Welcome to the first newsletter of 2014. Early economic indicators point to a promising 2014 and I sincerely hope that your year has started well and that your outlook remains strong. The first quarter has seen the snow and ice from 2013 replaced, in some regions, by extraordinary weather conditions with extreme flooding and storms. If you have been affected by the adverse conditions then you have my sympathy and I hope any damage has been repaired and you are now back to full operation.
Board Composition Update
Marko Koljonen, who was previously presented as a candidate for the Board is no longer able to stand for election in May, unfortunately. In addition, having served his two-year term, Alar Künnapuu will be stepping down from the Board. This leaves us with an imbalance in the Distributor – Manufacturer leadership. The bylaws state that the Board must be comprised of at least 51 per cent distributor members, and therefore at least one new distributor member is required to stand for election in May. I am conscious that many of the current 33 distributor members have previously served time on the Board and the pool for new Board members may be limited. I also believe that, as a member, one should play their part in the running of the EPDA and not leave it to a few willing volunteers. Several manufacturers are prepared to stand but this remains a distributor association and unless we change the bylaws, and our strategic vision, new volunteers are required. Serving on the Board is an educational and rewarding experience and there has to be at least one candidate from each member company whose personal and professional development would benefit from serving in such an environment. I urge you to consider standing yourself or nominating a suitable candidate from within your organization. Please contact me directly or any member of the Board or staff for more information.
41st Annual EPDA Conference
At the late October Board meeting in Mainz, and following the Florence conference where we had a retrospective look at 40 years of EPDA, the Board felt a futuristic theme should be explored for this year’s key event. The 41st Annual Conference, to be held in Malmö, Sweden, will include two keynote speakers addressing the development of bioplastics as a sustainable alternative to traditional polymers and explore how the plastics industry will need to adopt a new focus on material efficiency as well as conservation of resources. In addition we will hold three new market segment “Ignite Sessions,” revisit the Distributor/Manufacturer Council sessions (hopefully with individual member presentations), plus introduce the new concept of the “Round Table” discussion, where open debate will take place on pre-selected areas of interest. Further detail may be found on the EPDA website.
I would encourage you to register and attend this conference, as 2014/15 will see a number of fundamental changes to EPDA including the appointment of a new association management company to replace Association Services International (ASI) and a review of the affiliation with IAPD. As a member with voting rights, your input is required in the decision-making process. Passive participation on such key issues is not really an option, so please make an effort to attend personally or send a delegate on your behalf.
Click here to register for the conference.
I would like to congratulate two long-standing members of EPDA.
First, Nick Kraguljac was recently honored by the President of the Republic of Austria with the title “Kommerzialrat.” Having accepted the title, Nick is entitled to preside as independent judge in the Austrian court of trade and economic affairs.
Second, Ensinger GmbH was recently voted Top Employer 2014, in a “Focus” survey of around 2,000 medium-size enterprises and corporations in Germany.
Well done to both on a significant achievement and recognition.
The Board has been active in securing new members during 2013/14 and to date we have two new distributor members:
- TECNO PLASTIC ENGINEERING S.R.L.
- SOGIMI SPA
Plus these new manufacturer members:
- NUDEC S.A.
I look forward to meeting all four at the May conference where I am sure they will be given a warm welcome by all.
The quarterly “State of the Nation” survey has just been completed, and I hope that you found the time to participate, as the larger the survey, the more comprehensive the result. Results have been published to the members’ only area of the website.
That is all for now, I hope you find the rest of this newsletter of interest and I look forward to welcoming all to Malmö on the 15th May, 2014!
My best regards