While the United Producers, Formulators and Distributors Association (UPFDA) board of directors is confident that canceling the spring conference was the right move, primarily for the health and safety of our members, we were disappointed to have to do so. We had a great conference planned, including an agenda full of top-notch presenters; a golf outing, a cooking demonstration and other leisure activities; and two great evening social gatherings.
The good news is we were able to rebook with the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla., and will hold the event April 20-21, 2021. While there are no guarantees that we won’t face more pandemic challenges, we are forging ahead with plans to hold a safe and successful event next spring.
COMMUNICATION STILL CRUCIAL
In a message to UPFDA members in June, I addressed some of the challenges facing our industry during this difficult time. It is encouraging to see how we, as essential workers, continue to find ways to adapt and provide our important and necessary services. UPFDA members enjoy a great advantage of being able to network within our membership base to share information as the issues surrounding the pandemic evolve.
There is no exact blueprint for dealing with COVID-19, but through UPFDA’s network of members, we can continue to provide information and encouragement to one another. While we haven’t been able to meet in person, our board and staff have been busy ensuring that members can find the information they need, especially during this health crisis. In particular, we applaud the staff at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) for acting quickly and thoroughly to effectively educate the industry, especially through its use of PestControlCoronavirus.com.
This spring, we also revamped UPFDA.com, so that members and non-members alike have a central location online to find current, updated information about our organization. In addition, the UPFDA Membership Directory has been a longstanding tool used by membership to stay connected. If you are a member, you should receive your new directory by Aug. 1. Please contact the UPFDA office if you do not receive it.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR UPFDA
We hope to hold the usual UPFDA events during the NPMA PestWorld conference in Nashville, Tenn., in October. As of press time, we plan to meet Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center for the annual membership meeting, immediately followed by an UPFDA member cocktail reception. In addition to providing committee updates, members will vote to approve proposed amendments to the bylaws.
We will hold elections during the business meeting. Neogen Corp.’s Tom Eichler has rotated off the board of directors, and we thank him for his years of service. In addition to Eichler’s seat, there will be one other director position to re-elect or fill.
UPFDA is fortunate to be part of a strong industry, to have the ability to network with so many great members and companies that are making a difference in people’s lives. The work that we are doing and the strength that we provide together will be the foundation of what our country needs to fully recover. I thank all of UPFDA’s members for your efforts. Please know that the UPFDA board of directors and staff will continue to work to support you and communicate on your behalf.
If you ever need information about UPFDA, how to invite someone to become a member, or even if you just need to talk to someone during these often lonely times of social distancing, our staff is here for you and can be reached at UPFDAoffice@gmail.com. Andrea and Kristin Coron even encouraged me to encourage you to pick up the phone and call the office at 540-681-2114.
RILEY, president of UPFDA, is also MGK’s Eastern regional sales manager. He may be reached at 770-283-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.