Chairman’s Letter

I was honored to accept the gavel signifying the chairmanship of the Snack Food Association from my colleague, Rich Rudolph of Rudolph Foods, during an absolutely outstanding SNAXPO in Hollywood, Fla., and I’m looking forward to another great year for the SFA.
Rich did a great job, and I want to give him credit for his leadership and passion — especially with respect to the new online education program that we’ve just launched, the key priority established by Rich when he took over as chairman during SNAXPO 2006.
I intend to work hard to make sure that the program succeeds, and I want to encourage every member company to look into the food marketing courses being offered by St. Joseph’s University and the food science and technology courses at Ohio State University. Visit for more information.
As we go forward, we need to stand up strong for our industry and our members. There is no reason why the snack food industry should be the scapegoat for every health problem or malady that comes along. And we should not be subjected to excessive governmental interference.
Instead, we need to herald this industry’s efforts regarding healthy snacks — our companies are doing some great things — and returning sports and athletics to our schools. The word “play” has come to mean sitting behind a computer and playing video games. Kids need to get outside and play, throw a ball around, ride a bike, run.
I intend to work closely with SFA President & CEO Jim McCarthy and his staff, as well as all SFA members, to advance our priorities with respect to legislative and governmental affairs initiatives. And I want to make certain that when there are achievements, our members are kept informed.
We also need to find ways to strengthen our association financially so that we can make these things happen. I intend to continue exploring options for increased cooperation, and perhaps even a merger, with like-minded associations. Clearly, we must expand our resources so that we can expand our clout. That really must be job Number One.
I look forward to an exciting and productive year as SFA chairman, and I urge every SFA member to get active and help. One thing you can do right off the bat is attend our Day in D.C. program that’s coming up May 16-18 in Washington. We’ll be lobbying Congress and talking with administration officials on key issues. It’s a key meeting, and we need your help.
Tom Dempsey
SFA Chairman & Executive Vice PresidentSales & Marketing for Utz Quality Foods, Inc.