RPA Committees Off to Busy Start in 2011

RPA committees are very busy on a number of projects designed to add value to our association. Some of these projects are ongoing activities and some are special projects that are designed to allow working teams to come together and complete tasks in a shorter timeframe. Following is a summary of committee activities:

Membership – the membership committee is primarily responsible for the recruitment of new members and retention of existing member companies. Over the last two years this team has been led by Rob Zachrich, Fabri-Form and Phil Davis, the Kroger Company. So far this year the committee has recruited 9 new members and has worked on a change to the RPA Bylaws to allow for individual end user members to join the RPA. In January the Board approved the proposal and in February RPA members overwhelmingly endorsed the change to the Bylaws. The Board is now working on setting a dues structure for this new class of members and implementation is slated for late spring.

Marketing/Communications – The marketing/communications committee is charged with developing internal and external communications messaging for the RPA, promoting awareness of programs and services through the website, press releases, newsletter and other vehicles. The committee manages trade press relations and promotion of conferences and the RPA Pavilion Program. The group is chaired by Walt Tullis, Schoeller Arca and is one of the longest serving member work teams. The team is working to add functionality to the website that will enable members to manage their own information, purchase products and services and give access to members so they can manage an enhanced online directory listing. The new RPA New and Views Newsletter is one of the key communication projects for 2011.

Education – The education committee is designed to develop content for the reusable packaging industry. In the past this group has been responsible for the Economic and Environmental Calculators, workshops, Choose Reusables Conference at PACK EXPO and StopWaste workshops in Alameda county CA. The group is chaired by Bob Klimko ORBIS Corporation. In 2011 the group is working on developing the second phase of the RPA reusable packaging curriculum, seeking solutions to better manage the loss of reusable assets in the marketplace and assessing ways to cost effectively recover reusable assets from low volume users. Each project has a working group associated with it and these work groups on working to develop information, tools and other deliverables to help address these particular issues in the marketplace.

Industry Relations – the industry relations committee is tasked with working with outside groups to expand the marketplace for reusable packaging, and to monitor and develop positions on legislation and regulatory issues which might impact the market for reusable packaging. The group is chaired by Lane Pence, CHEP. In 2011 the Industry Relations group has worked with the StopWaste.org group to host a regional workshop on reusable packaging in Oakland, CA..  They are also working to support StopWaste.org’s grant application to the EPA to fund expansion of their approach to promoting reusable packaging solutions outside of California. The group is working with the new RPA General Counsel, Bob Hibbert of K&L Gates to monitor federal legislative initiatives and regulations that might have an impact on reusable products and services. The committee is also developing outreach efforts to groups like the Material Handling Institute of America (MHIA), Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) to create more effective working relationships with these groups.

Get More from Your Membership: Get Involved

The more you participate in the RPA, the more benefits you will gain from your membership including increased networking and collaboration, the ability to determine and shape research initiatives, and greater representation of your needs. Following is a list of the RPA committees and their chairmen. Contact the appropriate person if you would like to be involved in the committee.

• Membership Committee: co-chairs Phil Davis, Senior Perishables Supply Chain Manager, The Kroger Company; and Robert Zachrich, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Fabri-Form Company
• Marketing/Communications Committee: Walt Tullis, Vice President Sales & Marketing – Americas, Schoeller Arca Systems, Inc.
• Education Committee: Bob Klimko, Director of Marketing, ORBIS Corporation
• Industry Relations: Lane Pence, Director, Growth Strategy, CHEP USA