The responsibilities Catherine Randazzo shouldered as chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. may be handled differently in the aftermath of her resignation from SPI after 29 years.
Bill Carteaux, SPI president and chief executive officer, said the group hasn't decided whether it is going to hire someone for the same role or do something different. ``I look at these things as an opportunity to move forward with new ideas,'' he said in a telephone interview April 16, the day after Randazzo resigned.
She has run the day-to-day operations at SPI since August 2004 and was responsible for the management of its 15 business units, four regional offices, strategic planning, membership development and retention, government affairs and the National Plastics Center.
Her last day at SPI will be May 2. She is leaving to be president and CEO of the Washington-based Sulphur Institute. Her departure was not directly tied to Carteaux's recent announcement of a two-year contract extension, but probably was a factor, he said.
``She has always had an interest in becoming president and CEO of an organization,'' Carteaux said. ``When I extended my contract with an evergreen clause, that closed the doors'' on her ability to move up.
Carteaux said SPI may have some internal candidates to replace Randazzo. A search for a replacement might take a couple of months, he said.
``We can never replace the institutional knowledge Catherine has,'' he said. ``Her contagious energy will be sorely missed by the staff and membership alike. But we have a great team of people in charge of our programs, and members aren't going to see any change in day-to-day dealings except for the public policy group and advocacy. It is really business as usual.''
Carteaux said the management structure SPI adopted last June has helped the association more evenly divide its responsibilities. That realignment put all the business units under three groups - the material suppliers council, the processors council and the equipment council - each with their own vice president.
In addition, Carteaux pointed out that numerous portions of SPI report directly to him, including the equipment group, finance, human resources, trade shows, information technology, and marketing and communications.
Some members and former staffers said Randazzo's departure surprised them because she was viewed as ``Bill's go-to-person.''
``I'm shocked,'' said one.
Randazzo spent 14 years of her tenure at SPI as executive director of the New York City-based SPI Composites Institute and also served as the first executive director of SPI's Styrene Information and Research Center.