Below is a letter from Sean Traynor (FMA president, Takasago International Corp.) summarizing the FMA Board's meeting in Fall 2006, and the future of the organization.
To: FMA Members
In November, your Board conducted a special day-long strategic planning session to assess the association's mission, objectives, programs and services, and relations with other industry trade groups worldwide. It was a worthwhile meeting in that it reviewed the threats to our industry and the focus of our priorities going forward.
A recurring theme throughout the day centered on the cost of meetings and the need for improved networking. Believe it or not, FMA conducted nearly 30 meetings during this past year. Most of these were the valuable committee meetings that go on in the background, but where a lot of important work gets done. While getting together to address critical industry issues is important, numerous days away from your work can cause business disruptions and cost valuable resources for our member companies. As we plan for 2007, the Board has requested committees and staff to consider ways of consolidating our meetings so the Board and committees can meet at common venues, possibly in conjunction with one or two premier events each year.
Meeting consolidation can allow attendees to accomplish more each time they meet and increase attendance for improved networking value. More details regarding meeting consolidation will be discussed at the upcoming Annual Business Meeting on January 17, 2007, which also has some new twists. It has been renamed—FMA Annual Meeting & Product Showcase—and will offer free display tables for members to showcase their products and services. Running concurrently, new programming will provide updates on critical issues, followed by a business meeting, reception and luncheon. This year's keynote speaker is Ann Gottlieb, who is an important contributor to the development of fine fragrances and brings a unique perspective for the current fragrance market trends. The following link provides additional program and registration information.
As you know, critical legislative and regulatory issues, like the precedents being set by the California Air Resources Board regarding VOC emissions, requires a well-designed budget in order for FMA to continue to fight those battles. I am pleased that the Finance Committee has prepared a proposed budget for next year that provides needed funding in those areas, while reducing spending in less critical areas. We are anxious to continue to attract small companies who form an important segment of our industry. Therefore, a dues rate reduction is proposed for Associate members which will help us strengthen that membership category. The proposed budget will be explained in full detail when presented at the January 17 Annual Meeting.
Enhanced communications are also planned for 2007. Efforts are underway to improve the FMA Web site and to streamline electronic newsletters for meeting announcements and other technical information. As you receive FMA communiqués, please forward those onto others in your company to keep them apprised of the benefits of membership.
I have enjoyed serving as your President over the past three years. FMA accomplished much on behalf of its members, but there are many critical issues that still face us. I will continue to support the association in every way I can, and I look forward to seeing you at the new Annual Meeting & Product Showcase on January 17, 2007, in Teaneck, New Jersey.
Sean Traynor, FMA President
Takasago International Corporation (USA)