Positioned for Success, But Involvement is Key

It’s hard to believe that my time as chairman of SFA has drawn to a close, but as I look back over the past year, I am pleased with the developments and achievements that have taken place.
As your association moves forward under the guidance of your new chairman, Rich Rudolph, president of Rudolph Foods, I believe it is in a strong position for future success — in part because of some of the actions taken over the past year that were skillfully carried out by President Jim McCarthy and the SFA staff.
One of the most important actions, in my view, was the board’s decision to sell the SFA building in Alexandria, Va., and to lease new space in nearby Arlington, thus taking advantage of the strong real estate market and providing significant and important financial resources for the organization. Now, the SFA staff has moved into its new offices and is fully operational there.
SFA members who take part in our Day in Washington, D.C., program, May 16-18, will have an opportunity to visit SFA’s new headquarters and participate in an evening reception May 16.
I hope you will plan to attend this event, one of SFA’s most important activities of the year. The Day in Washington gives us an opportunity to meet with members of the House and Senate, along with their top staff people, to discuss our concerns about important legislative issues and developments. There will be special speakers and activities, as well as important committee meetings, during this event.
That brings me to the important matter of involvement — your involvement in your trade association.
SFA is the only trade association that provides government relations services exclusively for the snack food industry. But, our lobbying efforts are only as good as the support provided by our members.
Congressmen and senators need the information provided by our paid representatives, to be sure. But they want the firsthand contact from you and me, their constituents. Remember, we are employers. We provide jobs to many of their constituents. They want to see our businesses succeed, and need to know firsthand when potential governmental action will affect our ability to operate and prosper.
Involvement is important in other ways, too. SNAXPO, our annual convention and trade show, and our committees, which help guide the association and develop its programs and activities, are both important ways that members can help make sure SFA successfully provides the resources that we need.
Over the past year, we restructured our committees and realigned their processes and functions with the intention of increasing their impact, and I want to encourage members to volunteer to serve. It’s a great way to become increasingly involved in your association and your industry.
It has been a pleasure serving as the SFA chairman. Now, it is Rich Rudolph’s turn, and he has my pledge of support and assistance as he moves forward.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve our association and our industry.
Robert J. Shearer,
SFA Chairman of the Board
President & CEO, Shearer’s Foods