IFAI is a fun association. The networking opportunities, the friendships I’ve made and the business relationships I’ve built through the association have been invaluable. A lot of people look at the kinds of relationships that I’ve built in the association and question them because I have a lot of interaction with competitors or perceived competitors. There are very few major competitors of Rainier that I don’t do business with—I compete and buy and sell from competitors.
The people who flourish within IFAI have a little bit of that mindset as well, and the people who sit on the perimeter are the ones who don’t really get the value they could out of the relationships through IFAI. Those are the people that build a wall around themselves and are afraid someone will steal their [trade] secrets. There are very few secrets—not in this industry anyway. People may wonder why I’m so open about my business but I’ll tell you, it definitely pays off. It is in this unique marketplace—IFAI—that we have fantastic interactions with a wide variety of players.”