A realignment at the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. puts more emphasis on three key industry sectors - equipment makers, material suppliers and processors - reflecting President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Carteaux's resolve that members have a greater voice in the group's policies and decision-making.
``I have been working with the executive board and the officers the last two years to refine the governance structure to really elevate the industry councils up in the organization,'' Carteaux said in a June 29 telephone interview.
Under the new structure announced June 28, each sector will have its own vice president for the first time, with the association's 13 end-market business units aligned and reporting to the councils.
``The industry councils are really where the CEOs, the presidents, the executive vice presidents and the owners of the company have their voice and their input to the governance and core of SPI,'' said Carteaux, who has worked to get members more energized and involved since he took over in March 2005.
``In the past, they didn't have a real voice in the governance and we really changed that,'' he said. ``It's become a much more effective approach for us in the decision-making policy and decision-making process'' and to shape SPI strategy going forward.
The three people tapped by SPI to head the industrial sectors have a combined 53 years of experience at the association.
* Lynne Harris will head the Material Suppliers Council and continue as senior vice president of science and technology.
* Susan Howe will be vice president of the Processors Council. She was senior technical director of worker product and safety, executive director of the color and additive compounders division and executive director of the food, drug and cosmetic packaging materials committee.
* Walt Bishop - who had run the trade show operations and NPE since December 2005 - will return to the molder and machinery groups, where he previously had been executive vice president. He will be vice president of the Equipment Council.
To replace Bishop, SPI has named Gene Sanders as its new vice president of trade shows. Sanders comes to SPI from international consulting firm SC&H Group LLC, where he launched a specialized consultancy for trade shows with clients such as the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. He also has run the Supercomm trade show for the Telecommunications Industry Association and he has 26 years of experience in the management and marketing of industrial shows and conferences.
``By fully aligning the end-market business units with their respective councils, it gives each one of these business units a strong voice in the overall organization,'' Carteaux said. ``That is the reason we are putting this thing together this way. It shows the power of the councils within SPI.''
Carteaux said the realignment and new reporting structure also will ensure that ``we have much more contact on a regular basis with the business units.''
``It will also help the business units pull together for collaboration and for sharing at conferences,'' he said.
The appointment of Sanders, he added, ``makes sure that NPE continues to see the growth we saw taking place at the last show and that we can continue to build on the core focuses of the show - the international arena, new technologies and the educational component.''