By Dave McBride
I’m pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2021, McBride & Associates is operating under new ownership. As part of our business continuation plan, Janet Seelhoff, CAE, has purchased the company and will be continuing to operate it under the M&A name. Clients won’t see much change, since we’ll have a gradual, phased transition of client service responsibilities. But continuity of our commitments, standards, and protocols is assured by having a veteran employee who will now be in charge of the company for many years to come.
Every business gets to a point when transition plans and exit strategies for key employees are needed. It’s part of the lifecycle of businesses. It’s been 37 years since I started the company, and M&A had gotten to that point in its lifecycle. In small businesses like ours, it can be especially challenging because when an owner leaves a small business, it creates not only a need for new ownership but also a significant hole in the overall workforce. Association management companies face bigger challenges than some other small businesses, since the value of what we do is enhanced so much by continuity of staffing and personal connections with association members and leaders.
M&A’s transition plan positions us to continue our work well into the future. And, from a personal standpoint, after more than 45 years in the association management profession, it gives me a path to phase out my involvement with clients over the next two years. Over that time, we’ll have ample opportunity to get current and new staff acclimated to enhanced client service roles as I’m winding down my involvement.
Two inter-related goals have guided our transition planning. First and foremost was to avoid any disruption of service to our clients. We wanted a transition that would be gradual and would maximize the continuity of staffing for all the organizations we manage. For organizations that would be working with any new M&A staff, we wanted plenty of time for a handoff of responsibilities before familiar faces departed.
The second goal was to assure continuation of the way we do business and the approach we take to client service. Our values, our commitment to service, and our operating protocols and standards are important to us and important to our clients. It was essential that new ownership embrace and preserve those elements of the business.
Our transition addresses both goals. Our new owner has worked for M&A for 10 years and is committed to the ideals and values of our company. Janet has earned the respect of clients as well as association management colleagues, has the confidence of our current staff, and provides an ideal way for us to seamlessly continue the work we’ve been doing since 1983.
This year starts a new chapter in the company’s history. Although my own vantage point will be different, I’m excited that I’ll still be part of that next chapter. We have a great team and a strong commitment to helping the organizations we work with to prosper and grow. And now through our business plan, M&A can confidently look forward to working with you for many years to come!