Calling all…. VOLUNTEERS!
There are several opportunities for you to get involved – on the Annual Convention Committee – or the Associates Committee — or the LOUIE Awards, Membership, PR & Communications or Postal Affairs committees. Have expertise that you want to share? Ideas for future GCA programming or events? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. New volunteer appointments will be effective January 1, 2018 and last for one year. Some short-term appointments may also be available. For descriptions of what each committee does, visit https://www.greetingcard.org/about-the-gca/leadership/volunteer-opportunities/.
Congratulations to GCA Vice President of Postal Affairs Rafe Morrissey
Mr. Morrissey is honored to have received the Envelope Manufacturers Association Postal Affairs Committee’s John Heinrich Nelson Award for Excellence in Postal Affairs at their recent meeting in Washington, D.C. Rafe continues to work diligently on behalf of the GCA – as he has done for the many years – to advance postal reform and protect the citizen mailer. Congratulations, Rafe!
GCA Happy Hours: Join Us as We “Go Local”
What better way to get to know other card publishers and card makers in your area than to share a beverage and some good conversation?
In late 2017, the GCA decided to “go local” with a new series of Happy Hours. We tested this new “get together” concept in two cities this fall.
Conversation topics spanned everything from the industry and envelopes to travel, children and families. Attendees made some new connections – and had an opportunity to gather some information about the GCA and its programs. The ultimate goal is for GCA volunteers to be able to engage members of the larger greeting card community at a friendly, low-pressure, inexpensive local event. “We’ll buy the first round!”, noted Carlos Llansó, Immediate Past President and host of our first Happy Hour in the Boston area. And indeed, we did. A good time was enjoyed by all. Thanks also to Joel and Lauren Gryniewski, of Old Tom Foolery and Modern Lore, for hosting our first event in Minneapolis.
Interested in having the GCA host a Happy Hour in your city? Contact Joseph Cox (mailto:email@example.com ).
The Best of Times?
by Sarah Moe Meyers
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way” ~ Charles Dickens
Wow. As we are in the last several weeks of 2017, I can’t help but think about that famous quote from A Tale of Two Cities. By one measure, the greeting card industry is experiencing unparalleled success in pushing our postal agenda forward. Postmaster General Megan Brennan was the first Postmaster General to present at a GCA Convention. USPS Executive Director for Brand Marketing, Chris Karpenko, unveiled a cooperative holiday marketing plan that is also the product of an historic collaboration effort between the GCA and the Postal Service. We also have racked up legislative successes in once again securing the annual requirement for 6-day mail delivery and have accumulated a passage-proof majority in the House of Representatives supporting this critical standard for the third Congress in a row.
Yet, despite this success, one thing looms over all of it that could undermine this progress: the failure to enact postal reform legislation. H.R. 756, The Postal Reform Act of 2017 remains bottled up in the House, the victim of unexpected retirements and different priorities of key decision makers. This bill has direct bearing on the pending review of the postal rate setting system by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Should it pass, it would dramatically transform the Postal Service’s finances, allowing it to fulfill all its obligations while maintaining an affordable and predictable rate system. If Congress fails to enact it, the PRC will have little choice but to grant excessive rate increases that could spike the price of a stamp to 60 cents.
While a huge increase in stamp prices is bad, a drop in mail volume from business mailers abandoning the system would be even worse. The Postal Service would have to consider service cuts like some foreign posts have where mail delivery has been reduced to three days a week. This will force more mail from the system leading to a vicious spiral of rate increases and service cuts.
That is why the Greeting Card Association has redoubled its efforts to get H.R. 756 over the finish line. The PRC has delayed releasing its proposed revision to the rate setting system and it may not come until December, which gives us a little more time to get H.R. 756 passed.
Some things are not within our control. Some things are, like making sure every possible voice in the greeting card industry is heard. Please show your support for H.R. 756 by sending a message to your Member of Congress by clicking here. Join the effort and encourage your team and anyone who cares about this industry to share the link (If you can sign and address a card, you can do this too!).
We need everyone’s help to make sure this remains “the best of times.”