The trade association leading innovation in food production.‬

Member Login    Become a Member      

President’s Message – April 2020

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage and confidence in the doing.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Before providing you with an overview of the Association’s activities, it only seems befitting to recognize and comment on the challenges all of us are presently facing. Clearly, we are living in unprecedented times. Not only our country, but the world is engulfed in fighting an invisible foe that threatens not only thousands of lives but for many, their livelihood and future as well. The above quote from our 26th President seems most appropriate as we work through this very difficult period and emerge as a more mindful, fecund, and conscious nation.

In regards to the Association’s action’s, I am pleased to report on our very successful Annual Conference that was held in Carlsbad, California. Our keynote speaker, James Donald, was not only inspirational but also provided attendees with a great practical “playbook” on management and team building. Like our keynote, our break-out speakers received the highest rankings from attendees in our last ten years.

During our Annual Meeting, the membership voted to modify our existing Bylaws by increasing the number of representatives on our Board of Directors and Executive Committee in order to ensure added relevance and to better coordinate and communicate with our Industry Councils and recently created Networks. Voted in as new members of the Executive Committee are: Matt Malott, Chair; Jarrod McCarroll, Immediate Past Chair; Bob Campbell, Treasurer; Brian Perkins, Chair of the Membership Committee; Patrick Ditchfield, Chair of the Show Committee; Tom Kittle Chair of the FPSA Foundation; Gil Williams, Chair of FIT, Inc.; and Erik Brainard, Assistant Treasurer. Further, Bob Campbell was elected Chair of MISA; Kate Rome was elected Vice Chair of MISA; Martin Lutz was elected Chair of the Dairy Council; Jeff Tocio was elected Vice Chair of the Beverage Council and Matthew Hartman was elected as Chair of the Networks Leadership Team.

Additionally, during his address to the membership, Jarrod McCarroll outlined an important new member benefit: the 180 Skills Training Program – an online “skills” technical distance learning product specializing in training courses for the manufacturing sector and providing interactive, competency-based skills courses and testing. Introduced now, so that members can make room for this exciting program in their training budgets, the 180 Skills Program will be launched in January of 2021 at a much more cost-effective rate than any other training program, and will provide over 700 topics in various learning paths, be they technical, soft skills or quality. By leveraging the buying power of FPSA’s membership we have negotiated a much more favorable rate than any single company could for this critical aspect of your operations. You will hear more about this very cost efficient and extremely effective program in the coming months.

Lastly, please keep in mind that our 2020 Career Development Scholarship program provided by our Foundation which will award up to 15 scholarships to FPSA members' employees and immediate family members, is underway. The application process ends on April 17th.  Winners will be notified in June. To learn more about the program, please click HERE.  If you need more posters to place throughout your office to promote the program, please contact Ann Marie Penaranda at

In closing, I hope that you will continue to take advantage of the critical information on COVID-19 that is included under FPSA NEWS section of our website. Please feel free to reach out to me at or at 703/663-1200 with any questions regarding how you and utilize the services and benefits of the Association we can be of any assistance to your company/team. And, I hope you, your employees, and family continue to stay health and safe.


David Seckman