The Society of Plastics Engineers has announced its new CEO: Patrick Farrey, a person with experience in trade associations, including packaging.
Farrey will succeed Willem De Vos, who is stepping down in June. SPE hired De Vos, a Belgian with plastics industry experience, in 2012.
Farrey comes to SPE after a 23-year career in the publication and association management sector. As vice president at Kellen, a trade association management firm, he supported several associations and was the acting executive director for some, according to SPE. One recent stint was executive director of the Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based Institute of Packaging Professionals.
"With over 15 years of managing societies and associations, Farrey brings a great deal of non-profit experience" SPE President Scott Owens said.
SPE announced the hire on May 4.
The major personnel news comes less than a week before SPE's biggest annual event, Antec, set for May 8-10 in Anaheim, Calif. The 2017 Antec marks SPE's 75th anniversary.
Kellen's website said Farrey "specializes in association turn-around projects, helping troubled organizations return to profitability, relevance and vitality." Farrey was a member of Kellen's executive committee, who was responsible for the company's Chicago office following its merger with Sherwood Group.
Farrey will replace De Vos at the end June, SPE said. De Vos has decided to return to the plastics and chemicals industry.
"SPE needed someone from the industry like Wim to do the necessary restructurings in the past years and initiate an adapted business model," said Raed Al Zubi, who will become SPE president at Antec 2017, taking the reins from Owens.
"Now is the time to build on a solid new foundation, for which an association executive has the best expertise" Al Zubi said, adding that: "SPE is in a very good position with a growing total membership with more young professionals, the newest digital resources, several solid strategic partnerships and more events.
According to Farrey's bio on Kellen's website, he acts as the senior executive advisor for Kellen's Chicago-headquartered trade association clients, and oversees their strategic planning, marketing strategy, education, membership development, administration, public relations, meetings and trade show management.
Farrey was a founding partner of the association management company Landon, Farrey & Associates Inc., which Kellen acquired in 2011. Earlier, he was principal of Independent Publishing Co. (IPC), a publisher of various trade magazines, association journals and web sites.
SPE is based in Bethel, Conn.