Making the Most of Opportunity

The single most important function that we perform on behalf of our members here at the Snack Food Association is to represent their interests involving government affairs, whether it’s in Washington or the state capitals around the nation.

Last year was filled with challenge, but thanks to the involvement of many members and the hard work of our staff and consultants, I think it’s fair to say that the SFA had a successful year, as is described in the accompanying article.

I just want to take this opportunity, however, to thank all of those members who responded when we asked for help, whether it was regarding Congressional or regulatory issues in Washington, or the threat of snack taxes in Massachusetts and Maryland. The response was outstanding and went a long way toward helping us achieve success.

If government affairs is our most important function, then our upcoming SNAXPO and all that it means to our industry runs a very close second - and it’s just around the corner.

Coming up March 1-4 in San Antonio, Texas, SNAXPO 2008 provides members of the industry an excellent opportunity to network and do business with top suppliers from around the world. Last year’s SNAXPO in Las Vegas was a highly successful event, and this year’s “big” equipment show looks like it will be even better.

San Antonio will be a great venue for SNAXPO, offering excellent weather and attractions. Our opening reception will be held at the famed Buckhorn Museum & Saloon.

If you haven’t signed up yet, I encourage you to do so. Just visit www.snaxpo.com for everything you need.
Finally, I want to mention our new SFA Knowledge Center created in 2007, as well as the online courses that we now offer to members, thanks to Saint Joseph’s University and The Ohio State University.

The curricula for both the marketing courses offered by SJU and the food processing and management courses provided by OSU are growing and provide an extremely convenient and affordable way for member companies to help their associates stay abreast of developments and prepare for the future.

We’ve worked hard to develop a useful and comprehensive online education program, as requested by our Board of Directors, and I want to encourage every company to take advantage of this opportunity. You can learn more by visiting www.sfa.org/education.aspx, where you will find course descriptions and registration information.

Meanwhile, please accept the best wishes of all of us at the SFA for a prosperous and happy New Year. There are plenty of challenges and opportunities ahead. Let’s make the most of them!

Sincerely,
Jim McCarthy
SFA President & CEO