Associates Update (by Brad Cannaday, GCA Associates Chair)
I have been honored to serve as the GCA Associates Chair for the past two years. It has been fulfilling to represent the Associates in such a dynamic organization.
As I pass the baton to Phil St. Germain, J.S. McCarthy Printers, who I know will provide great leadership as the new Associates Chair, I wanted to reflect on the work and contributions of the Associates over the last 24 months, such as:
- Including a GCA Associates cocktail reception at the annual Convention, which provides the Associates with an informal opportunity to meet face-to-face with Publishers and discuss capabilities and products via tabletop displays. Many thanks to the GCA Executive Committee for adding this valuable program to the Convention’s jam-packed schedule.
- Providing a “seat at the table” for the Associates Chair at the GCA Executive Council. This has been a very rewarding experience for me to be included in the GCA’s decision-making process and it’s great exposure for GCA Associates.
- Implementing a new process to nominate and elect the GCA Associates Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.
- Providing supplier input as features were developed for the new GCA Website, specifically including Supplier information as a supplement to the Resource Guide Book.
I am very grateful to have been part of the GCA and will never forget the privilege to work with wonderful friends in this terrific industry.
Communications & PR Committee
Welcome new Committee members: Becky Eldridge and Dana Cardinas, Say It Gay, Dave Phipps, Avanti Press and John Smyth, A. Smyth Co.
For those of you who were wondering, you have the Communications and PR Committee to thank for this brand new web site! Several committee members, working with the GCA staff, have been the driving force in making this site a reality. Another of the committee’s charges included the first-annual GCA “State of the Industry Survey”, conducted in partnership with Stationery Trends Magazine. All participating companies will soon receive an executive summary of our findings. You can also look for survey updates in future issues of Stationery Trends.
The Membership Committee
Under Alan Friedman’s leadership, the Membership Committee is gearing up for renewal season. Watch your email for your renewal notice.
Membership is up for the year! Thanks to all of our current members for their support, and to our new members for getting involved with their peers. Speaking of membership, be sure to check out the new membership information section of the web site, and pass this link along to others who you think may be interested in getting involved in the GCA. And finally, watch for a request from the GCA for more information about your company, coming in early November. Among other things, we will use this information to prepare our 2017 membership renewal invoices.
LOUIE Awards Committee
Read the Q & A with LOUIE Awards Chair Nicole Hite-Heleniak.
Postal Affairs Committee
Fate of Postal Reform Rests on “Lame Duck” Congress
by Sarah Moe Meyers, Chair, GCA Postal Affairs Committee
Benjamin Franklin, founding father and our nation’s first Postmaster General, famously said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Unfortunately, his wise advice is not followed much these days by Congress, which never seems to do anything until the last possible moment. From keeping the government funded to addressing public health crises like the Zika virus, it lurches from deadline to deadline, rarely passing critical legislation before it has to — and in some cases, much later than it should.
While the Postal Service is vital to a healthy American economy, it is not a priority for many Members of Congress. It is frustrating (but not surprising) that legislation to stabilize Postal Service finances has not been taken up even though in July, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a bill broadly supported by both the mailing industry and postal unions, without objection. A similar bill has been pending in the Senate for more than a year. Our hope was that the full House of Representatives would consider its bill, H.R. 5714, “The Postal Reform Act of 2016,” in September, setting the stage for reconciliation with the Senate and final enactment in the “lame duck” session at the end of the year. Now, Congress will have to do all of the remaining work on the bill at the end of this year. With little time and many items on the agenda, that could be a tall order.
GCA Has Impacted the Debate
As frustrating as this is, the GCA has made some positive contributions throughout the process. At the start of this Congress, we faced a five-year campaign to end Saturday mail delivery and limit much needed regulatory oversight of the Postal Service’s service and pricing authority. GCA’s engagement has succeeded in fundamentally shifting that debate and the pending bills lack these harmful provisions. Also, we have strengthened and consistently preserved the legislative requirement for six-day mail delivery each year.
Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.” No truer words have been spoken regarding “lame duck” sessions — especially those in the final session of Congress in a presidential election year. This year, the scope of activity will be determined by the outcome of what is likely to be one of the most contentious and divisive elections in many years. The good news: we succeeded in shaping the contours of the legislation to protect our customers. The better news is that Congress always responds best to a deadline and the rate review beginning in December should create significant pressure on Congress to act to prevent harmful rate increases.
Our task will be to make sure that the key elements in both bills are maintained and to work with our colleagues in the mailing industry to keep pressure on Congress to act on postal reform before adjourning for the year. Partisan rivalries are beyond our control. We can work to keep the legislative policy on track by making sure elected officials hear from us. All GCA members can expect a message from me with guidance and encouragement on how to register support for postal reform as Congress begins its final stretch after the November election. GCA will work with its coalition partners? and if we all do our part, we will achieve a great outcome that preserves the Postal Service that our customers need.
If you are interested in joining a Committee, contact GCA Executive Director Peter Doherty