Greetings fellow bird enthusiasts!

As the VP of Product and Supply at Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc., I am thrilled to share with you some information about our organization and the benefits of being a part of the Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) franchise.

Wild Birds Unlimited is a retail franchise system that specializes in bringing people and nature together through backyard bird feeding and nature products. Our mission is to help people discover the joy of feeding and watching birds while providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service.

One of the many benefits of being a part of WBU franchise is the fact that we are very tied into industry trade associations, including the International Franchise Association to keep us informed on franchise information and news, the National Retail Federation for everything retail and the Wild Bird Feeding Industry (WBFI), a trade association dedicated to promoting and supporting the bird feeding hobby. The WBFI is committed to advancing the industry through research, education, and advocacy.

For nearly 30 years, I have been the WBU representative to the WBFI.   Over the years, I’ve attended most of the WBFI annual conferences, volunteered on committees and served on their board of directors. Our connection with the WBFI provides a strong return on investment for our whole system in numerous ways:

  1. Learning from industry experts: The educational sessions and workshops led by experts in the bird feeding industry provide a wealth of information to share with our franchise store owners, their sales associates and customers. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, including bird behavior, feeding techniques, and product innovation.
  2. Networking with other bird feeding enthusiasts: Everyone knows the value of networking.  The WBFI provides lots of networking opportunities, allowing us to connect with other bird enthusiasts and industry professionals from around the world. These connections often lead to new business opportunities and collaborations.
  3. Staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies: The annual WBFI conferences are a great way to stay current on the latest trends and technologies in the bird feeding industry, giving us  the opportunity to explore new products and services, learn about emerging technologies, and discover new ways to grow each and every WBU Store’s business.


Participating in trade association activities enhances professional development. The WBFI offers educational sessions, webinars, annual conferences, email newsletters and other ways to stay current on key issues and gain more expertise. Like most trade associations, the WBFI develops and promotes quality standards, best practices and certification programs that benefit members, their companies and ultimately, the customers they serve. The WBFI also monitors government regulations and proposed legislation, keeping members informed of requirements that could potentially impact their businesses. The WBFI facilitates market and consumer research studies, providing members with the latest information and insights so they can better anticipate and respond to changes and emerging trends and pursue new growth opportunities. The WBFI educates and assists members in the promotion of responsible bird feeding and the positive health and wellness effects that feeding and watching wild birds can have on consumers’ lives.

Volunteering to participate on a trade association committee, task force or board of directors is an extremely effective way to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry and gain greater awareness of critical issues. Additionally, trade association conferences are excellent venues for gaining more knowledge and for networking with industry peers and making new business contacts – and often, these opportunities lead to new relationships and programs that otherwise might not have developed. Trade associations that provide real value to their members will not only sustain, but will grow their membership; moreover, members will be highly engaged, actively participating on committees, in webinars and other activities and will consistently attend annual conferences and events in strong numbers. In recent years, the WBFI has experienced this type of growth and member support. Today’s WBFI is a larger, more dynamic and diverse trade association that is highly engaged and dedicated to helping grow the wild bird feeding hobby – Count me in!