Chalmers reports.
Each year during the SC&R Annual Conference, the Association hosts the International Members Reception – recognising and celebrating all international members, many of whom have travelled great distances to attend the meeting.
The reception is also a way for SC&RA to honour its many valued international members and provide an additional atmosphere where they can meet and greet, network and explore some potential opportunities together. As always, the reception at this year’s Annual Conference – sponsored by Mammoet America – was well attended both by new and familiar faces.
Networking at the SC&RA annual conference
Alvaro Rodriguez, MPE Group president, is a regular each year. He sees it as much more than just a social occasion. “This is a great event for foreign members,” he indicated. “It has provided me with many opportunities during the past eighteen years, and I am pretty sure all the others agree.”
Rodriguez added that the networking aspect of the reception has also made it easier for him to do business over time. “I have met quite a few companies from these events, and we have done business together. Ultimately, it’s very nice to have someone to trust when doing work in other countries.”
Louis Juneau, president at Nova Permits & Pilot Cars, agreed with Rodriguez, who he considers a friend. “The reception has allowed many of us to make new acquaintances and friendships throughout the years. It also brought me close to Alvaro, which in turn allowed me to get closer to Eddy Kitchen and then become part of the Guitar Alchemy Reception.”
While the type of work that Juneau does really doesn’t take him outside of North America, the reception has allowed him a unique opportunity. “I have introduced and mentored a few French Canadians that were new to the SC&RA.”
Uniting SC&RA members
Rafael de los Santos, managing director at Tradelossa, considers the reception a must-attend. “Every year, I look forward to who will be attending,” he said. “It’s a good space to meet people from other countries, and pursue shared interests.”
Agreeing with De Los Santos, Stefan Kohler, Goldhofer director of sales, North America, feels the reception is the perfect opportunity for internationals to connect when they might not have otherwise. “As an example, in addition to my US responsibilities at Goldhofer, I was responsible for the Middle East market for quite a few years.
“I got to know a gentleman from Abu Dhabi at the SC&RA event who was actually a potential customer, and I didn’t know him before that.”
Raul Cuevas, commercial director at Transportes Muciño, echoed Kohler. “I have met extraordinary people at these receptions and it has allowed me to generate contacts from different backgrounds. Face-to-face contact gives you a better level of comfort to call someone for support.”
Cuevas says the reception is mutually beneficial for attendees and SC&RA. “It’s part of what makes SC&RA an international association,” he explains. “Normally, similar events are centred in the US, but this is a reminder that good things are happening outside the States. Diversity is always an asset.”
Ed Bernard, SC&RA president, as well as president at Precision Specialized, considers the International Members Reception not just important, but vital. “It lets other members from different countries see actual faces they can put to names,” he explained.
“People who see the percentage of international members on the SC&RA website can experience in-person networking.” Bernard believes that, as transportation has evolved into a borderless industry, clients want to mitigate parties involved. “We’re also able to provide our clients with solutions in other countries by building those international relationships – and this reception creates additional opportunities.”
Having established numerous relationships that have led to services, born from the reception, Bernard is quick to give credit where it’s due. “I’ve expanded or solidified relationships that started right here. One was on a move from Mexico to Alberta, and another with a project from Ontario to France. The International Reception gives me the chance to meet new companies, while at the same time, continue to expand on conversations with others.”