A Word from Mike: MERA, MERA on the Wall

What will the future hold for MERA,
The Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association?

The 12volt industry has been pondering MERA’s future since the July 8th announcement that InstallerNet plans to acquire the industry’s trade association. MERA’s Board of Directors has reportedly approved the acquisition. The final vote is in the hands of the membership. The polling process of the membership was estimated at two weeks. A decision on MERA’s future should be forthcoming the week of July 20th given the announced timeframe holds.

Industry reaction to the proposed acquisition has been varied. Across the board, however, MERA’s original mission statement is held in the highest regard. Like everything, implementation and execution ultimately determines the success or failure of any endeavor.

In today’s business climate it became increasingly difficult for MERA to achieve the organization’s stated goals.

The 12Volt Advertiser, subsequently The 12Volt News and now 12voltnews.com supported MERA from the earliest days. In the beginning MERA and The 12Volt Advertiser fought for visibility and purpose within the 12volt community. The fledgling initiatives found it easy to share thoughts and objectives in the early 1990’s.

From the Lake of the Ozarks to Omaha, to regional events and Knowledgefest events in Kansas City, Nashville, Knoxville to Louisville the organization expended tremendous energy and dedication for the betterment of specialty 12volt retailers. Volunteer board members plus advisory councils and committee participants from all areas of the industry, along with MERA staff members, worked tirelessly. A core group of vendors and companies, along with CEA, actively contributed substantial financial sums to MERA’s efforts through the years. Hundreds of individuals contributed tens of thousands of hours. Those companies and individuals are to be recognized for their contributions.

Many factors and decisions contributed to our arrival at this chapter in MERA’s life. Despite the concerted and dedicated efforts of those memtioned it has been apparent over the past several years that MERA had lost momentum in the marketplace. Changes in staff at the executive level, the untimely passing of Jim Montoya shortly after his appointment as the organization’s executive director, separation from the Raybourn Management Group and the cancellation of MERA’s annual Knowledgefest coupled with never before seen economic conditions has led us to this crossroads in MERA’s life story.

Longtime MERA Executive Director Rick Mathies told 12voltnews.com “The association was conceived to be a resource for the 12volt specialty retailer and industry. A tremendous amount of effort from many went into the development of MERA over the past decade and a half. I sincerely hope the mission can continue.”

Barry Vogel, MERA’s Executive Director, commented ” A successful association offers wonderful possibilities to benefit its members and the industry. The InstallerNet proposal offered us the best possible option to continue to serve our members.”

The next chapter in MERA’s life will soon unfold. Let’s all look in the mirror on the wall to see how we can contribute to the survival and betterment of the 12volt industry.

We welcome and encourage your comments.

– Mike Van Horn
Publisher, 12VoltNews.com