Washington, DC – The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) has reorganized its management structure to concentrate more resources on policy advocacy, marketing and trade shows.
Walter Bishop, the former head of the trade show portfolio and a 24-year employee of SPI, was among the reported 11 staff members let go, bringing the headcount at the Washington association down to 38.
The new strategy eliminated two of the three industry council vice presidents at SPI. Bishop had been vice president of trade shows until 2007 when he was made vice president of the equipment council and executive director of the SPI machinery division and moldmakers division. His position was one of two council vice presidencies eliminated.
Gene Sanders, vice president of trade shows, will remain in charge of SPI’s events, including NPE2012 – The International Plastics Showcase.
NPE2009 was held in June at McCormick Place and reported 977,660 square feet of paid exhibit space. Attendance was estimated at 44,000, which was down some 30% from 2006. However, SPI said the number of companies represented by the attendees was off only 17%, indicating a higher quality of attendees and buyers in the crowd.
The association planned to discuss the details of the changes in a series of webinars with its membership in late July. President and CEO Bill Carteaux told a plastics industry publication, however, that SPI’s 2010 core budget would be 15% lower than 2009.
“SPI will come out of this a more vital and vibrant organization,” Carteaux told European Plastics News. “We need to focus on the bigger issues and not on so many parochial issues that only affect a handful of members.”