Laurie Aronson

Recent Posts

Chairwoman’s Message: The Pleasure Has Been All Mine

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 11/30/21 11:19 AM

A nice, normal Thanksgiving was in order for the Lipsey family this year. Instead of making reservations, we made turkey. Instead of dressing up in our holiday best, we just ate dressing. Followed by lots of dessert and chocolate sauce. We celebrated in my parents’ new home which made it extra special and we started a new tradition. It was just the way it should have been.

Tradition has always been a meaningful part of our industry as well – from growing up in family businesses, to the hunts we experience together, to attending the trade shows, to the bar scene after-hours. Each one of those experiences are special and draws us closer together.

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Chairwoman’s Message: What a Week, What a Year

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 11/4/21 9:48 AM

It felt good to arrive back home after being in Columbus; yet the next day I was faced with a refrigerator/freezer that decided that it was time to leave this earth. I knew this dooms day was coming, as I could hear the loud churning and the will to stay alive for the past couple of weeks. Yet I knew the end was near. I’m just grateful that I was there at home with it when it finally decided to call it quits. It would have been tragic to return home after a fabulous week in Columbus to find the remains it left behind. There are small miracles everywhere and this was one of them. It was a great excuse to clean out the freezer too. I was also able to count the number of ducks I had in stock and found some that didn’t even belong to me. Those visiting birds had been taking up half of my freezer, but I have set them free. Speaking of ducks………opening weekend in south Louisiana is next weekend! Our hunting club that was destroyed last year during two hurricanes is finally ready and so am I. I look forward to restocking.

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Chairwoman’s Message: Let the Countdown Begin

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 9/30/21 9:27 AM

You can zoom yourself to death. At literally every hour of every day, there is a potential zoom call or webinar that you can join. I teach a class every Fall at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Unfortunately, our state was hit with another hurricane this season and it shut down many schools for weeks, including those in New Orleans. I was told that my class would be via zoom AGAIN this year because the campus wouldn’t open till mid-October. But as of a few days ago, the students returned and now my upcoming class will be in person. Thank goodness. Sometimes the translation of a one-on-one meeting, seminar or classroom just isn’t the same from a computer screen while sitting in your jammies. I’m so over it. I’m ready for the face-to-face meetings to start again. Masks or not, I don’t care. I’m ready to socialize.

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Chairwoman’s Message: The Seasons Are a Changin'

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 8/31/21 12:40 PM

As I wrote this column, I was in Dallas wrapping up an amazing two days at the 2021 NASGW Wholesaler Summit. This was a tremendous opportunity for many of the wholesalers in our industry to meet, network, share ideas, and discuss challenges within our industry, the future of NASGW, and your association’s role in supporting two-step distribution. I can’t thank the wholesalers enough who attended. The communication and collaborations were inspiring and I’m truly excited for the road ahead.  Then it was back to Baton Rouge to face Hurricane Ida.

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Chairwoman’s Message: Answering the Call

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 7/28/21 11:25 AM

Summer is in full swing, and we are back to our normal lives for the most part. Americans are vacationing at historic levels, events and crowds are returning, and music festivals and baseball are reminding us what summer is all about. Honestly, it is all so refreshing after last summer. You don’t realize how much we all took for granted until those regular summer activities were taken away.

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Chairwoman’s Message: I'm Calling it Normal

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 7/1/21 1:04 PM

As the weeks go on, it seems like COVID is becoming a thing of the past. True, there are still some places and circumstances where restrictions still exist, but most things are opening up and we’re slowly getting back to what we think is normal. That is a tremendous development which we have all been waiting for—impatiently, I might add. This leaves me wondering, exactly what IS normal in the post-pandemic era?

Culture is everything. It surrounds you in your office setting, at home, and in your social aura. Much of our past year has been spent in a “non-cultured” environment with minimal socialization and little opportunity to do anything about it. The removal of masks (for those vaccinated) was certainly the biggest obstacle that was overcome to begin socializing again. We missed the casual conversations, the smiles, the facial expressions and the laughs.

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Chairwoman’s Message: What Goes Up Must Come Down

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 5/31/21 9:54 AM

It happens all the time in sports. A team gets a #1 ranking pre-season and then what? There’s only one way to go from there and that’s down. I can’t imagine any sports team being excited about that ranking before the season even starts. The expectations are too high and it’s only a disappointment from there. You see it in the stock market as well. Stocks climb up to a point where you realize that it must be on its way down. What goes up must come down, and we all know, at some point, things will shift in our own industry. Demand will decline, and we will again be pivoting our businesses in the other direction. The only difference here is that we CAN go higher than before; we often do. Look at 2013. A record year for many of us, but then came along 2016. Another stellar year. There was no way we could climb higher. But we did. 2020 recorded numbers that none of us could dream of.

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Chairwoman’s Message: Spring Has Arrived

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 4/29/21 4:00 PM

Spring is upon us, so you know what that means. Spring cleaning. While many people loathe the task of cleaning out closets or the garage, I clean out my pantry and my freezer. No more open snack food; no more uneaten cereal. If it doesn’t rhyme with protein bar, it gets thrown out. As for my freezer, I use this time to evaluate the number of frozen ducks and I try to organize them in reverse date order. I must make way for a new crop of frozen birds this Fall to entire the tundra of my freezer. Occasionally I’ll find a pack that has been there since before my children were born. That’s an easy throw-away. But the oldest ducks must get thawed, cooked, and eaten first.

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Chairwoman’s Message: The Vaccine Fairy

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 3/31/21 8:12 AM

Think back to when you were a kid. I surely can’t remember saying to my parents that I can’t wait to go to the doctor to get a shot. I surely can’t remember a time as an adult saying it either – until now. I’ve never been so excited in all my life. I’ve received my double vaccine dose, I’ve laminated my COVID card, and I can finally rid myself of those awkward elbow bumps and start hugging and handshaking again.

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Chairwoman’s Message: There's a Fight Brewing

Posted by Laurie Aronson on 3/1/21 9:48 AM

Brrrrrr, can someone turn up the heat? The last few weeks have brought record cold and devastation to the American south. The struggles with the Texas power grid were unprecedented, and it will take months for many families across the south to overcome the damage to their homes due to frozen pipes and other damage. For those states impacted, it’s easy to understand just how unprepared they were to handle that type of weather. They just don’t experience those types of cold spells, so they don’t have the equipment, knowledge, or infrastructure to prepare for those conditions. They just weren’t ready for the fight.

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