RSI Staff Profile: Brian Kellman, Membership & Grassroots Coordinator

Brian Kellman joined the Railway Supply Institute in August, 2012 after working in member relations positions at several trade associations. Before coming to RSI, he was with the National Association of Chain Drugstores for three years, where he handled continuing education events and other member service functions. Brian’s association experience also includes the American Advertising Federation and the American Society of Travel Agents.

Asked to describe what his job as membership and grassroots coordinator entails, Brian says, “My primary focus is serving our members by answering any questions they have or sending them in the right direction, along with retaining current members and reaching out to companies we think could benefit from an RSI membership. As a member-based organization, the strength of RSI depends 100% on the support of our members, and because of that, membership relations is of utmost importance to us.”

Brian enjoys interacting with RSI’s members and potential members and answering questions about RSI’s services and benefits. He says that in the best associations, “Everything is done with the members in mind,” with the goal of providing value.

“Unlike some trade associations, all RSI members receive the same amount of benefits, whether their company is large or small. Our website has a membership information page prospective members, with information on member benefits, dues, and more,” Brian notes.

While a top benefit to RSI members is the organization’s issue advocacy before Congress and regulatory agencies, Brian says other important advantages RSI provides to members are the ability to connect with other railway supply companies and increased recognition within the railway supply industry. RSI members also receive significant discounts on booth space at conferences and exhibitions, such as the upcoming RSI/CMA 2014, September 21, 2014, Montreal, Quebec.

Brian’s advice for companies who want to make the most of their RSI membership? “Be as active as possible. We have eight industry committees that collaborate on issues that affect specific segments of our industry; events on Capitol Hill where we help members connect with their elected representatives; and a number of exhibitions and conferences. All of these activities allow great opportunities to network with other members and influential Washington, D.C. opinion leaders.”

He notes, “One example of an activity our members can take advantage of is Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, which will be held this year on March 13. This event starts with a morning briefing, followed by visits to Capitol Hill offices, and concludes with a rail industry legislation reception and dinner. This is an excellent opportunity to tell your Member of Congress about your issues that affect you. The hundreds of other rail industry employees that attend help drive that message home. ”

Brian says an exciting benefit for RSI members in 2014 is a new, members-only website that will be launched in March. Members will be able to review and update their company profile, find information on industry initiatives, renew their membership, network with other members, and have access to other exclusive materials.

A native of Rochester, New York, Brian holds a degree in Marketing from Niagara University, near Niagara Falls.  A self-professed “huge sports fan,” Brian roots for the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Orioles, and Syracuse University Orangemen, and also plays softball. Starting this spring in his spare time, Brian will be a part time member of the Washington Nationals grounds crew, where the perks, he says, include “watching baseball for free in one of the best seats in the house.” He and his wife Megan live in Northern Virginia.

Contact Brian with any membership-related questions at kellman@rsiweb.org or call him at (202) 347-4664.