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Letters from our volunteer Chairman, and the NWPCA President/CEO, published for PalletCentral Magazine.

 

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Top tags: advocacy  environment  network  packaging  wood  alliances  business  challenges  communications  government  growth  marketing  natures  opportunities  partnerships 

Growing Opportunities & New Challenges

Posted By Steve Mazza, Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Contact:
Steve Mazza, Bettaway Pallet Systems
NWPCA 2016 Chairman

Chairman’s Message

I don’t want to sound like a broken record but NWPCA members are simply a cut above the rest. Our 2016 Fall Plant Tours, graciously hosted by Valley Pallet, were an overwhelming success. The tours sold out again in record time. It was a real pleasure seeing so many familiar faces but I was also quite excited to see so many new people too. This is a vital organization and the influx of new people attending the tours is proof that we are growing in numbers and continuing to advocate for the prosperity of all our members. I would also like to take a moment to mention and thank our co-sponsors: Automated Machine Systems, HUB Industrial Supply, PRS Group, Rotochopper, Inc., Smart Products, Valley Pallet and Viking Engineering & Development. Each one of you is responsible for helping make the tours a huge success.

The Fall Plant Tours are a great opportunity to network with other members but it’s also an important time to learn of new opportunities and new challenges facing NWPCA. It’s well known that our industry drives innovation and that we are always pushing for better solutions with a global vision. I think that’s why the Cary Institute Report came as a bit of surprise to many of us.

The Cary Report is recommending a move away from wood packaging in international shipping as well as by retailers. This is quite bold considering that The Cary Institute has acknowledged that the cost of switching to non-wood packing material and the environmental impact of doing so have not even been studied. The NWPCA believes this to be a misguided recommendation and as such, significant time has been invested to safeguard the NWPCA member’s interests. We are working with numerous organizations and strategic officials on an outreach basis and feel confident that our input is being given the consideration it deserves.

The holidays are upon us and another year is coming to a close. There has been so much activity within our organization and our industry in 2016. We are in a growing stage and I, for one, am really excited by what awaits us in 2017. I will be attending the California WPA conference in January and I’m hoping to see some of you there. Keep in mind, you should never miss an opportunity to network and educate yourself.

I wish you all a safe and happy holidays.

Tags:  challenges  growth  network  opportunities  packaging  wood 

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Making Your Voice Heard

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Contact:
Brent J. McClendon, CAE
NWPCA President/CEO

President’s Message

We have a winning story. How do we get people to hear us?

The answer, quite simply, is that you have to ask for the order. Whether it is promoting an environmental marketing initiative like Nature’s Packaging, participating and hosting a Congressional Mill Tour Program at your facility, or traveling to DC for our upcoming Congressional Fly-In this June, there are multiple opportunities for us all to share the greatness of this industry.

A central part of our strategic plan is raising our industry’s profile, and we have a specific goal area of advocacy. These two elements come together nicely in the upcoming meeting. We are partnering with the National Association of Manufacturers (a strong advocacy voice that also represents significant consumers of wood pallets). This event is held June 7-8, 2016, in Washington, DC, and is a great opportunity for you to help educate our elected representatives about the wood packaging industry.

You may also have seen a significant profile boost for our industry from the recent launch of Nature’s Packaging™ website and whiteboard video. In just days after the video launch, we exceeded our expectations by receiving more than 9,400 views on our FaceBook page, 700+ views of the new video, and tremendous social and traditional media pickup as well. Please visit naturespackaging.org and feel free to widely share the video. This initiative is designed to give you extra tools when answering your customer’s questions. Please let us know how we’re doing.

Nature’s Packaging also points out the value of research and education. The Pallet Foundation is undertaking a significant expansion in funding programs relevant to your business. We are funding graduate students and visiting universities to raise our profile in the academic community. But when we raise our industry’s profile, we need to have a strong foundation of scientific research supporting our positions. That’s why The Pallet Foundation is also funding environmental product declarations, landfill avoidance studies, and additional PDS research. In total, more than $200,000 has been recently committed by the Trustees to support your business and this industry.

NWPCA is making your voice heard in DC, making your voice heard with customers, and raising our industry’s profile. These are critically important elements that go into strategically positioning our association, your business, and this industry.

Thank you for your support --- but more importantly, thank you for your voice.

Tags:  advocacy  business  environment  marketing  natures  network  packaging  wood 

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The Power of Partnerships

Posted By Brent J. McClendon, CAE, Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Contact:
Brent J. McClendon, CAE
NWPCA President/CEO

President’s Message

Sitting at a meeting recently with 150 CEOs from other manufacturing trade associations made me think more about the value of networking, collaboration and partnerships. I’ve talked with many of my association colleagues this past year about PDS, and communicating safety and pallet design with their memberships. We’ve also discussed ways our organizations can work closer on advocacy issues, and we’ve shared a few beers while talking and exchanging information on safety programs and expanding best practices across our industries. The conversations have included an open sharing about experiences with OSHA safety alliances and how each of us can have more impactful relationships with other state and federal regulatory and code bodies.

As an example of a recent partnership, I was nominated to the Board of Trustees for the Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation. Their forklift training materials and experience will feed into a major project of NWPCA in 2017 – a comprehensive material handling, fire safety, and OSHA-related training materials and program.

Other partnerships we’ve recently built are doing the same, but in different ways.

A recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between NWPCA and the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory has us working together on Environmental Product Declarations, the USDA BioPreferred program and research for PDS.

You may have read about the expansion of our partnership with Virginia Tech. We are now on the advisory board of their Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design. Additionally, we are conducting proprietary research with them and have recently provided scholarships to four undergraduate students, and are currently funding a full-time graduate student at Virginia Tech. NWPCA also recently hired two new structural engineers based out of our new offices in Blacksburg, Virginia, that will further enhance our collaboration with Virginia Tech.

Here is how one partnership can lead to another. Virginia Tech’s Dean Winistorfer was at NWPCA’s Annual Leadership Conference this year. He mentioned how impressed he was about Nature’s Packaging™ – the environmental messaging and marketing partnership with The Pallet Foundation, CWPCA and WPA. Dean Winistorfer pulled me aside and thought we could add significant insights into the multi-million dollar North American Forest Partnership (NAFP) initiative. The partnership brings together the full spectrum of the forest sector to increase the understanding of the environmental, social and economic benefits of North America’s forests and to enhance the responsible management, conservation and use of those resources.

I’m honored to have recently been elected to NAFP’s Board of Directors and know we can bring our experiences to the group and complement their activities, while also bringing valuable research and digital campaign strategies that we can immediately implement at NWPCA and in Nature’s Packaging™.

The power of partnerships fuels and rapidly advances our ability to reach the advocacy, PDS and web goals in our strategic plan. We are working closely with many organizations on your behalf because collaboration, coalitions, and a strong community delivers results.

Tags:  advocacy  alliances  communications  environment  government  partnerships 

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