CORONADO, CALIF. — Attendance at SPI's 1999 Western Region conference was lower than last year, but the embattled organization's national chairman and president found time to address the banquet.
The 1999 conference had 185 attendees vs. the 1998 conference's 325.
``SPI is alive, SPI is well and SPI is going to continue,'' said SPI board Chairman Harry Ussery. He expressed disappointment in the American Plastics Council's effort to become a so-called full-service trade association.
``It has taken a step that we believe will be disruptive,'' he said. Ussery is president of the UTI Group in Greenville, S.C.
SPI President Larry Thomas discussed the strategic importance of the society's regions and noted, ``The Western Region is our biggest and strongest region.'' He said California is ``the largest [state] in the nation in the plastics industry'' with employment of 122,000, annual payroll of $3 billion and annual shipments of goods valued at $21 billion.