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Letter to the Editor of the Nation’s First Tradeshow Newspaper

A letter to Rich Johnson & the ECN readers:

The Randy logo 400Yessuh, and a “Roll, Tide” to you as well. Announced recently was the new Randy logo. Very cool, I loved it and applaud it.

However….there is work to do still. Logos do not help kids with cancer. Parents fighting diabetes or the 100 other ailments we have seen happen now. Real people like you do, with a generous donation unfortunately always needed….

Rich, you seem to have a preacher’s gift. Hard to say no when you ask. This is how the Randy came to be in 1995. Before my time. I can see you and Ted Peterson, working the phones in my mind now.

Rich Johnson For the many people who live in a cave, and have no idea what The Randy is, please check it out. You do not have to play golf to sponsor. My pet peeve from past years is to hear someone tell me, “I can’t play so we are not supporting it.” You save $1,000 in airfare and a hotel, $250 on the golf, and you can’t support it. WTF? Now I know where Rich is coming from, when he is ranting! He has more years of listening to it.

Now, for a chance to see some old friends you may have forgotten or to pay your respects to buddies long gone, look through the years of photos and videos. Or see my cameo appearances in two of the crazy films Rich Johnson (pictured right) writes and creates each year with the help of a few nutty local friends from the industry and with the help of our dear friend and supporter in Atlanta, Scott Gray over at VCP TV. The master of these disasters! Allowing Rich to be the star he thinks he is now, with all these movies to his credit! He must be popular as when they went away, he had to bring them back due to popular demand.

There are so many moving pieces to the charity event with 300 people there, it is hard to keep it all together. But with some amazing fellow board members, it happens. Every year for 25 years.  Amazing!

RSMGC-group-shot-from-long-ago-sent-by-Jim-Wurm-My hope is to see all of the people not in need, pony up a family donation annually, as I work with many decent people in the business to whom $100 is not much, yet they have never spent a penny at the Randy. I cannot imagine why as I am well into the thousands of dollars, and have not missed a dime of it spread out over time.

But when it is thousands of people helping just a little bit, we can grow beyond imaginations of 25 years ago. To assist this one Randy Smith family—it is now at 170 families. It becomes a lot more when the companies each year, spending their money to assist their employees, are actually joined by the people.

My goal each year, after attending for about 17 years now out of the 25, and serving the board for about 14 of those years, gratefully with my boss as a corporate sponsor every year, is to rely less on the companies who have been carrying the load, while still appreciating all they do for us and hope they continue…..as they are invaluable to keeping The Randy alive….but one day, we hope to rely more on the masses, who usually are the ones in need of the funds, to help themselves anyway. So, they need a vested interest in my mind.

Randy Smiths sonsIn getting them to own this event themselves, as it is a grass roots effort by the people, for the people…. originally. Like a savings account, hard to get anything out of it, if you put nothing into it. This has evolved to help all in need from our industry now, not just Randy Smith. But just to keep his legacy going for 25 years, after his demise, attests to the level of his friendships, which is far above what most of us will ever hope for. (Pictured right are Randy Smith’s sons at one of the earliest Randys).

Our growth in the event, is now only restricted by a lack of marketing perhaps since we all have real jobs to do daily and a better understanding of what we do as a charity….by all the tradeshow people in all areas of the country, not just the major markets, as a company owner in Cleveland, Ohio, just told me yesterday, he never heard of it.

So, we have more work to do. I shared the website. Sharing this website, www.rsmgc.org, is needed by everyone! Hey crowd funding is a new thing. But can we benefit? As a 501c charity it’s tax deductible.

With several events now occurring across the USA we are making progress …. and yet maybe we have no hash tags. Maybe #’s are more important than I gave them credit for. Are we trending or viral? Who knows?

But with the higher incomes we enjoy, as all the upper managers or AEs, should be receiving here in our business…compared to many other jobs…this is a very small investment, to be a family patron at $100,  in case it is their family in peril next year and they need our help.

We will be here.

It is just good to be a sponsor up front, as we are all unsalaried people, taking care of our own in this industry. Because we care, so should you. That is how we see it. Be in the cool kids’ club.

I see moral dilemmas occur for some people in the past, as they have to help honor someone they personally hated or competed against, but I am sure they had a family just like you do.  Not all may love you either. But a healing may occur for them in some way when they get there … like the Grinch’s heart growing larger.

When a great blanket of sadness covers a family, this is cut into pieces by the generosity of so many strangers. So then, it is not such a heavy blanket of sadness anymore, for them to carry alone. We all take a piece of it home with us too. These folks return many times after their first time, to simply feel it again the next year. Share it all over again. As this love is given to them, it heals more scars then any check will. Or a logo.

We always prefer, to help those with a heart for the Randy, as these are our kindred spirits. Or those, who have no idea we exist. Who are transformed, into a better place. This is gratifying.

Once more, it is in your best interest to be a decent human, and get to share what we feel every day! Peace of mind.

The Randy, is all about YOU. Be a part of the solution this year—finally. Go here. Now, if you are like most, October 4th is a work day on the show floor. Does not mean we will think less, when we see your name all day at the event as a sponsor. I take pictures of their names and text it to them from their holes. If they pony up $250 for a hole sponsorship as I do.

https://www.rsmgc.org/atlanta/sponsors/    Get your name up in lights!  Be the change, you wish to see in the world.

There are only two lists—and you want to be on the sponsor list, not the recipient list!

Cheers to all,

mike-boone Michael B. Boone, director of international business

Coastal International

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