But late last year, CSPA turned up the heat a bit, selecting Stephen J. Caldeira as its new president and chief executive officer. At its mid-year meeting in May, CSPA chairman Bill Auriemma introduced Caldeira to the audience with video clips highlighting Caldeira’s tenacity with a range of foes.
“We’ve been under attack for 34 years,” observed Auriemma, alluding to the host of regulations and non-government organization activities that have dogged CSPA members and their products. “Steve has the experience in taking the fight out there. He can do that! We haven’t always been good at getting our message out there!”
Prior to joining CSPA in mid-January, Caldeira was, most recently, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association, where he grew revenue by more than 70%, doubled funding for its political action committee, increased the organization’s media profile and vastly expanded its advocacy footprint at all levels of government. That experience, coupled with a willingness to mix things up when necessary, made Caldeira an obvious choice for the CSPA board.
“Our new is CEO is will respected; he knows everybody and everybody knows him,” said Auriemma. “We got our first choice!”
But before he gets out there to work with legislators, NGOs, retailers and others, Caldeira spent time on the inside, visiting with two dozen member companies, attending conferences (including the Canadian Chemical Specialties Association meeting in Ottawa). In April, Caldeira met with EPA chief Scott Pruitt to discuss the Safer Choice program and improve flexibility so that products like Cold Water Tide can be included.
Member companies that met with Caldeira told him:
- The Association provides significant value;
- They appreciate efforts with NGOs and other stakeholders;
- We want the industry to fight hard;
- Be nimble to adapt to government at Federal, state and local levels;
- Refresh the brand;
- We need robust social media to get our message out;
- Work more closely with other associations;
- Need more data on jobs that we create to better tell our story; and
- Play on a bigger field in Washington and local levels.
“All our efforts are driven by a new strategic plan that I am implementing. I am restructuring to better focus our advocacy efforts and to better tell our policy story,” he explained.
The new strategic direction includes moving meetings under the CFO to ensure financial stability. The Association hired McKinley Advisers to guide it through the process.
CSPA is also working with the University of Maryland to get a better hand on the industry’s economic impact.
Finally, CSPA is going start testing a new brand this month.
The Midyear meeting attracted 300 attendees from 150 member companies.
“We have a lot on our plate, but we have a talented staff,” noted Caldeira. “I am grateful for the confidence that you have placed in me.”
Later, in an interview with Happi, Caldeira expanded on some of the points he brought up, starting with a new name for CSPA.
“Folks don’t understand who we are! When you have to explain what specialties are, we can’t use it in the standard elevator speech,” he insisted. “The board is unanimous in its decision to change the name.”
Although he wouldn’t reveal the name at press time, Caldeira did disclose that a new name had been selected; now the Association is working on a tagline and logo.
“With seven divisions, we’re not easy to define,” he admitted.
The new name and strategy is all part of the Association’s focus on return of investment.
“It is part of our macro strategy to be a viable, credible, go-to voice for the members that we represent,” said Caldeira.
At the same time, the Association is reaching out to an array of allied associations including the American Chemistry Council (ACC), American Cleaning Institute (ACI), Personal Care Product Council (PCPC), International Fragrance Association North America (IFRANA), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA).
As CSPA looks to expand its influence with disparate groups, Fox News commentator Chris Stirewalt said politicians and businesses must learn how to effectively serve two Americas, broadly defined as the have’s and the have not’s and that, in a nutshell, is how Donald J. Trump was elected 46th President of the United States.
“If you live in a place like Windsor Heights, West Virginia, no wonder you want to blow the system up!” explained Stirewalt. That city is located in a county which is notorious for having the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate.
“There is a hopeful and a fearful America. There are two universes and they don’t speak the same language.”
They don’t live in the same period either; because according to Stirewalt, the world economy is in the “steam engine phase” of the Technological Age. Rapidly changing technology is reshaping economies and creating new generations of winners and losers.
“Truck drivers make a good living without a college education,” he told attendees. “What’s going to happen to two million truck drivers in the next 15 years when robots take over? The working class is left out and feels dislocated.”
Stirewalt called the divide between people and parties is stark is fluid. Now, Republicans are populists and Democrats are affluent.
“This kind of disruption isn’t new, it took place through the end of World War II,” insisted Stirewalt. “(The relative quiet of) the last 60 years are an anomaly!”
He recalled that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office were filled with dramatic change. Today, the grandchildren of FDR’s constituents are Trump supporters.
During his CSPA presentation, Stirewalt predicted that there will be a crisis of confidence in the US during the next 18 months. That’s nothing new either; from Vietnam to the present day, Americans haven’t had confidence in the government.
“The FBI, the Russians, it’s all important, but voters don’t care. For the Latinas who voted for Obama, nothing has become better. Duopoly creates failure,” he charged.
“The mob doesn’t know what it wants, it just wants change. We have a beautiful system but requires people who know how to operate it. It’s a Masserati driven by kids. We need more civics in school.”
Students need more science in school, too, if they want to get ahead. For nearly 30 years, CSPA has recognized the outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements of the sons and daughters of its members. Rohan Chaudhri Thakur of Woodbury, MN was named the 2017 Murray Glauberman Scholarship Award recipient, in recognition of his outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements. The 29th student to receive this award, he is the son of Ranjit and Namrata Thakur. Dr. Thakur works with 3M Company, Maplewood, MN.
“Rohan is clearly a young man of exceptional character, combining excellence in his academic pursuits, with leadership in his community and a passion to help people,” said Caldeira. “I congratulate him on his achievements and wish him the best in pursuing his educational goals.”
Since the annual scholarship program began in 1989, CSPA has awarded $232,000 to deserving students to pursue higher
Rohan will receive a total of $8,000 over four years for his education. He plans to attend the University of Minnesota as a Dean’s Scholar in the College of Biological Sciences this fall. Rohan hopes to study cellular biology and neuroscience leading to a career in medicine. An Eagle Scout, Rohan works part-time in a research position with the Medical Device Center at the University of Minnesota, where he assists a post-doctoral research team that is building a new, more accurate medical device to differentiate between tumorous and normal body tissue.
The East Ridge High School honor student serves as a liaison between his peers and educational administrators on the Principal’s Cabinet and on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council. Rohan founded the school’s investment club and its cricket club. In his spare time, he is an accomplished varsity rower with the Twin Cities Youth Rowing team.
A Fish Out of Water
Rohan wasn’t the only accomplished water sport athlete at the midyear meeting. The opening session featured a presentation by five-time US Olympic gold medal swimmer Nathan Adrian whose opening remarks recalled, not his triumphs, but one of his defeats that propelled him higher. He recounted how he was in the stands, not in the water, when his teammates, who included Michael Phelps, swam the most memorable 4x100 freestyle race in Olympic history.
“Resilience is the new strength,” Adrian told CSPA meeting attendees.
His failure to make the finals fueled Adrian to dig deeper and accomplish his goals. At the 2016 games, he won gold medals in the 100 freestyle and 4x100 relay, and served as a team tri-captain.
Swimming, he said, taught him that he could be “good on your own, or great together.”
And that’s good advice for anyone working on a team whether at the Olympics or in the office.
• The number of units filled may have slipped in 2016, but the North American aerosol products industry remains strong and stable, according to the 66th annual Consumer Specialty Products Association’s (CSPA) Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey. Aerosol product production in North America, which includes Canada, Mexico, the US and Puerto Rico, remains consistent in 2016 with an estimated 4.558 billion units, which represents a slight decrease of 0.7% from 2015.
“CSPA’s comprehensive snapshot of the North American and US aerosol industry is a powerful tool that businesses have used for more than a half century to inform planning, investment, sales, and research and development decisions,” said Steve Caldeira, CSPA president and CEO. “The strength and stability of the industry makes it prime for innovating and introducing new products into the marketplace that contribute to improving the American quality of life.”
US aerosol units filled declined 1.73% last year to 3.754 billion units. Additional survey highlights for U.S. aerosol production are:
Research on the data was conducted Association Research, Inc., an independent firm.