The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) announced new executive committee members and additions to its board of directors. Chairperson of the board Michael Wasson, chief operating officer at Tosca, will be succeeded by vice chairperson Ben Stoller, executive managing member and CEO at Paxxal Group.

Stoller says, “RPA and its members are deeply grateful for Wasson’s leadership and service to the industry, It’s a very exciting time to take this position as the world renews its call for sustainable packaging solutions. Reusable packaging is growing in use and popularity as manufacturers, retailers, and consumers recognize the inarguable value of waste prevention as a leading principle in a circular economy. Thanks to industry leaders like Wasson and our member companies, RPA continues to strengthen its position as the voice for reusable packaging, raising awareness of the advantages of our industry’s packaging solutions when it comes to the transport and distribution of products across the supply chain.

“Among my primary objectives as chairman is to ensure the RPA leads the conversation on how reusable packaging systems meet shifting supply chain requirements and offer new advantages in an increasingly automated and technology-enabled world.”  According to Stoller, emphasis will be placed on the important role RPA plays as a resource for all industries as they evaluate transport packaging options in the midst of COVID-19, where the bar for supply chain agility and resilience has been set at new heights.

“Due to the global pandemic and subsequent economic shutdowns, the supply chains across all industries are experiencing one of the most disruptive periods in modern history. Frankly, the response has been remarkable as the reusable packaging industry and our customers adapted, sometimes on the fly, to heightened demands for hygiene, security, worker safety and unprecedented changes in distribution processes,” says Stoller. “Through it all, the reusable packaging industry has continued to satisfy needs across the supply chain in terms of product protection, cost savings, sustainability and ultimately, customer confidence.” 

Other changes to the RPA executive committee include the appointment of Kevin Mazula, CEO at RM2, to the role of vice chairperson and Samantha Goetz, marketing communications manager at ORBIS, to secretary-treasurer. Mazula previously served as the organization’s secretary-treasurer and Goetz served as a member of the RPA board. “Adding the talent and experience of Mazula and Goetz to the executive committee will no doubt contribute to RPA’s leadership in the industry and on behalf of association members,” says Stoller.

The annual RPA election also resulted in four new board members and three returning directors starting a two-year term (2021-2022):

  • Graham Connor, senior vice president, sales and customer support, iGPS Logistics
  • Aubree Duncan, director of food safety, Tosca
  • Paul Kamholz, vice president, sales and marketing, Schoeller Allibert
  • Leslie LeMair, vice president, sales and marketing, Georg Utz
  • Andy Schumacher, vice president, packaging systems division, SSI Schaefer
  • Bryan Tate, vice president, product and category development, IFCO Systems
  • Ben Waterman, manager, business development, Monoflo International

The following members are serving the second year of their term:

  • Morten Bielefeldt, senior vice president, sales and services, Bruel Systems
  • Brandon D'Emidio, director, marketing and product management, CHEP
  • Axel Breitkreuz, president, Craemer US Corp
  • Joe O'Connor, supply chain process change manager, Kroger Company
  • Holly Maher, director emerging markets, Rehrig Pacific Company
  • Shawn Stockman, director business solutions, OnePak, Inc.
  • David Kruger, president, TriEnda Corporation

RPA president and CEO Tim Debus says, “I want to congratulate the new members of our executive committee and board of directors on accepting these important leadership roles. The reusable packaging industry is fortunate to have this high-caliber, diverse group lead our trade association in representing the broad interests and common objectives of member companies across the spectrum of reuse. RPA is set to expand our advocacy for reuse in 2021 thanks to the leadership of our board and participation from our members.” 

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