Chris Brown, the top federal government relations representative for the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., was one of three SPI staff members laid off the week of Dec. 22, according to sources close to the trade association.
Brown had been senior director of federal affairs since September 2006, with lead responsibility for SPI's congressional and White House advocacy efforts.
SPI President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Carteaux would not confirm the departures, saying it is SPI policy not to discuss personnel issues.
However, Washington-based SPI has been advertising for a vice president of government affairs and public policy since August. At that time, Carteaux said the new position would ``let us put the right face on advocacy [because] our advocacy efforts have increased at the federal, state and regulatory levels.''
In addition to Brown, SPI also laid off Amy Sherman, who had joined SPI in September 2007 as director of international trade and trade statistics, and Barbara Darby, workforce development director, sources said.
The layoffs reduce SPI staffing levels to less than 50, according to sources.
Since taking over as the association's top executive three years ago, Carteaux has restructured the group and parted ways with more than 20 staff members he inherited.
In September, he brought in Al Damico as executive vice president to replace Catherine Randazzo, who had resigned in April after 29 years at SPI. Damico had been sales and marketing operations manager at fluorochemicals maker Daikin America Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, N.Y. He served as chairman of the SPI fluoropolymers division and the communications and marketing advisory committee, which is spearheading the Web-centered industry promotional campaign that will be launched in the spring.
Darby, who was based in Greenville, S.C., had helped SPI secure more than $1 million in government funding for training and certifying plastic industry workers since 2001, according to an SPI Western region newsletter.
She also was in charge of the Plastics Learning Network processor training program and SPI's National Certification in Plastics, a program for machine operators.