GCA Associate Committee Update

by David Wilke, Vice-Chair
Leader Paper Products

Welcome Laser Cutting Shapes

Laser Cutting Shapes (Columbus, Ohio) has joined the GCA as an Associate member. Their capabilities cover a wide assortment of laser cutting applications.
Laser Cutting Shapes
6522 Singletree Drive
Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: (616) 848-5700
Fax: (614) 848-5703

Exclusive Bordering/Harry Otto Printing Co. Welcome Third Generation

Tom and Cyndee Otto, owners of Exclusive Bordering/Harry Otto Printing Company, are happy and proud to announce the addition of their son, Lance Wojcik, to the firm. Lance is taking over plant management and is responsible for all aspects of production. Having grown up with this business since childhood, he long ago developed an appreciation and understanding of the greeting card and social industries. After spending the last 20 years as a dental technician, he realized he missed this field and the excitement it can bring. Lance and his wife Amanda have three children (Carson 14, Lila 9, and Stone 8). Tom and Cyndee see him quite committed as there are many school years ahead. Also, his interests include fitness training, rugby, gardening and his family. He looks forward to involvement with the GCA and supports its mission. Tom Otto is very proud that his son Lance is the third generation of ownership and management of Harry Otto Printing, a legacy Tom’s father (Harry) never envisioned in 1941. Call Lance at 800-543-8172 or email him (lance@ottoprinting.com)

Postal Affairs Committee Update

by Sarah Moe Meyers, Chair

Will the Trump Administration Deliver on Postal Reform?

The debate over postal reform has taken an unexpected, but hopefully positive turn. Shortly after potentially game-changing postal reform legislation was introduced in the Senate in April, President Trump issued a series of tweets aimed at Amazon’s business relationship with the Postal Service.  Many observers assumed this was just an element in his ongoing Twitter war with political opponents. Surprisingly, the President followed up with an executive order establishing a task force on postal reform lead by the Department of the Treasury with an expansive mandate to examine the Postal Service’s financial stability.  The order set forth a tight, 120-day time frame to analyze the issues and deliver a report which will be due on August 10.

In the short term, the task force has had the effect of stalling momentum for the Senate bill.  Most Members of Congress feel obliged to pause to see what the task force may recommend. Over the long-haul, this could be beneficial as a presidential commission established by President George W. Bush was a critical step leading to enactment of postal reform legislation in 2006.

We are especially pleased that the Greeting Card Association was among a small number of organizations that the new task force asked to hear from specifically.  Our postal affairs team met with task force staff last month for an extensive discussion of the mailing industry’s key reform principles including the need to pass pending legislation to provide financial stability for the Postal Service and the industry it serves.

We were encouraged by the level of knowledge of all the issues and the contents of the pending legislation the staff displayed.  The task force appears to be very aware of the complexities of this issue. It is unclear what direction the task force may take in its recommendations.  While the staff did not reveal much about their thinking, it was clear that they are skeptical that the current business model of the Postal Service is sustainable without significant structural changes that could impact elements critical to citizen-mailer interests like the scope and funding of universal service. It was also evident that, at minimum, they view the current legislation as insufficient to provide a long-term solution.

A number of possibilities could occur now.  It is possible that the task force will come forward with a better alternative with a more far-reaching effect than what is on the table in Congress and that can garner the same level of support from stakeholders.  That is probably unlikely. The odds are that the task force will come forward with recommendations that would have significant savings but foul the third rails of numerous constituent groups. Such items could include Postal Service privatization, changes to the labor contracting process and redefining universal service.  The key question is how they will treat the pending legislation.

Clearly, the task force has the potential of delivering problematic recommendations, but anything they recommend will still need to garner 60 votes in the Senate.  That is a high hurdle. Hopefully, they will see the current legislation as a necessary intermediate step. Even if they don’t, it would likely highlight the fact that the current bills are the only package of provisions upon which the vast majority of the ailing community can agree.  In the meantime, the GCA is preparing to respond to all of the possible scenarios and push for action on postal reform in the fall. Stay tuned!

Communications and PR Committee Update

Dave Phipps, Avanti Press, Chair

A picture – or flyer – is worth a thousand words. Here’s everything you need to know about “Thinking of You Week – September 24 – 30, 2018.  Visit www.thinkingofyouweekusa.com, too!

If you are interested in joining a committee, contact GCA Executive Director Peter Doherty.