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erry Welcome, former president/c.o.o. of the International Fresh-Cut Produce Industry (IFPA) and past e.v.p. of the United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh), has joined the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) as its new president. Formed in 1999, the RPA (formerly the Reusable Pallet and Container Coalition) is the leading trade association dedicated to advancing the adoption of reusable packaging systems for greater supply chain efficiencies, increased environmental benefits and reduced costs.
Welcome says he's pumped to return to "working for a packaging-related association, especially one that is on the cutting edge of supply chain issues and leading a revolution in packaging that is focused on bringing innovation to the marketplace that are reusable, sustainable, good for the environment, and helping to reduce greenhouse emissions."
With more than 16 years of senior-level association management experience, Welcome formerly presided at the helm of the International Fresh-Cut Produce Industry, which has since been merged with the United Fresh, where he served as e.v.p. Prior to that, Welcome had also served as v.p. of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI).
In addition, Welcome also has a combined thirteen years of legislative and regulatory experience, including serving as a senior lobbyist for the American Meat Institute (AMI) and eight years of Capitol Hill experience, including his duties as a senior legislative assistant to the House Committee on Agriculture.
Jeanie Johnson, who served as RPA's executive director since its inception, will assist in the transition and continue her management consulting practice through Johnson Management Group.
"This has been a great year for the RPA," said Fred Heptinstall, RPA's chairman. "We adopted a new strategic direction for the association focused on increasing the growth of reusable packaging systems and we are pleased to report an accelerated adoption of reusable systems in the marketplace With a solid group of industry volunteer leaders and a president with proven association management experience, knowledge of the packaging industry, legislative and regulatory advocacy experience, I am confident that we will see a stronger, more focused and successful RPA."