That positive attitude was on display during Xpand 2018, the HCPA Annual Meeting, which was held last month in Fort Lauderdale. More than 400 industry executives were in Florida to get an update on the association’s activities in 2018 and hear more about its plans and strategies going forward. But no matter what happens in Washington DC and state capitals around the country, HCPA is in great shape, according to president and CEO Steve Caldeira.
“More companies are joining The HCPA,” he told attendees. “We’ve added 25 new companies in 2018 and now have 238 member companies. The last time our membership acheived this measure of growth was in 2009.”
According to Caldeira, companies are attracted to HCPA for its track record of getting things done, its good working relationship with stakeholders and its exceptional staff.
For example, HCPA spearheaded industry efforts in passing the landmark California Cleaning Products Right-to-Know Act. According to the association, HCPA led a coalition of diverse stakeholders to negotiate this landmark law that successfully balances consumer and worker demands for more ingredient information with complex implementation issues, including the need to protect certain proprietary and confidential business information.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team, this industry and our chairman David Campbell,” Caldeira told the HCPA annual meeting audience. “Passage of the California Cleaning Products Right-to-Know Act was a great success.”
Now, HCPA is moving to tackle chemical disclosure in other states, including New York. HCPA has partnered with the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) to file a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) burdensome and contradictory ingredient communication guidance document.
“We can’t have a patchwork quilt of legislation,” observed Caldeira. “We need a federal solution.”
He noted that the same political party controls the governorship, senate and house in 37 states. These state government trifectas pose new challenges to HCPA in 2019. To help meet those challenges, this month the association welcomed Andrea Mojica as VP-regulatory affairs. Previously, Mojica was with the US Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention for 12 years. In addition, Mojica will be division staff executive to the antimicrobial and cleaning divisions.
In making the announcement, Caldeira noted that Mojica has extensive and highly-respected regulatory experience on pesticide and chemical-related issues (like the Toxic Substances Control Act) which will deepen and broaden HCPA’s regulatory engagement.
“Andrea’s proven technical expertise will add a new level of strategic leadership for the antimicrobial and cleaning product divisions,” he added.
In her new role, Mojica will report to Jim Jones, EVP-strategic alliances and industry relations.
“We’re bringing in more expertise in a unique political arena,” observed Caldeira. “We are expanding our advocacy footprint.”
That footprint is growing in a variety of directions. HCPA is leading industry efforts to minimize damage caused by recent US tariffs. The association notes that its member companies need steel for aerosol cans and it is working with Canada, the EU and Mexican trade groups to gather details about how these imposed tariffs are negatively impacting member companies.
At the same time, HCPA remains well connected to the EPA. For example, in 2018, the association met twice with Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of EPA.
“HCPA is operating from a position of good standing with key stakeholders, including highly respected NGOs, on ingredient communication,” said Caldeira. “In fact, a recent report from the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners lauded HCPA for these efforts. Our reputation is invaluable as we continue to build and strengthen relationships with major retailers, NGOs and elected officials in preparation for the 116th Congress in January. We will always be transparent, collaborative, and work to find common ground with those who may not always agree with us.”
Democrats grabbed control of the US House of Representatives in November, thereby putting up roadblocks to President Donald Trump’s agenda. Making sense of it all during the HCPA annual meeting was Jennifer Duffy, senior editor, The Cook Political Report, who ran down an exhaustive list of potential Democratic candidates for US president in 2020. While some are well-known, think former former Vice President Joe Biden and US Senator Elizabeth Warren, Duffy’s list included names that barely measure a blip on the recognition scale.
“Political Parties have a bad habit of fighting the last war,” observed Duffy. “The Democrats lost with a woman at the top of the ticket in 2016. So will they go for an unknown, white male in 2020?”
As for Republicans, Duffy doesn’t expect President Trump to face a serious challenge to the nomination. However, she said there is a chance that during his third year in office, he will declare victory and go home.
“He doesn’t really enjoy this job—except for Air Force One!,” Duffy joked. “If Trump steps down that would set off a Republican free-for-all (for the nomination).”
During the annual meeting, HCPA awarded its highest honor, the Charles E. Allderdice Jr. Memorial Award, to Bill Auriemma, president and CEO, Diversified CPC International. Named after a former president of HCPA, the Allderdice Award is presented annually to the individual who has made exceptional contributions to the advancement of the household and commercial products industry.