First of all, I want to thank everyone who was able to make it to the 2022 NAFTZ Annual Conference and Exposition last month. It was indeed so great to be in-person in a simply wonderful venue like the Loews Miami Beach and we look forward to returning there for our 2023 Annual Conference as well.
Among so many conference highlights, I want to take this time to focus on one I’ve mentioned previously here in the Zones Report – and one you most likely heard mentioned more than once at the Annual Conference: our 5-Year Advocacy Visioning and Planning effort.
As NAFTZ looks to strengthen its government relations and advocacy efforts and member engagement, a joint committee comprised of members of the Advocacy Committee and Executive Committee. This joint committee went thru a multi-week strategic visioning process with work of the joint committee presented to the Board of Directors for their review and feedback. I’m pleased to report that the Board agreed with the vision and related priorities and complimented the join committee on their work to this point. The next major steps in the process are to:
I’m excited to present to you highlights of the Visioning process to date. In the first sessions, the joint committee was tasked with creating a headline from a future NAFTZ Zones Report headline from July, 2027 where the front-page article covered the association’s highly successful advocacy efforts over the last 5 years. The headline that encompassed the high-level vision was:
NAFTZ Advocacy Success Achieved:
Government and Public recognition that US Foreign-Trade Zones Program
Levels the Playing Field for U.S. Companies and Secures U.S. Jobs
That may not seem revolutionary at first blush, but it encompasses a lot of strategies to get us there. Following the headline, the joint committee focused on the actions taken to achieve the success leading to the headline, find common themes (big buckets) among the actions and then prioritize the common themes. The ten themes (big buckets) – each with detailed actions identified to achieve advocacy success are:
These major themes of the visioning together with the detailed actions for each theme will provide the basis of the Strategic Plan, Balanced Score Card and budget requests for the 5-year plan. Obviously the scope of this plan is multi-year with NAFTZ carefully allocating human and financial resources to enable the vision to be reached. Can we do this much in 5-years? The only way to know for sure is to try. Even if it takes more than 5 years, putting these strategies in place will allow NAFTZ to strengthen our government relations and advocacy efforts on multiple fronts.
If you have any thoughts, recommendations, comments, or concerns about this effort please let me know! I’m also happy to share the detailed PowerPoint slide deck as presented to the Board at the Annual Conference in Miami last month – just click here to download.
I will keep you informed over the coming weeks and month on the progress of this effort and hope you will mark your calendars for February 14th and 15th in Washington DC for the NAFTZ Annual Legislative Summit where we bring federal government officials, policy makers and industry leaders from the foreign-trade zone community together for legislative briefings, discussions on advocacy topics and the latest on FTZ issues.
As always, I’d like to hear from you! NAFTZ is your professional association and we’re here to support you, your business and your FTZ. Drop me a note anytime: email@example.com.
In your service,
Jeffrey J. Tafel, CAE
President, National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ)
Jeffrey J. Tafel, CAE