Most ASPE members probably are not aware of the ebbs and flows of ASPE Society (“ASPE National” to some of you), Region, or Chapter membership numbers. Heck, most probably do not care as long as ASPE keeps giving them the benefits of membership: education, networking, credentialing, and access to code bodies, manufacturers, and new technology opportunities. If you are not a member, these alone should be reasons enough to make you want to join ASPE (aspe.org/membership-global-community/join/). If you didn’t click right now, I will give you another chance later in this article.
If you hadn’t heard, ASPE has been growing—at record levels. When the pandemic started in the U.S. in March 2020, ASPE membership stood at about 6,300 members. Uncertainty in the industry meant that members either could no longer afford to remain a member or found a decrease in membership value since we were not able to see each other face to face. This was especially the case for ASPE’s Affiliate (sales and manufacturer) members. In August of 2021, membership was at a low point of just more than 6,000 members. As the U.S. started to reopen and get closer to “normal,” ASPE’s membership numbers began to increase quickly. In August of 2023 (two full years after the low point), ASPE membership stood at nearly 7,150, a gain of more than 1,100 members, or about 19 percent. That kind of growth is fantastic in anyone’s book! As of our most recent monthly report at the beginning of January, ASPE’s membership stands at 7,275, with members from 32 countries including the U.S. and Canada. ASPE has more members today than we have ever had.
So, Why Is ASPE Showing Such Impressive Growth?
It must be what the Society offers:
- Amazing Staff members who work tirelessly, often way behind the scenes, to help keep ASPE progressing and growing
- Discounts on texts and handbooks
- Discounts on seminars, webinars, and national events
- Certification opportunities: CPD, CPDT, and GPD
- Access to ASPE’s Mentor Match program
- Access to ASPE Connect
- Access to continuing education and ASPE Education
Those are very valid reasons to join ASPE. Let’s also consider that this growth may have a LOT to do with the Chapters. ASPE’s Chapters:
- Have really stepped up their game post-COVID.
- Are trying harder than ever to recruit new members, including reaching out to other segments of the industry.
- Are working on retention—helping make their current members want to remain members.
- Are focused more on their technical presentations and education than ever before.
Something we are seeing in the new member applications is that the majority of new applicants has been told they should join ASPE by their employers, supervisors, or colleagues. THANK YOU to those who encouraged these folks to join ASPE. The Society truly appreciates that decision-makers are seeing the value of ASPE membership and telling their employees to join.
We are also starting to see a lot of past ASPE members coming back to ASPE. That’s wonderful to see—thank you! Of course, we (Society and the Chapters) need to keep working on making current members want to REMAIN members so they do not become “past” members.
Fifty-seven of ASPE’s 64 Chapters and three Satellite Chapters have grown since January 2018. In that time, three new Satellite chapters were created: Kentucky Bluegrass (a satellite of Southwestern Ohio), Lubbock High Plains (a satellite of Dallas/Ft. Worth), and Arkansas (originally a satellite of Oklahoma), which is now a full Chapter.
The three ASPE Chapters with the highest growth in 2023 were Philadelphia (29), Dallas/Ft. Worth (46), and New York City (65). This past fall, Philadelphia started their famous Plumbing Design School, and DFW held its two-day Basic Plumbing Design Course. Both of those Chapters showed very impressive growth leading up to those events, which tells us that “education sells.” ASPE proved yet again that we are the leader in plumbing engineering education.
“So, what about NYC?” you ask. The New York City Chapter put their heads together and focused not only on being the best Chapter in ASPE, but also being the largest Chapter ASPE has ever seen. Per the January membership report, NYC stood at 403 members, the LARGEST CHAPTER EVER in ASPE. Congratulations to the New York City Chapter for setting the standard for all ASPE Chapters!
I only mentioned a few Chapters above. That is not to take away from any other Chapters. The leadership and dedication to excellence of many ASPE Chapters cannot be overlooked. If you are reading this and not already an ASPE member, this should be motivation both to join ASPE and to affiliate with one of ASPE’s amazing Chapters. “How do I join?” you ask? For the second time in this article (told you), here’s the link: aspe.org/membership-global-community/join. When you get to the page, before you click on Join ASPE Today, please scroll down a bit to read about our membership benefits, member classifications, and some membership options you have, including being able to affiliate with more than one Chapter.
To ASPE’s Chapter leaders:
- Keep engaging your Chapter members, new and not so new.
- Keep trying to inspire and identify the next group of Chapter Officers.
- Keep pushing the boundaries by looking for new meeting venues, great technical topics, additional sources for new members, and more.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If you try something at a meeting, the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work, and you never do it again. More often than not, your Chapter members may appreciate the change of pace, location, etc.
- Please use the Chapter Officers community on ASPE Connect to collaborate with the other Chapters. This really is a fantastic place to connect.
Thank you for your service to ASPE and the members of your Chapter. ASPE is the largest and strongest it has ever been because of YOU!
To our new members (and existing members as well), thank you for showing your trust in ASPE to give you much-needed plumbing engineering career tools and services. As will always be the case, if there is something you think the Society should be doing to benefit its members, please let us know. You can contact your Chapter Officers, email [email protected], contact your Society Board of Directors, or fill out the nifty contact form on ASPE’s website—click.
And for the third time, if you are not already an ASPE member, please join today so you too can be part of the excitement and progress as ASPE continues to grow to never-before-seen levels!