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Time flies when you're having fun

This week, I am celebrating my 20th anniversary at FPI. I have to be honest – I never imagined that I would be here 20 years after my first day on February 10, 1998. Why have I stayed so long, you might ask?

I love the foodservice packaging industry as a whole, and it’s a love that started during my pre-FPI days with the European Foodservice & Packaging Association (now Pack2Go Europe). To see the development of new products that meet the consumers' changing needs. To watch as new materials are unveiled. To witness shifts and growth in the marketplace. To visit facilities and watch foodservice packaging being made. To pick up a foodservice packaging product to see who made it and be pleased when it's an FPI member.

I love what I do – and humbly recognize that I am good at it. But I have certainly had help along the way. Back in 1998, former FPI President Joe Bow told me "you could be president of FPI one day, but you just need a few years under your belt." He saw my future before I did. FPI's next president, John Burke, had been in the industry for decades before joining FPI. I admired his leadership, vast industry knowledge and showmanship (I still can't give a toast as well as he can!). John guided me and made sure that I was ready to become president when he retired at the end of 2010.

I learned from the presidents before me, but I also learned to advocate passionately for the foodservice packaging industry in my own way. And I think it's worked out well for FPI. In the last 20 years, FPI's membership has skyrocketed, growing to include roughly 90 percent of the entire industry. FPI is more recognized than ever before as the authority on foodservice packaging, within the industry and to external audiences. We are tackling relevant issues head on, and FPI is seen as a leader within the foodservice industry as well as the broader packaging industry. I am proud to see how FPI has grown and what we've accomplished in the last 20 years.

I love who I work with and for. Natha, Jennifer and I make a great team, and together we are honored to serve our members and our industry. Oh, and we have so much fun doing it! I've seen lots of faces come in and out of the FPI family, and even a few that have been here for longer than I have (yes, you, Barry Conrad, Dave Fredrickson and Mike Kazmierski!). I have enjoyed getting to know our members on a personal level, and when one moves on, it's the loss of a friend more than a member.

I fondly look back at the last 20 years and wonder what's on the horizon for the next 20. For sure, there’s still more work to be done at FPI. When I interviewed for the position of president, I told the selection committee that increasing recovery of our products, and doing what we can to decrease that which ends up as litter, were the industry's two greatest challenges. While we are making progress in both areas, there's more to do. And, I think there’s always a better way to tell our story and relay the importance of your products to the foodservice industry, their customers and many others. 

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this industry and this association. I can't imagine being anywhere else and look forward to many years to come.

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 2/6/2018 1:29:04 PM