Back at SSIA's 104th Annual Convention
Dana Huval, Huval's Boot and Shoe Repair,
Every July, our shoe repair family gets
together for the SSIA convention. But it really feels more like a family
reunion except most of us are not related. Im lucky though. I have only
two sisters and because of the SSIA, I feel as though I have lots and
lots of brothers. Its a great organization to be a part of.
The show started off with a seminar presented by Blase Knabl from Shoe
Systems Plus. He showed us how to solve many of the machinery challenges
we have. Robert DiRinaldo, Grand Silver Cup winner and demonstrator for
Surefoot's Fast Fix glue, gave a seminar on repairing the unrepairables.
We then held our yearly brunch and Silver Cup ceremony. Awards were
given honoring all of the Silver Cup winners. During the brunch we
thanked Jim McFarland of Lakeland, Florida, whose term as repairer on
the board has ended. We then welcomed Gino Mina, Indianapolis, Indiana,
who will replace Jim on the board.
David Stern, owner of Stern's Shoe Repair shops, gave a very interesting
seminar on how to make more money. Lenny Gershater of Point of Sale
Systems demonstrated how their computer system can track the repair work
in your shop, manage your inventory and basically help you have a more
efficient shop. Jim McFarland ended the morning of seminars with
identifying material and bonding solutions from Petronio and Renia
glues. Jim has certainly figured out an easy guideline to match the
correct glue with individual materials so we can offer good repairs with
The hall of exhibitors was open all afternoon. Suppliers
demonstrated products, handed out samples along with new catalogs and
flyers, and showed all the products they have to offer.
Gene Burten of Burten Distribution in Los Angeles, threw a cocktail
party unlike any we have ever had. He had a carving station with the
best little sandwiches of turkey and pork with all the trimming. There
was a table of fresh fruit, various cheeses and crackers, and chocolate
covered strawberries. He even had a bar offering your favorite beverage.
Gene also had a few tables set up with complimentary shirts and caps
showing the Burten Distribution logo. Many thanks for this super special
treat and opportunity to socialize with friends.
For the second day of our show, Saderma also treated us to a wonderful
breakfast. We thank them so much for hosting a great breakfast for all
of us in attendance to enjoy.
Sunday morning started off with another great seminar by Blase Knabl.
This seminar was focused on the stitchers we use with tips on how to
keep them running smoothly.
Tom Giamalva, with Tauer and Johnson, gave
a seminar on how their shoes can be ordered for hard-to-fit customers by
building a customized shoe.
Saving the best for last was the Silver
Cup seminar. We had eight Silver Cup winners attend our show -- 1997
winner Jean Van Passel, 2001 winner Jules Van Passel, Robert DiRinaldo
1987 and 2004 Grand Silver Cup winner, 2002 winner Jim McFaland, 2003
winner Larry Schupbach, 2005 winner Chuck Bolinger, 2006 winner Gino
Gentile and our current Silver Cup winner Peter Holmer from Sweden.
For this seminar, Robert explained in
detail the score sheets and offered tips and suggestions on how to win
this wonderful contest. Entering the silver cup contest will give you up
to three opinions from past Silver Cup winners. By reading your score
sheets, you can take their suggestions, acknowledge the fine work you
are doing and improve on the areas you are weak in. We all do good work
or we would not continue to be in business, but the contest is designed
for us to improve on our work.
Next month I will have an article on the
exhibitors from the show. I will tell you all about the new items
offered as well as other neat things I saw or learned about during the