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George A. Makrauer
October 4, 1999
Ronald H. Yocum's Sept. 20 letter, "SPI needs a leader who can rebuild it'' and Plastics News' Sept. 13 viewpoint, "Recipe for success for new SPI leader,'' reveal four points.

First, the American Plastics Council is firmly and securely its own entity, aggressively pursuing its own mission and vision, building on its past successes, apart from the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.

Second, Yocum is not going to be the new SPI leader.

Third, APC's independence and firmer vision for itself, regardless of what bothers many about the way it got there, comes from a different type of plastics industry association chief -- an industry chief executive officer, an insider and leader who knows industry issues from the plant floor up, who has fought marketplace battles at the direct interface with resin customers, who has been steeled on pressures brought by stockholders, by boards of directors, by the news media and by government, and who did not come to the position with a Washington beltway mentality, baggage or, perhaps most importantly, a D.C. resume.

Fourth, it might be Ron Yocum's background from inside the industry that demonstrates the right recipe for success for the new SPI leader -- a plastics processor CEO who has negotiated supply relationships with resin companies, who knows processing from the plant floor up, who has fought marketplace battles at the interface with customers, who has successfully overcome the challenges of introducing products in a competitive marketplace, and, especially, comes without any Washington beltway mentality, baggage or resume.

In SPI's search to redefine itself, a competent processor leader can far better play a leading role than someone who first has to learn what resin is.

Makrauer is president of ComAd Management Group Inc., a consulting firm based in Treasure Island, Fla.

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