Times of Change
I want to let you know about steps we have taken at SFA to position our association so that we can effectively and forcefully respond to challenges facing our industry.
The leadership of our Board of Directors has made a strong commitment to promote our industry and to defend the legitimate and valuable position of our products in the marketplace — and in our diets.
In order to achieve these goals, it was determined that the association had to be reorganized and find ways to free up resources. As a result, four staff positions needed to be eliminated so that resources could be used for programming rather than salaries. Those positions were the Senior Vice President of Public Policy, the Vice President of Communications, the Vice President of Marketing and Member Programs and an administrative assistant. The decision to make these staff reductions was a very difficult one to make. These individuals had contributed a great deal to the association over the years and their duties now have to be filled by the remaining staff and by outsourcing tasks where possible. Yet the decision was made, and, I believe it was the right one.
The association will use the newly available funds on programs that will enhance the public image of our products. When necessary, we will retain experts in various disciplines to assist us in this process.
In this regard, the staff reductions at SFA should not be viewed as a lack of commitment to our excellent educational programs.
In fact, SFA has just completed the reintroduction of our Total Quality Management course at Ohio State University in early September. The course featured four days of programming and hands-on demonstrations on quality management for the snack industry and was very well attended. Additionally, SFA is gearing up for our Management Workshop seminar in Indianapolis on Oct. 23-25, which offers two exciting tracks for sales and marketing and manufacturing/production. Our Short Course on Snack Production at Texas A&M University will be held before SNAXPO again in March and SNAXPO 2006 will be the held at the fantastic Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on March 19-22.
On other fronts, SFA will move its headquarters from 1711 King Street in Alexandria, Va., to 1600 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Va., later this fall. The association sold its building in Alexandria last winter in order to take advantage of a healthy sales market and move our resources to improvements in productivity and communication capabilities.
In conclusion, the changes underway at SFA are exciting and will well-position our association to take on the many challenges that lie ahead.
President and CEO
Snack Food Association